Frostbite shows screenshots of Battlefield 4 iOS tech demo before and after Metal API

Frostbite shows screenshots of Battlefield 4 iOS tech demo before and after Metal API
Frostbite is the effects-heavy engine that's been powering the latest Battlefield titles. It's also a work-in-progress candidate for bringing true console quality graphics to mobile platforms, although it has been worked on rather quietly... until now. Kristoffer Benjaminsson, Product Owner Mobile at Frostbite wrote briefly about the challenge of porting segments of Battlefield 4 to iOS devices using Apple's Metal graphics API. 

Technically, it's not the first time the engine threads on mobile territory, as the Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare tech demo, which uses the same engine and technology, already blew us away at WWDC earlier this year. But Battlefield 4 is on another level. Unfortunately, the team's efforts to bring BF4 assets to mobile weren't going so well at the time when it didn't have Metal at its disposal. To make it happen on the iPad, it had to remove a fair number of objects to retain visual fidelity, or trade a poorer picture for more on-screen objects. But when the team was introduced to Apple's graphics API, it found out it could build a variant of the game that holds up pretty well even when put next to the highly detailed PC version. The screenshots below illustrate the progress that Metal allowed the developers to achieve.

Benjaminsson stressed that the showing has been nothing more than a tech demo to "test engine capabilities", but he promised future posts and screenshots of the work in progress. Things definitely look promising.

source: Frostbite



1. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

Awesome... Great graphics

20. vincelongman

Posts: 5723; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

IMO they look worse than Modern Combat 5 with Metal screenshots Also they are just screenshots, was the framerate 60? Cool demo though, it would be awesome if Garden Warfare & Battlefield came to mobiles as well

2. bucky

Posts: 3790; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

Oh wow. It's going to be interesting to see what they can do with this metal thing. Either way, I'm still sticking with my 780 ti classified, 1440p 27" and mouse and keyboard.

3. theguy2345

Posts: 1216; Member since: Jun 24, 2014

There is no point in great graphics if the entire mobile gaming market is a giant money grab. I tried to be a mobile gamer, but the IAPs and pay to win just drove me away. I got a 3DS XL and Vita slim and the games may not be as graphically impressive, but overall they are much better. The point I am trying to make is, graphics don`t make games, ever. It might look nice, but what is the point if the game sucks? Crisis 3 is a prime example. Graphics way ahead of its time, but was very boring.

4. Rydsmith unregistered

Nice generalizing. You realize that console and handheld games also have IAPs and "pay to win" strategies as well, right? Look at Battlefield and its supply chests. While graphics don't "make" games, they are a substantial aspect to the game as it's much harder having sympathy with a 16 bit character when compared to the facial expressions of Joel or Ellie in TLoU.

7. theguy2345

Posts: 1216; Member since: Jun 24, 2014

Yes, but on consoles, it is a much smaller practice and is extremely frowned upon, but it is perfectly normal on mobile. And graphics truly don`t mean much. Zelda Ocarina of Time was in polygons, yet is considered one of the best games of all time. Games are still released in an 8-bit style today, and they are still just as good if not better than some AAA games.

9. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Battefield doesnt have a pay to win mentality. Sure you can buy certain kits or battlepacks to get certain weapons or accesoires sooner, but they hardly speed up your progress if you aren't any good. And if you're good, you would get them soon enough too. Also without the IAP's, you're not missing anything from the game at all (not counting DLC's).

6. bucky

Posts: 3790; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

You have a good point to an extent. I do however think gfx do help out you in the environment. While CS GO has better gameplay I still prefer bf4 because it's very immersive.

11. Sauce2

Posts: 199; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Jailbreak or Root and pay nothing. I just spent "$600" on IAPS on Run Sackman Run. lol.

14. bucky

Posts: 3790; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

I don't agree with that at all. Only time I have done that is to try something out first. I can honestly say, if I feel the software deserves it, I'm pay for proper support and piece of mind.

16. Sauce2

Posts: 199; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Yea I will pay/donate also. I donate a ton of money that I could afford to dev's. But when the game is built around playing with IAPs and only doing better with IAPs, they don't deserve that. That's when I'll use my jailbreak to leach hundreds of dollars of free IAPS.

17. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Same here, totally agree. Paid my share of apps and donations to devs who I think deserve it. No problem at all to pay 5 dollars for a good game. But when they feel like they are out to rip me off, I either remove them or pirate the s**t out of them.

18. Sauce2

Posts: 199; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Right on!

19. AlikMalix unregistered

Bucky. Nail on the head! Well said. Rebel glad to hear that from you too.

5. UglyFrank

Posts: 2194; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Let's compare two images that aren't of the same scene :D

12. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Not only that but it is largely a PR fluff piece as seen by the addition of reflection on the glass. But hey, who are we to question the marketing machine that is Apple and its PR friendly review sites?

21. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

And wouldn't it be better to showcase this "improvement" in a video instead of a single frame? This can look as good as it wants, but if it only runs at 24/30 fps and/or has horrible frame drops I want nothing to do with it.

8. vuyonc

Posts: 1091; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

Well it's just a tech demo. Impressive but the chance of squeezing the game into a tablet is near impossible. Everything would toned down to accomodate touchscreen users. Dimwitted AI and control scheme, battery hogging, takes up too much storage space etc. Remember the awful Bioshock port to iOS? Never again, DICE. Never again. *continues Borderlands 2 on Vita*

10. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Not to mention it doesn't state what framerate they are getting on this. Still looks very nice, on par with previous gen consoles.

13. BattleBrat

Posts: 1476; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

looks decent, I'm sure the K1 would be able to keep up with that. And unlike an iPad Nvidia shield devices have controllers. Power is nothing without control! shield portable for the win!

15. bucky

Posts: 3790; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

The shield wins for me just because I can stream games wirelessly to my tv from pc. As far as big budget games for a mobile OS go, I think Apple still wins.

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