EA creating free Battlefield game sans cartoony graphics

By on November 8, 2010, 5:33 PM
Building on the success of its free-to-play first-person shooter, Battlefield Heroes, EA has announced plans to release a new freebie. Simply called "Battlefield Play4Free," the game will shed Battlefield Heroes' cartoonish graphics in favor of the grittier style seen in popular retail Battlefield titles -- and that's not all it borrows from EA's previous work.

The upcoming shooter will combine popular maps from Battlefield 2 with the weapons, classes and factions of Battlefield: Bad Company 2. As you'd expect from a Battlefield title, P4F will scale up to 32 players and feature vehicular combat, including helicopters, jets and tanks.

Players will learn skills and earn in-game currency to buy weapons and other equipment. As in Battlefield Heroes, you'll be able to buy items and upgrades with real money, though the developer only expects about 5% of users to spend cash. That could still be quite a few people considering the fact that Heroes has six million registered players.

Battlefield Play4Free joins Need for Speed World and Company of Heroes Online, two other free-to-play versions of once-retail games. P4F will launch sometime next spring and eager supporters can register to join the closed beta that is due to start on November 30.





User Comments: 46

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killamoves said:

Graphics don't seem so great I wonder what the requirements are.

Ranger12 Ranger12 said:

Alright, it basically combines the two best games in the battlefield series. Sounds like it'll be good

---agissi--- ---agissi---, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Wow now this looks awesome! Im glad I registered for Heros even though I only played it once, it looks like it helped them realize they could have a following. BF2 probably my third favorite PC game of all time, I thought the gameplay was tight.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This is a bit old. I saw this a few days ago at Ars Technica.

Well, sadly, the graphics look mediocre. I love Battlefield 2, but they should have used Battlefield Bad Company 2's graphics. I guess as long as the gameplay remains a mix of both games, it should be a good game. And it's free, so what the hell.

razzrap said:

free games for the win!

codefeenix codefeenix said:

Hopefully they balance paying users and free users a whole lot better than they did for BF: Heroes.

TechSpot article says i should expect 32 player slots from a BF title. This is incorrect, as I expect 64.

KG363 KG363 said:

I can't wait. I signed up this weekend

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

"P4F will scale up to 32 players"

You mean scale down, BF2 had 64, and the Korean version of this game i heard has 100+

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

The game will be free to play so toned down graphics and 32 player limit is understandable. I might give this a try but I'm not sure how much time I would spend with it as I'm happy with BF:BC2 and eagerly awaiting BF3.

princeton princeton said:

Ranger12 said:

Alright, it basically combines the two best games in the battlefield series. Sounds like it'll be good

Wow. Someone obviously has only played those 2 games. 1942 was by far the best battlefield game...

JMMD JMMD, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Never played "heroes" but I'm all for more F2P multiplayer games. Just hope the cheating doesn't ruin it too much.

klepto12 klepto12, TechSpot Paladin, said:

F2P multiplayer games have been a dime a dozen and its hard to find one that is great but i hope this one is and can change my mind about other F2P games.

mpribe said:

I'm guessing that the graphics don't look great because they are targeting this game at a wide range of PC players.

I grew up a PC gamer and recently decided to buy back into the platform after a stint on the Xbox 360. When I got the Xbox, I reasoned that most big releases were going to be cross-platform, and that the console provided the cheapest way to access those titles. I hoped that the decline in PC gaming (which I lamented) would lead to an increase in the diversity and creativity of games coming out on consoles.

Needless to say, I was disappointed in that regard. Console games, for the most part, are published by large corporations which impose burdensome restrictions on developers and hold a disdainful view of their customer base. Look at the recent MOH release, for example. EA rushed that game to be out before the new COD, and it shows. When confronted with the shortcomings of the game, one EA exec dismissed such concerns, saying that the game was fine for most of the market, and that the only people who don't like it are those who spend "80 to 90 hours a week playing shooters." In short, he is saying that he doesn't care if they put out a bad game so long as they sell millions of copies to unsuspecting casual players. Those players pay their $60 up front, and it doesn't matter whether the continue playing the game. Of course, the highly structured nature of the console gaming market makes this possible.

My hope is that free to play gaming will help spark a renaissance in PC games. Such a business model is, of course, impossible on consoles where Microsoft wants money up front for every game. Indeed, they don't want this business model to succeed because it means that game developers will be forced to put out quality games and to maintain and update them on a regular basis; if gamers have a wide range of free games to play, they are going to play whichever ones are the best and have the best support.

I'm glad to see that Dice hasn't forgotten about the PC market. They have, in the past, continually talked about how they can't just port the console versions of their games over to PC and call it a day the way Activision does. Hopefully this new Battlefield game will get the type of investment it needs to succeed under this business model. And hopefully it will show Activision how important it is to patch your game! Modern Warfare 2 only got patches for the most game-breakingly obvious bugs or imbalances. But there have been several bugs or imbalanced weapons that have never been patched, even though one would think that patching your game is a BASIC necessity in a competitive market.

I'll gladly spend $60 or more on a game over time if it is good. I probably spent about $80 on League of Legends this summer. But I shouldn't have to pay $60 up front just to find out a game isn't good or that I don't like it and never play it again. I'm not some spoiled gamer who wants everything for free; I'll gladly pay for good content and reward developers who show me the respect of putting out a balanced, intelligent game.

TeamworkGuy2 said:

This should be quite interesting. I played Battlefield 2 for a while, and liked it, although a lot of the servers were getting empty. It will be interesting to see how payments are incorporated into the game. If paying players get a lot of overpowered extras, it could be the downfall of the game.

ColdFusion1990 ColdFusion1990 said:

I'm so excited to get back into Battlefield 2

dustin_ds3000 dustin_ds3000, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

this looks fun, to bad i will be in basic training when this comes out.

ryan29121 said:

The Battlefield franchise has been my favorite over the years. I am glad they are making a free to play modern warfare style game. It should be successful.

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

I tried Battlefield Heroes, but it didn't quite fit my style of game. Bad Company 2, however, is probably my favorite shooter right now. I'll try this out when it's released, but I'm really holding out for Battlefield 3.

For those saying that the graphics are bad or that they should have used the Bad Company 2 engine, they simply can't due to the "few" people who would be able to play it. Those who can afford to buy a game, can afford a decent GPU. Making it free means that anybody can play it if he wants. For a free game, the more demanding you make the requirements, the more narrow your audience becomes.

Ranger12 Ranger12 said:

princeton said:

Ranger12 said:

Alright, it basically combines the two best games in the battlefield series. Sounds like it'll be good

Wow. Someone obviously has only played those 2 games. 1942 was by far the best battlefield game...

Ok I played 1942 for a bit. Im just not a big fan of the WWII games.... In my opinion BF2 and BC2 were the best. Anyway, would love to see em bring back 64 players.

jurrasstoil said:

killamoves said:

Graphics don't seem so great I wonder what the requirements are.

I prefer good gameplay mechanics and balanced classes over fancy graphics.

Counter-Strike is hideous, but still popular.

I hope they manage to find a decent balance between the paying and non-paying hardcore and casual gamers.

IAMTHESTIG said:

Looks strikingly similar to BF2. I played that game for hours and hours, was loads of fun. This looks interesting... i'll probably try it out.

I somehow doubt but would love to see LAN support for this. One of the thing that really gets me worked up is how EA/Dice is no longer putting LAN support in their games. People still have LAN parties you know! I personally bought the game and was disappointed when I saw no LAN. I still play online, but you can't expect 12 people at a LAN to join some online server through one internet connection when you could potentially just play on the LAN. You have no control, no one locally is hosting the game.

---agissi--- ---agissi---, TechSpot Paladin, said:

dustin_ds3000 said:

this looks fun, to bad i will be in basic training when this comes out.

Same here. USAF basic Nov.16th. The graphics look better than BF2s I thought. With the gun fire flares and everything coming out of the guns. And 32 player maps is pretty impressive for a free game. I was glad it wasnt 16. 64 is quite wild though I must say. Thats what made the original Battlefield 1942 so cool. Plus the variety of vehicles, which is also included in this.

---agissi--- ---agissi---, TechSpot Paladin, said:

IAMTHESTIG said:

Looks strikingly similar to BF2. I played that game for hours and hours, was loads of fun. This looks interesting... i'll probably try it out.

I somehow doubt but would love to see LAN support for this. One of the thing that really gets me worked up is how EA/Dice is no longer putting LAN support in their games. People still have LAN parties you know! I personally bought the game and was disappointed when I saw no LAN. I still play online, but you can't expect 12 people at a LAN to join some online server through one internet connection when you could potentially just play on the LAN. You have no control, no one locally is hosting the game.

You should be able to develop a tunneling program with some skills. Called BattleLAN it was done for WC3 despite its built in support. I remember my father saying they just made a tunnel and played that way. Similar to how I think Zone.com used to make their online gaming host site work. It was a Microsoft supported online gaming site and we'd play Warcraft 2 online which didnt have Battle.NET at the time. Just to stem some thought..

DSparil said:

So it's like Battle.net, except that it's less popular.

This is the new trend that pc games are going into to combat piracy. Starcraft 2 was quite successful with this new gimmick. More will soon follow this trend in the coming months.

Next thing you'll hear is EA suing people for placing private servers.

The software business is good nowadays.

LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

Next counter strike, I called it here first on TS.

hassaan said:

Its weird what EA's doing with BF - this makes 2 free-to-play games, and they got a bunch of other retail games in development. Aren't they afraid of cannibalization of their own market?

miska_man said:

Free and non cartoonish graphics. I'll take it.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Ad based FPS, why not?

"HEAD SHOT....+100.....brought to you by Foster Farms Chicken."

vangrat said:

@mpribe

I agree in most respects, however, free to play scares the crap out of me. A good example of this, although not a shooter, is LoTRO. Great game to play, I just did not have the time in the day to truly devote myself to a subscription model of more than one game. When it went free to play I was stoked. I signed up for the initial beta and got under way leveling up a hunter...except to get anywhere in the game you HAD to put out some cash. To top this off, if you could pay a subscription fee instead of cash for virtual items that don't exist, you would pay less. As such, while free to play is a good idea in theory, in practice it is a way for large corporations to get even more money out of their fan base. When a game is only free to play to a point, it is NOT free to play, it is a trial.

bam13 said:

Battlefield 2 was a great game, but it was nothing like the BF 1942...thatĀ's my all time favourite Battlefield, definetely...but IĀ'm quite curious about this one though, if the gameplay is decent, I can survive worse graphics, thatĀ's for sure

ZipZpZowie said:

Sounds like it'll be good. I'm a big FPS fan and really can't stand the 3rd person view. Gotta go check out the battlefield heroes game now too. lol

sMILEY4ever said:

jmmd said:

Never played "heroes" but I'm all for more F2P multiplayer games. Just hope the cheating doesn't ruin it too much.

I strongly agree. I quit some free online games due to cheaters. They ruin a game.

edison5do said:

After being hooke up with BC2 I will surely give a try to this one, becuse i donĀ't like the heroes graphics at all, while this one looks like this trailer im in.

+ this king of free cartoony games should not be too hard on pc hardware. Mi thinkin

NeoFlux said:

Loved the BF Heroes, i'm sure i'll love this one. BTW didn't see what's cartoony about the graphics ...

ElShotte ElShotte said:

My questions:

Does it run on the old BF2 engine, with BFBC2 assets (excluding vehicles, in the trailer, they used BF2 vehicles)? Or did they port the maps to the Frostbite 2 engine? Will there be destructible environments? Or will they be static? Still, will most likely play, BF2 had a very arcade style of play, will definitely be enjoyable with BFBC2 mechanics, I hope they bring back proning.

Guest said:

C'mon to all you nay-sayers. What do you want for free? I'll probably give it a shot. I love online multiplayer mayhem.

http://TechReview.LIEconomy.com

.

ChrisG683 said:

As long as it has Strike at Karkand, all will be well

mojorisin23 mojorisin23 said:

EA really dropped the ball... after Battlefield 2 they were basically neck and neck with the Call of Duty Franchise. Since then however, Call of Duty blows them out of the water, even though the game play is better on the battlefield franchise.

WHERE THE HELL IS BATTLEFIELD 3?!?!?!? its only been like 5 years....

AbsolutGaloot said:

The free to play model is nice in theory, but is almost always so skewed towards the paying users that it quickly becomes no fun for the free users.

thedrelle said:

absolutgaloot said:

The free to play model is nice in theory, but is almost always so skewed towards the paying users that it quickly becomes no fun for the free users.

I agree that there is always difficulty in producing a game that is free to play that retains balance for the non-paying player while giving value to the items you buy. i don't know about you, but I'm rarely going to pay for something just because it has sparkle value

jonelsorel said:

Looks like all the "positive" feedback from BC2 paid off. Trying to save your face in the community's face, DICE? Good start.

Puiu Puiu said:

As a big fan of Counter-Strike and FPS games in general i'll try this game too. I'm sure that it will be a lot of fun, but CS is still my no1 FPS game.

DarKSeeD DarKSeeD said:

Still waiting for a reply from them as I've signed-up while ago 'cause the game looks fun and promising.

I think Battlefield Play4Free will be a success if the developers will hear the testers.

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