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While Activision is betting on Riley the dog to be a huge selling point in Call of Duty: Ghosts [Dog], DICE is relying on high-end visuals, unparalleled environmental destruction and dynamic physics systems to help reel in and keep players engaged. Oh yeah, and it actually has a story and characters.

The trailer doesn't start with a bang, doesn't feature Eminem singing about the ghetto, homophobia or misogyny and it certainly doesn't try to win over your affection with a likable but tough dog with a huge personality who will eventually sacrifice himself to save America. However, the Battlefield 4 story trailer does sport a dog being royally punched in the face like he stole someone's meal. That's what DICE thinks about dogs, Infinity Ward... although, I don't think a lot of dog lovers will like it. If it makes pet owners feel any better, they were evil dogs trying to stop America, so it was a punch against a pet for patriotism.

Anyway, the trailer takes a turn I didn't see coming: it features a subplot about a female marine who may or may not be what she seems. I don't know if she was shoehorned in to pacify the voices of dissent against the gaming industry and the treatment of women in mainstream games (similar to Hollywood adjusting for politically correct portrayals of women and minorities in big budget flicks) or DICE had planned all along to have an intriguing story centered around gender relations, trust and national security from the start. I'm hoping it's the latter case, as that would mean the story has a chance of actually being good.

Nevertheless, Battlefield 4 looks gorgeous. It's not just a cavalcade of military grade guns and explosives going off every second (though that does make up for a large part of the game) it contains some striking vehicular combat that takes players over land, sea and air. That's not to mention that many of the physics systems have been overhauled for the next generation of levolution in the Frostbite 3.0 engine. This means more particle dispersions, destruction variance and ways to chip away at cover, blow out (or blow up) buildings, structures and supports as well as level an entire skyscraper. It's a marvelously impressive display of technological excellence.

I can't wait to see what DICE comes up with in the next iteration of the Frostbite, but someone really needs to talk to EA about licensing out the engine... seriously.

Anyway, Battlefield 4 is scheduled to release at the end of the month just before Call of Duty: Ghosts drops. It's going to be a bloodbath in the software sales department for video games this year... with the current gen coming to a close, the next-gen consoles from Sony and Microsoft dropping, Nintendo unleashing some first-party heavy hitters and each and every AAA publisher gunning for gold, I can't wait to see what the NPD reports look like for the end of this year.

You can learn more about Battlefield 4, all its DLC and then some by paying a kind visit to the game's official website.
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