Article: The Power of Frostbite 3


With every new entry in a popular gaming series comes the inevitable question, will the game feature a new engine? Fortunately, Battlefield 4 will feature a new engine, Frostbite 3. The power of Frostbite 3 is allowing the developers at DICE to create the superb scope, scale, and immersion for Battlefield 4. Games such as Need for Speed, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, and several others also use Frostbite . But what exactly does a game engine do?

A game engine is an essential software addition to a video game and acts as a framework that developers use to create their unique worlds. Specifically, a game engine includes a rendering system that allows for the creation of 2D or 3D graphics, a physics engine, and a scene graph. In addition to several upgrades including improved tessellation technology, it also features Destruction 4.0, which enhances the in-game destruction over its predecessors. The scene graph, the most confusing of three functions, controls the spatial representation in the terms of graphics. For example, this is implemented in controlling the distance of debris flying from a blast origin in Battlefield.

Battlefield-4-Trailer-Screenshot-15Frostbite 3 will potentially revolutionize Battlefield with a surfeit of improvements, especially for Playstation 4, the Xbox One, and high-end gaming PC’s. Loading times and workflow within the game are significantly improved in Battlefield 4 due to Frostbite 3. Furthermore, Battlefield 4 will feature new, dynamic aspects such as changing weather, wind, and water. Such changes have the potential to change maps which also changes gameplay strategies. Dynamic events and the environment will also respond to each other. A blast of C4 will go off to destroy a tank and the immediate effect will be seen in the abrupt sway of near by trees, shake of ground, and the rise of a cloud of dust. A jet will be swept into the ocean and interrupt the flow of the waves during a naval combat scene. Character animation and movement will seem more real and fluid which will help players identify the pain, happiness, or anger in a character. This allows the campaign to emotionally influence players like a movie. Ultimately, Battlefield 4 will achieve unmatched beauty, size, and immersion through the power of Frostbite 3.


  • MP

    “The physics engine controls memory management, streaming, animation, scripting, artificial intelligence, sound, and many other parts of the game”

    The physics engine controls audio? The physics engine controls memory management? The physics engine controls streaming? The physics engine controls (you fill in the blank)?

    I thought this kind of drivel was supposed to be reserved for April 1st. Let me help you (this is from wikipedia).

    A physics engine is computer software that provides an approximate simulation of certain physical systems, such as rigid body dynamics (including collision detection), soft body dynamics, and fluid dynamics, of use in the domains of computer graphics, video games and film. Their main uses are in video games (typically as middleware), in which case the simulationsare in real-time

    • JHays

      I understand the specifics of the functions of a physics engine; however, it was not necessary because the articles focus is Frostbite 3 and how it will change gameplay. I am writing to Battlefield fans not software engineers.

      • MP

        Jake, your logic is dizzying. Couldn’t you just write that the Frostbite 3 engine handles all of those features instead of incorrectly asserting that the physics subsection of the engine is responsible? The fact that it is called a ‘physics’ engine should make it pretty clear that it is responsible for physics and not AI, audio, memory management, etc.

        I know my first post was harsh but, the point is, there is no harm is writing accurate articles. Sure it takes it takes some cognitive preparation that but that is the most basic requirement of writing anything of value.


          Article has been updated

          • MP

            Good work