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No Shooting Civilians in Battlefield 3

There's a Battlefield 3 interview on VG247 talking with lead designer David Goldfarb, discussing the single-player campaign in the military shooter sequel. Also, Rock, Paper, Shotgun has news that while there will be civilians in Battlefield 3, players will not be able to fire upon them, which recalls the controversial "no Russian" mission in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 that involved a civilian massacre. They have word on the topic of collateral damage from DICE executive producer Patrick Bach:

“In a game where it’s more authentic, when you have a gun in your hand and a child in front of you what would happen? Well the player would probably shoot that child.”

This is something Bach wants to avoid, because while the choice to do that ‘bad’ thing would have been the player’s, “We would be the ones to be blamed. We have to build our experiences so we don’t put the player in experiences where they can do bad things.” While not explicitly mentioned, the spectre of Modern Warfare 2 and its notorious ‘No Russian’ level seemed to this correspondent to loom large here.

So, Bach admitted that there was a degree of self-censoring necessary to limit potentially disagreeable player behaviour. “Me personally, I’m trying to stay away from civilians in games like BF because I think people will do bad. I don’t want to see videos on the internet where people shoot civilians. That’s something I will sanitise by removing that feature from the game.”

Importantly, “That doesn’t mean that I don’t want people to feel that war is not good,… We are trying to do something that is more mature. Mature not being gore –some people confuse the two. That’s childish actually, to want more blood.”

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58. Re: No Shooting Civilians in Battlefield 3 Aug 31, 2011, 19:02 WyldKat
Part of what made Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead so intriguing were the civilians. Yes it had civilians and killing them had real negative consequences. You had to look to see if they had weapons or not before pulling the trigger. It made you think about calling in an artillery strike, it made the game less black vs white and more like a real urban battlefield.

I don't really see a point of putting them in BF3 if they are invulnerable window dressing. As someone said, wasted CPU/GPU cycles. Imagine GTAIV without any peds...

Further it should be noted that a mature game would deal with the moral ambiguity of warfare, as well as the consequences. What DICE has chosen to do with BF3 is make it a simple "GI Joe US America #1" game instead of a mature game that deals with the complex issues of war. Nothing wrong with that but he's off his rocker if he thinks it's mature to paint war in such a monochromatic context.

This comment was edited on Aug 31, 2011, 19:09.
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