Battlefield 5 builds on the Frostbite technology in some exciting ways, and this week’s beta gives us our first look at how the new DICE game presents and performs on console hardware. In the wake of the recent Battlefield 1 Xbox One X update, can the developer follow up that excellent rendering showcase with another solid work-out for the Scorpio Engine – and just how closely can PS4 Pro match it?
Content-wise, what we get in the beta is fairly straightforward. There’s a conquest mode supporting up to 64 players – giving us a full stress test of the engine and netcode – across the canals of Rotterdam and the snowy slopes of Narvik. But while each map looks beautiful in its own way, it’s hard to shake the sense this is still early, unoptimised code – as you’ll soon see.
Map design is the real highlight here. These two beautifully designed areas build on Frostbite’s ability to push tessellated detail on buildings, many of which are destructible with the right vehicle. Parallax occlusion maps are also a standout point on the Narvik stage’s snow, adding depth and pop to the hilly inclines leading to a village. You even have weather changes, adjusting the lighting on Rotterdam’s streets. From streaks of sunshine creating lens flares on the camera, to fog or snowfall at set points – weather has a big impact on not only on a map’s aesthetic, but also your visibility.
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