Speaker: Karl Magnus Troedsson, General Manager at DICE
The presentation starts of with a trailer of the Caspian Border gameplay trailer that has been out for a while. That trailer still looks great and jets still look cool .
As the trailer ends he moves on to talk about the Frostbite 2 engine and the 5 main focuses of it: visuals, animation, tactical destruction, sound and scale. So the first two are pretty intertwined they want a game that looks great but they also want one that looks great outside of simple screenshots. The animation system is based off of a lot of the same technology that is used by the EA sports lineup of games.
The destruction is more of an evolution of the same kind of destruction tech that has existed as part of Bad Company 1 and 2. The idea behind the destruction wasn't just for it to look good but to add new tactical gameplay elements. So people like snipers hiding in buildings don't feel safe because an engineer can just blast a hole in the wall of the building and expose the sniper to the entire team to take him out. Sound design was also considered to be of extreme importance and he even went on to say that sound was almost 50-60% of the whole experience and can really draw you into the game. The last part of Frostbite 2 is that it's capable of producing a whole range of environments to the large open fields ripe for jets and helicopters to run free but also the more close quarters urban infantry combat that can occur.
He spent a little bit of time talking about the single player, co-op and multiplayer and that the multiplayer was considered the most important part of the game. But that said the single player still exists as part of it and one of the themes of the single player was essentially "How far are you willing to go to protect your country". The co-op is completely separate to the single player and will have it's own dedicated maps but little more was said about that.
Next up was a single player demo of Operation Guillotine which I believe was set in night-time Seattle (pretty sure that was the Space Needle I saw in the background). The demo started with you and your squad at the top of a hill overlooking the city. When your squad starts to move out you're handed a mortar and then you run down the hill through artillery fire where you promptly end up under an overpass where you set up the mortar. After firing an illumination round into the sky with the newly setup mortar the squad climbs over a wall and into the city, more specifically a canal, where you are confronted by enemy soldiers. The highlight of this here was really the sound design which like Bad Company 2 was outstanding. After clearing the canal he went on to attempt to clear out some MG positions where he was promptly gunned down and killed.
The checkpoint put him back at the start of the canal after which he went to successfully clear out the MG nests and then move towards some apartment blocks. Before moving inside the apartments the squad throws some grenades into the building and some enemy corpses go flying out the windows and the animation does look really good. Moving through the apartment the you're ambushed when opening the door which then transitions to a slow motion fight where the would be ambusher gets shotgunned in the chest. After clearing out the building he meets up with a convoy of humvees where the demo ends.
After showing the North American TV spot to the audience we get a little bit of a Q&A session. Not much new information here but a little bit of a talk on why the commander from BF2 won't be returning and basically it was to stop players that did end up being commander running and finding a corner of the map to hide in. They really wanted everyone to be on the field so a lot of what the commander did was pushed down to squad commanders so you can call in a mortar strike and it will be then up to players to set up a mortar somewhere and fulfil that strike order.