Battlefield 4 is the 2013 flagship entry in EA's first-person shooter franchise, set in the near future where the U.S. lies in the brink of war with China following the assassination of a Chinese presidential candidate at the hands of a rogue admiral.
The game was one of the first to use EA DICE's Frostbite 3 engine, allowing it to feature realistic and completely destroyable environments, as well as improved particle effects. These dynamic "Levolution" in-game effects apply to many in-game objects as well, and can occur in both single and multiplayer modes to better deliver unscripted experiences during matches.
Multiplayer supports 64-player matches on all platforms between the three main factions (U.S., China and Russia). Though praised for its visual fidelity and multiplayer content, the launch of Battlefield 4 was ultimately marred by technical issues and online lag.
These issues become so prevalent that one year after the game's release, DICE acknowledged that Battlefield 4's release was damaging to the reputation of the franchise in the eyes of its loyal fanbase. This has lead to a profound shift in attitude toward development of future entries, where the studio is promising to be more transparent with better access to beta tests.