Emotions & Explosions: Frostbite 3 Engine Trailer

So many feels
I’ve figured out why developers and publishers make game engine trailers. Like the Wizard Of Oz, the game engine is responsible for what’s going on behind the scenes. It is the giant, floating head that demands tribute. In this case, the tribute is four minutes of people talking about Frostbite 3 using terms like “Seamless Reality”. It skips extolling how these grown men spend their days and nights attempting to make explosions more explodey, debris more chunky, and eyes more oculary. Such is the fragile ego of a game engine, if such a tribute is not made then Frostbite 3 would return to its burrow and gnaw off its own feet.

So remember when you watch this trailer for the new engine that’s full of Battlefield 4’s swaying trees, better water, and buildings collapsing, that the ridiculous bits about a character’s eyes are there to keep the engine from hobbling itself. That said, the eyes are kind of pretty. I definitely believed that the guy trapped in the debris was feeling crushed, but I’m also aware that the moment will probably be followed by a man shooting lots and lots of people without consequence, so that moment of sadness isn’t going to have any emotional resonance whatsoever. When your story-telling manages to reconcile that, I’ll start to care about the look of fear in a character’s eyes.

Battlefield 4 is out on November 1st.


  1. Daniel Klein says:

    “It’s sort of subtle.”


  2. BobbleHat says:

    The guy with the slug on his chin kind of sounds like Robert Downey JR. I guess that was the most interesting thing for me.

    • DonJefe says:

      Men who intentionally wear slugs on their faces are not to be trusted. At least that’s what my dad always told me.

      • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

        It’s a bit of a timesave I bet, writing ‘I’m a twat’ on your face in the mirror is hard you know

        • Bhazor says:

          That’s basically what Google Glass is for. Leave the house safe in the knowledge that everyone you see knows that you are a roaring twat.

          It’s a real time saver. Even more efficient than a Bluetooth ear piece.

  3. nanophage says:

    Actually its because the developers then turn around and try to sell the engine to other developers. Its all a sales pitch. A very lovely one though.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      Except EA wont let anyone use it’s Engine. Not that anyone would want to, with Cryengine 3 out there.

    • Craig Pearson says:

      Except they’re not going to license it, so my explanation is the only explanation.

  4. bitserum says:

    Because all video games need is more graphical fidelity, meanwhile some 8bit games make me feel volumes of emotion :-/

    • SaVi says:

      Makes me think about how every other character in Mass Effect 3 was crying like a baby. More graphic fidelty could have made their tears more believable.

  5. Ginga121 says:

    Well, shit. If that is seamless reality then maybe I need to buy a pair of glasses with bluey-grey lenses and wear them all the time! A.k.a the depression filter. Last time I checked real world lighting doesn’t look that bleak in bright sunshine

    • Syra says:

      I always have the depression filter =(

      Hence, I can relate to blockbuster games and films!

  6. Mr. Mister says:

    Sure, EA, the 360 and the PS3 can handle Frosbite 3, but the WiiU misteriously can’t. Totally nothing to do with Nintendo refusing to implement Origin.

    Anyway: The only thing I haven’t heard of on other engines is the wave net-synching, but unless the waves can also be affected by world objects, and not only viceversa, then it’s nothing new.

    I’m rooting for Unreal Engine 4.

    • PoulWrist says:

      He did mention that debris like planes crashing into the water will cause waves.

      • Syra says:

        Probably a tiny splash sprite and then they just bob with the normal waves…

      • Azdeus says:

        And yet they still can’t implement proper scope zoom…

  7. baylox says:

    Lars Gustavsson must be the second most Swedish name ever, after Sven Gunnarsson (who may or may not work for DICE).

  8. elsparko says:

    I always wonder what happens in the end when this levolution building really collapses. They tell us that dust will fill the map etc. but for some reason the video always stops in the end and cuts to some senseles view angle where the building falls right into the camera.

    Obviously not all of the seamless reality has been implemented yet…

    • BobbyDylan says:

      There are E3 vids up that show the map filled with dust after the building has fallen. Srly, the Gunship is rendered useless by it, you wont be able to shoot shit.

    • Shadowcat says:

      It’s not a strange camera angle; it’s just the the building is scripted to always fall on the player.

  9. barrel91 says:

    so flashy

  10. Stevostin says:

    “that the ridiculous bits about a character’s eyes”

    Actually, the eyes are pretty important. When Valve made Source, that was a high point. They’ve been ahead of the crowd for years with that, with in game cinematics working like a charm where everywhere else it was cheesy. Apparently not an easy thing to do. No if you know a bit how perception works, the eye are the most strategic things to render well indeed.

    • Craig Pearson says:

      I know, but I still don’t care about a BF4 character’s eyes.

      • Morzak says:

        And BF4 is the only Frostbite 3 game……….. Sometimes I really wish gaming journalist would at least try to be professional…..

        • Misnomer says:

          This is a story about BF4, therefore the RPS equivalent of the BF3 blue filter is applied… the RPS snark filter.

          Nothing, not matter how logical nor factual can escape the snark filter when talking about a AAA military shooting game (or RTS).

          • SaVi says:

            RPS Snark Filter, thanks for the name, something to work with. There are good articles here, but it is important to differentiate between those that are made with an open mind to the topic, or those just gushing with sarcasm based on what is cool to ridicule at the time.

          • Alfius says:


    • somnolentsurfer says:

      I’m probably never going to play any of these shooty-bang games, but I’m really curious to see how Titanfall, running on Source, competes with all the tree-wafting explodiness.

  11. Koozer says:



    But yay for trees and waves! I spied some sort of battleship interior too, which I really hope is part of the battleships in multiplayer games – but I’m feeling cynical, and it will more than likely only be a singleplayer level, or another tiny CoD-esque multiplayer map.

  12. int says:

    Yay! Now we are gonna have half the team as recon and the other half as people who just want to level the entire map.

    • Misnomer says:

      So BC2?

      I remember most of RPS actually quite loving the destruction in that game.

  13. Iskariot says:

    I’d have to say that Frostbite 3 engine looks spectacular.

    • lizzardborn says:

      Now they just have to ship playable game with it. Also a good one.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      I wish some other developer besides DICE had access to it. Their inability to craft a relatively bug-free game takes any of the charm out of the engine.

      EDIT: Oops, never mind. Apparently quite a few other devs are using Frostbite in their upcoming games. Hopefully they’ll be able to do better than DICE.

  14. Kobest says:

    Can’t watch the video since I am at work, but on the image above, Shooty McGunnerson has three, THREE American flags on his outfit. I am sure he dropped the 4th or 5th in the multitude of explosions around him…

    • Premium User Badge

      particlese says:

      The trailer had a segment amidst the chaos where they showed off the storytelling prowess of the engine: Shooty McGunnerson attending executive meetings during his day job, handing out flag patches from his tactical pockets as business cards. Presumably, he had a big day before that photo was taken.

    • Orija says:

      He has one hidden under his beanie for emergencies.

  15. Koozer says:

    He strangled a foreigner with the 6th, and mopped the patriotism off his brow with the 7th.

  16. Orija says:

    All this is quite good, but they made the same kinds of promises for BF3 too. How the earthquakes would effect building in multiplayer maps, and tear up chunks of the levels, how much destructibility would be there, instead we got a shoddy cod wannabe with vehicles. Plus, Battlelog and maps being sold as DLC.

    I’m gonna wait until after release, once the initial hype has settled down to see if it’s actually worth it to hand over my money to EA.

    • elmo.dudd says:

      “shoddy cod wannabe with vehicles” – I believe you are describing World at War. So what we got was a modern warfare take on World at War, with flashlights of death.

  17. kael13 says:

    Obviously the most interesting integrations for this engine will come when they use it for games other than BF.

    Also I should probably think about upgrading my computer.

  18. cunningmunki says:

    But what does it look like on ‘low’ setting?

  19. LordMidas says:

    As engine trailers go this one was damned pretty. Though watching it at work meant having the sound down. It seemed more fun to make up the stuff they were saying, rather than the techspielamazeballs they no doubt spouted at the camera (or the person just off camera).

    The guy in the Where’s Wally top looked a little too smug for my liking too.

  20. Primey0 says:

    Looks like BF3

  21. mrmistermeakin says:

    So… “more emersive story telling” yet again…

    Can I just buy the multiplayer please? Preferably at half the price. I assume it will be on a seperate disk again.

  22. bit.bat says:

    The more realistic these games look the more uncomfortable I feel about killing people in a game. The bit in all their advertising where the player stabs another guy in the stomach really creeps me out.

    I wonder if there will come a point with realism levels where players will not feel comfortable with all the killing anymore.

  23. Tei says:

    The engine is fantastic, but this video mix singleplayer stuff with multiplayer stuff a bit too much for my tastes.

    Its “”easy”” to have a bridge explode in metal that react physically, Half Life 2 did it on one of the episodes.

    Now, how you do that and how well playable is that in multiplayer?

    Battlefield 1942 had frigates and aircraft carriers you can pilot, but that was removed later.

    Maybe the engine was slightly more optimized to be a “Cool images in singleplayer creator” than a good multiplayer engine?

    Frostbyte is better than most at what it does. Maybe the best. But producing eyecandy in singleplayer is tryiing to reach low hanging fruit. FMV already did all the non-interactive impressive crap you can dream, you don’t need engine tech for non-interactive crap.

    Sorry for this small criticism. Its really a good engine, and the visuals and gameplay are fantastic and smooth.

  24. WhatKateDoes says:

    DICE creative director filmography found:

    link to youtube.com

    I am not a spammer. PROMISE. :D

  25. Astalnar says:

    I hope this means Darkspawn in Dragon Age 3 will not look like they escaped from a bad cartoon instead the gates of hell.

  26. SuicideKing says:

    Doesn’t Battlefront 3 get Frostbite 3 as well?

  27. Jabberslops says:

    Games made with the Frostbite engine look great, but when you take the engine online it all falls apart with lag, rubber banding, accuracy issues with anything that isn’t a giant cannon or explosive device and issues with physics enabled objects. The netcode is awful when you compare it to other games that deal with similar gameplay to the Battlefield series. Other games have these issues, but only Frostbite seems to magnify them into an almost game breaking problem.

    DICE has made 4 other games using the Frostbite engine using 1, 1.5, 2 and 3. Now there are other game development studios using the engine and DICE most likely still haven’t fixed the major issues in any meaningful way. Dice has had issues with making good netcode on every game they have made. Frostbite engine is great for singleplayer, but not so great for multiplayer.

  28. RakeShark says:

    But can it do surreality?

  29. Apocalypse says:

    Is it me, or did EA managed to build an engine that can not even produced as high quality as unreal engine 4 on a PS4?

    The weather simulation is cool, but the particles and texture quality and geometry was amazing bad for a next generation engine developed for 7 years …