Battlefield 4's multiplayer will introduce a feature that was sorely missed in BF3: spectator mode. You can see the much-requested feature yourself in a new gameplay video.
Spectator Mode allows you to watch a multiplayer match from an individual player's third-person or first-person perspective. Free cam allows you to zip through the battlefield and view the action from any height or angle. The tabletop perspective, meanwhile, lets you see the big picture by showing you a detailed map of the action. A bar at the bottom of the screen says what player you're spectating and what weapons they're currently using.
This mode should make BF4 a much more eSports-friendly game than its predecessor. DICE also mentions that it will help gamers create better videos, either for instructional or entertainment purposes. It's the sort of feature that could be a real boon to the community.
In BF3, Spectator Mode was available through a modmod. However, it wasn't the sort of thing you could use on a server with PunkBuster, though. The reason for this is that a spectator could hypothetically use the feature to provide recon for friends on one team and give them an unfair advantage.
There's no mention of how DICE will attempt to prevent cheating with spectator mode. Perhaps, like League of Legends, spectators will watch matches on a delay? Maybe they're still figuring that out.
DICE stresses on the Battlefield blog that the feature is currently in pre-alpha. As such, "the design, implementation, and function" of spectator mode may change. They decided to show it off this early so that players could offer feedback.
I'm curious whether they're going to implement an in-game replay system as well. The ability to record and rewatch matches seems like a natural complement to spectator mode. DICE developed a Battlerecorder for use in BF3 but never polished it up enough to release it to the public. Perhaps they'll right that wrong in BF4?
Screenshots of spectator mode, courtesy of BF4Blog, can be seen below.