Metal API enables dev to run sections of Battlefield 4 on mobile

DICE experiments with Frostbite engine on iOS 8

EA-owned studio DICE has been working on getting high-end Frostbite-powered games running on the latest version of iOS – and it’s succeeded. Sort of.

According to the engine’s official blog, the studio has been experimenting with getting parts of last year’s Battlefield 4 running on iPad and iPhone, and the introduction of Apple’s new Metal graphics API has advanced this project significantly.

"It has been quite a challenge," writes DICE’s Kristoffer Benjaminsson. "To handle dynamic features such as destruction or moving light sources, most things in the Frostbite engine happen in realtime. This puts extra demand on performance to be able to deliver large, highly detailed worlds with superb visual quality. 

"We were making great progress feature-wise, but hardware and software limitations forced us to either scale down the number of objects and their complexity to retain visual fidelity, or accept lower visual fidelity to cope with a larger number of objects.

"This all changed when Apple introduced Metal, their new low-level graphics API, which allowed us to make full use of the hardware. Together with the latest range of hardware, Metal has created possibilities previously out of reach and for the first time we can include both high visual fidelity and a large number of objects."

Wera stresses that his project is a tech demo to test the engine’s capabilities – not confirmation of a mobile Battlefield 4.

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