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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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69 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 1.
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69. Re: No Shooting Civilians in Battlefield 3 Sep 6, 2011, 23:39 JayOldSkool
 
Dragon: Have you ever watched/listened to Bill O'Reilly or are you just regurgitating what you've heard? I'm guessing the latter.

You're entitled to your opinions, but you should at least do a little research before you post random insults against celebrities. I don't always agree with what he says and the positions he takes, but I certainly think he's able to articlate his position well and without exposing any hidden political agenda. Sure, he leans to the right, but he articulates WHY by using historical and relevant event comparisons. I hardly think that a reasonable person could think that they had been "raped" after listening to him.

Hopefully you'll take the time to entertain pundits from both sides of the isle and develop informed, educated, and well thought-out convictions on the issues of our times.

 
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68. Re: No Shooting Civilians in Battlefield 3 Sep 6, 2011, 23:29 JayOldSkool
 
Kudos to EA for their decision. It's completely unnecessary to include the choice to kill innocent NPCs. This does nothing more than let kids fantasize about mowing down innocent people with machine guns and whatnot, and desensitizes them to violence. At least it can be rationalized that when you're shooting enemy soldiers this is a possible real-life scenario in which your actions would be justified. Intentionally shooting at innocent civilians is NEVER justified.

Immersion? Seriously? How about reminding people that even in video games there are things so disgusting you don't do them, even virtually. "It's just a game..." Character is what you do when people aren't watching (or don't know who you are for that matter).

I boycotted MW2 because of their decision to let kids pretend to shoot and maim innocent bystanders, and it will be a long time before I purchase anything from them. I'll be purchasing BF3 on day one.
 
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67. Re: No Shooting Civilians in Battlefield 3 Sep 6, 2011, 21:29 Daezd
 
no sale !!  
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66. Re: No Shooting Civilians in Battlefield 3 Sep 1, 2011, 03:28 Veterator
 
QUICK! Take cover behind the civilian!

So we can't be cold blooded killers/murderers, but we can use them as human shields. Human shields part is probably cooler anyway, especially if you can grab hold of em and direct them to provide more cover.

 
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65. Re: No Shooting Civilians in Battlefield 3 Sep 1, 2011, 03:03 Halo
 
If I wanted to learn about moral choices and war I'd go play metal gear.  
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64. Re: No Shooting Civilians in Battlefield 3 Sep 1, 2011, 00:05 Overon
 
shponglefan wrote on Aug 31, 2011, 21:20:
Overon wrote on Aug 31, 2011, 15:30:
So much for a realistic game.

What realism? The run-and-gun style gameplay? The Michael Bay-esque explosions? The taking multiple bullet hits and pretending nothing happened?

BF3 is to realistic wargames what Micahel Bay's Transformers is to realistic war movies.
Good points.
 
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63. Re: No Shooting Civilians in Battlefield 3 Aug 31, 2011, 21:20 shponglefan
 
Overon wrote on Aug 31, 2011, 15:30:
So much for a realistic game.

What realism? The run-and-gun style gameplay? The Michael Bay-esque explosions? The taking multiple bullet hits and pretending nothing happened?

BF3 is to realistic wargames what Micahel Bay's Transformers is to realistic war movies.

This comment was edited on Aug 31, 2011, 22:16.
 
Avatar 54594
 
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62. Re: No Shooting Civilians in Battlefield 3 Aug 31, 2011, 20:24 Sepharo
 
Don't care at all.

They're likely not going to be in MP and in the SP it's not like they'll be running through firefights. There's probably a bit of downtime during expository scripted scenes where NPCs are present and they don't want you shooting them, big deal. This isn't an RPG.

"What do you mean I can't shoot the president as he awards me the medal of honor?! Fuck this bullshit game!"
 
Avatar 17249
 
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61. Re: No Shooting Civilians in Battlefield 3 Aug 31, 2011, 20:10 Prez
 
*Double post deleted*  
Avatar 17185
 
Goodbye my Monte boy. May you rest in the peace you never knew in life.
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60. Re: No Shooting Civilians in Battlefield 3 Aug 31, 2011, 20:08 Prez
 
I don't condone killing innocent civilians (even virtual ones) but this is a cop out. If they're there but invulnerable it just lessens the immersion and weakens the game, just as hitting a wooden door with an RPG and having it remain standing does.

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.

Excellent illustration of the point.
 
Avatar 17185
 
Goodbye my Monte boy. May you rest in the peace you never knew in life.
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59. Re: No Shooting Civilians in Battlefield 3 Aug 31, 2011, 19:53 007Bistromath
 
space captain wrote on Aug 31, 2011, 18:10:
theyve got destructible environments, why not player models too? with fully rendered entrails - im talking every internal organ and all blood particle fx measured down to the last fluid oz
That kind of stuff is only allowed for WWII games. If a war game set in the current conflict showed what actually happened to soldiers in it, it'd be bad for the military's PR.
 
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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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57. Re: No Shooting Civilians in Battlefield 3 Aug 31, 2011, 18:34 ^Drag0n^
 
space captain wrote on Aug 31, 2011, 18:10:
...they should go ahead and put in that rape simulator that fox news is always talking about...

No, that's just Bill O'Reilly. Sure, it feels like you got raped out of 30 minutes of your time, but not really the same thing

^D^
 
Avatar 55075
 
"Never start a fight, but always finish it."
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56. Re: No Shooting Civilians in Battlefield 3 Aug 31, 2011, 18:13 ^Drag0n^
 
Actually, for a single player game, it's somewhat stupid.

In CODMW2 you could go through the "No Russian" map without killing civilians. Choice was yours. Eventually you did have to defend yourself, but it wasn't civvies shooting at you.

In all the rainbow six games had civilians at risk of being hit, which happened more often than not in the Vegas games.

It is, ultimately, their choice, but I always found SP games that "prevented" you from making a morally questionable decision on your own lacked immersion (i.e. invunerable kids in Fallout 3/NV). It happens. Make a penalty to discourage it, but don't screw up the immersion.

^D^

This comment was edited on Aug 31, 2011, 18:31.
 
Avatar 55075
 
"Never start a fight, but always finish it."
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55. Re: No Shooting Civilians in Battlefield 3 Aug 31, 2011, 18:10 space captain
 
why stop at shooting civilians? they should go ahead and put in that rape simulator that fox news is always talking about.. rape at gunpoint, rape with guns, gun rape with a side of rape and also extra bloody murder

theyve got destructible environments, why not player models too? with fully rendered entrails - im talking every internal organ and all blood particle fx measured down to the last fluid oz
 
Go forth, and kill!
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54. Re: No Shooting Civilians in Battlefield 3 Aug 31, 2011, 17:22 Halo
 
This article could also say "We're scared of the bad media impacting profits so we changed our game hoping that more parents will buy it for their kids"  
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53. Re: No Shooting Civilians in Battlefield 3 Aug 31, 2011, 17:17 Optional nickname
 
Back in the day of my Amiga 500, I learnt never to shoot a civilian in the game: Capone ; for I hated to wait 2 and a half minutes for the floppy to reload the game chapter.  
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52. Re: No Shooting Civilians in Battlefield 3 Aug 31, 2011, 17:06 <Electric-Spock>
 
I say leave the civilians in. As someone stated earlier it would be cool to have consequences for your actions, and if you take the wrong path, well, it would be neat to have alternate outcomes for the game. Hell, I really don’t like single player FPS's anyways, but something like that would drag me in rather than the your 'Rambo' plot, now go kill everything!

Multiplayer:
I'm guessing companies don't want long life spans for their multiplayer games anymore. I don't trust these rent-a-server companies either. The best running BF2 servers back at its popularity peak were privately owned and operated. There are a few companies that host BC2 servers and if I see their name in the advertisement loading slot, I just disconnect. They rubber band and have all sorts of flakey issues. I would guess these companies are overselling theirs servers with way more instances of games running off a single box than it has the resources/bandwidth for.

Ohh, and the no mod tools thingy. Sweet.

/cry session over
 
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51. removed Aug 31, 2011, 17:05 Cutter
 
* REMOVED *
This comment was deleted on Aug 31, 2011, 17:06.
 
Avatar 25394
 
James Woods: Oh that's fun. That sounds like you had a fun time. Where would I fit in with the fun time, huh? Where does James Woods fit into the fun?
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50. Re: No Shooting Civilians in Battlefield 3 Aug 31, 2011, 16:33 Beamer
 

No, he just wants to sanitize war to pretend like it's a good thing. Well, burning some enemy soldiers to death with a flamethrower is perfectly fine, just don't shoot any civies! Well how the hell he doesn't know they aren't collaborators or even terrorists?

Yes. Again, it's a hero's story and he wants you to feel like a hero. He doesn't want you dealing with moral choices and he doesn't want people sitting there snickering as civilians crawl away in an animation created by his art team.

Being able to kill civilians changes the way the main character is perceived. He doesn't want that. This is his story to tell and he can do it however he likes. Unless we want all games to be run through the Cutter-approved game design checklist. That'll make for great innovation...
 
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