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Sci-fi Battlefield would have fewer gameplay "limitations", concedes DICE, but real-life setting is a "positive"

Black Ops 2 had "a lot of creative freedom", acknowledges creative director

Sun gotta come up, grass gotta grow, journalists gotta ask DICE about a sequel to Battlefield 2142, DICE gotta say something non-committal about a sequel to Battlefield 2142. Speaking to OXM during a Battlefield 4 multiplayer hands-on event, DICE's Lars Gustavsson has discussed the prospect of another science fiction Battlefield, commenting that there's more scope for eyebrow-raising gameplay features when you aren't chained to a real life premise.

That's not to say that every realistic game - like, oh I don't know, Battlefield 4, out in the US for Xbox 360 on 29th October - is an exercise in tedium: the designers just have to work harder. "It's definitely a fact that sticking to any era from true life makes you have to look harder for more possibilities to bring in for cool gameplay, but I think for Battlefield 4 this definitely hasn't been a limiting factor or a limitation," Gustavsson told me. "I think we've found a lot of new ideas and new ways of keeping customising and adding new toys to the battlefield.

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"And to be honest, if we - and I'm not saying that we will, but for the future - if we did continue to go down the contemporary warfare route then yeah, I would seriously look into what we can do that seriously impacts your experience of Battlefield. Since, as you say - every era, as long as it's [true to life], inhabits limitations."

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 tried to have its cake and eat it, I observed at this point - the game is notionally sci-fi but takes all its cues from present-day prototype weapon programmes. "Yeah, it gives them a lot of creative freedom," Gustavsson replied. "And I think that's what people loved when we did Battlefield 2142 - when they got to unleash their creativity. 'This seems cool: let's do it!'

"At the same time I think that we've been really happy working with a contemporary setting, in being able to have a great foundation to build on and then just add a plethora of extra goodies to it," he went on. "The contemporary [setting] with all the hi-tech stuff that's already out there, to just keep on evolving it.

"I'd rather see it as a positive for the customer, that we can bring so much more to that setting, than a negative."

Gustavsson revealed in September last year that he would "love" to develop Battlefield 2143. His compatriot Karl Magnus-Troedsson has also opined that modern day FPS settings are "getting stale". It's possible that neither Troedsson nor Gustavsson feel there's need for sci-fi Battlefield any longer, given that the developer is now working on a new Star Wars: Battlefront title, powered by its very own eye-pokingly pretty Frostbite tech.

Food for thought. Here's the latest Battlefield 4 trailer, in which a man punches a dog in the kisser. Take that Call of D- uh, I mean, non-license-specific canine aggressors!

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