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Battlefield 4 will address problems with predecessor's single player campaign, says DICE

Creative director Lars Gustavsson talks playing solo and the future of the industry

Battlefield 4's single player component will depart from its predecessor's more linear model, according to the game's creative director Lars Gustavsson.

Speaking with CVG at EB Expo in Sydney last week, Gustavsson said that a single player mode for Battlefield 4 was necessary, despite many gamers and critics criticising the campaign in Battlefield 3.

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"The future will tell, but where we come from we do single player because we want to and we've learned a lot while doing it, and I think we have a great story to tell," Gustavsson said when asked whether a campaign was necessary at all.

"As a team and a studio we've learned so much from crossbreeding between single player and multiplayer. The whole concept of Levolution in many ways comes from single player, and our exploring how we could bring drama and interaction to the world."

Gustavsson also addressed criticisms of Battlefield 3's campaign mode directly, saying he's proud of what the team achieved, but that it may have subverted expectations.

"We got a lot of feedback from the Battlefield 3 singleplayer, and based on what we intended to deliver the team did a great job, but given that it's a Battlefield product there were a lot of expectations that it would be more open.

"What we promised ourselves [with Battlefield 4] was to unify the product more, so we infused a lot of the things from multiplayer - from being able to use your squad - into multiplayer, so now you can use them in single player to engage enemies. First and foremost we're opening up the encounters more to give you the freedom to decide how to tackle them, whereas in Battlefield 3 it was more 'pick up that one and kill that one', which I can agree is not the most exciting way. Players want to feel smart doing what they're doing."

Gustavsson also touched upon the health of the video game industry in general, pointing to emerging technology like the Oculus Rift as reason to be enthusiastic.

"A couple of years ago I was quite sad," he said.

"We [at DICE] are fortunate because we build Triple A titles and we always have more work to do than we have people to do it. But a couple of years ago indie games were fading out and it seemed that only the big studios would survive. Then suddenly they exploded - arcade, indie developers, mobile games - and now with Valve's initiative it's extremely healthy and there's a lot of competition. To me it looks better than ever. The PC, which was meant to be dead, is still extremely alive."

Battlefield 4 is a launch title for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. It also releases for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on October 29.

It was announced recently that the Second Assault expansion pack will be available for Xbox One at launch as a timed exclusive.

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