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Levolution and Commander Mode are two new features in Battlefield 4 that could dramatically change multiplayer. In a new video interview, DICE general manager Karl Magnus Troedsson explains how they'll alter the usual Battlefield formula.
In Commander Mode, a player can get a birds eye view of the match. They can use various tools to help out their teammates. The in-game footage shows that commanders have tomahawk missiles, infantry scans, EMP UAV's and deployable gunships at their disposal. Troedsson says that opposing commanders will be engaged in a "chess-like tug of war." I'm a little worried that commanders will take the game out of the hands of the troops on the ground a bit, but I suppose it'll all come down to how balanced the commander abilities are.
Maybe the most exciting part of Commander Mode, though, is the fact that it can be accessed on either tablets or smartphones. As long as you've got a Wi-Fi connection, you can hop into the game. Hopefully that's a standard feature and isn't restricted to Premium members.
Levolution is DICE's term to describe how the level changes over the course of a multiplayer match. Some of these changes are small. If you run through a metal detector, it will beep and potentially alert nearby enemies. Players can also raise bollards in the road to impede vehicles' movement.
Destruction is the key way that levels will change. The Frostbite 3 engine allows players to rip the world apart in new ways. It's not just that the explosions are prettier - they serve additional tactical purposes as well. For example, players can destroy a pillar and cause the tank above to come crashing through the floor.
The big show-stopping moment from the E3 multiplayer demo was the collapsing skyscraper. Players accomplished that feat by placing C4 on the building's pillars. This act of destruction can alter the flow of the match because the capture point at the top of the building is now in a pile of rubble at ground level instead. Furthermore, dust will rise from the collapse and impede players' vision.
I'm curious whether there's any strategic importance to blowing up this skyscraper, though. I suppose it makes it possible for a team to capture the point with vehicles instead of infantry. Is that the only effect, though? I guess I want there to be some sort of specific reward for going through the trouble of taking down the building. Is it just something that looks awesome, or will it confer some advantage to your team?
Battlefield 4's small-scale alpha test is currently underway and should be wrapping up soon. A beta will be held this fall in advance of the game's October launch.