Battlefield 4 is a game that is awe inspiring it watch, when it runs correctly. The first-person shooter has been patched and repatched by this point but issues still remain. The newest update from Dice is meant to help PC users experience a better Battlefield if they have the hardware for it. Mantle is the newly introduced low-level graphics API that comes in the new patch, but will it work?
Those playing Battlefield 4 on the PC may know that DirectX 11 (or DirectX 11.1) was the current API but Mantle is taking its place. According the Johan Andersson, one of the Technical Directors that worked with the Frostbite team, Mantle has “significantly reduced CPU cost in our rendering” which in turn has reduced overhead in multiple areas. The bottom line is that Mantle should have any Windows 7 or Windows 8 running Battlefield 4 better than ever. However, some gamers have found that Mantle hasn’t helped, the results are still hard to fully comprehend at this point.
If you wish to switch from DirectX 11 (or DirectX 11.1) a few things are necessary: 64-bit Windows (Windows 7 or above), AMD Radeon GPU with Graphics Core Next, and AMD Catalyst 14.1 Beta drivers, (which you can find a link for at the bottom of the article). Once you have all of the above you can find the option “Graphics API” when in the settings for in-game graphics options. If you have everything and the option still isn’t available it means your GPU and driver are not compatible with Mantle. From what Dice has discovered, Mantle should be giving improved experiences all around when compared to DirectX. The amount of improvement varies but Dice thinks the improvement is enough to make the extra effort of getting it to run properly, worth it.
Mantle has come just in time for Player Appreciation Month which has already begun! Logging onto the multiplayer section of Battlefield 4 will result in a free battlepack. Each weekday bronze battlepacks are given away and on weekends silver battlepacks are given away. Such battlepacks could include experience, camouflage, or weapon attachments. These battlepacks are given away only once every 24 hours. According to Dice “you need to login each day to get that day’s specific Battlepack.”
Player Appreciation Month doesn’t end there. For premium members even more goodies exist. Premium members have double XP weekend to look forward to as well as the ability to unlock all shotguns and DMR’s.
Dice has faith in Mantle becoming a useful tool in their ongoing apology to gamers for the issues in Battlefield 4. Even though Mantle is a gift only for PC players, gamers on other platforms such as the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One still get to enjoy the benefits of Player Appreciation Month and free battlepacks. So far PC gamers have expressed mixed reviews when it comes to the addition of Mantle. Feel free to comment with your experience if you’ve had the chance to use it.
By Garrett Jutte