Battlefield 3 screenshot
Battlefield 3 screenshot

Battlefield 3 won't present players with an opportunity to harm civilians, as developer DICE isn't comfortable with giving players the option to carry out evil deeds.

"If you put the player in front of a choice where they can do good things or bad things, they will do bad things, go dark side – because people think it's cool to be naughty, they won't be caught," executive producer Patrick Bach told Rock, Paper, Shotgun.

"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."

While this is clearly the choice of the player, Bach is all too aware of the backlash this could have on the studio.

"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."

Modern Warefare 2's notorious 'No Russian' level wasn't mentioned, but clearly this had some influence on Bach's thinking.

"Me personally, I'm trying to stay away from civilians in games like Battlefield 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."

This isn't the first time Bach has displayed a strong sense of morals. In previous interviews, Bach has revealed that it isn't his intention to drum up controversy with Battlefield 3 - this "isn't a tasteless war game", he said. Analysis

Whilst also serving as a very slight jab at Activision and Modern Warfare 3, this touches on a much deeper issue: where does blame lay when evil acts are committed in games? With the player, who ultimately presses the buttons to execute the decision? Or with the developer, which gives players the opportunity to do so in the first place? We're interested to hear your thoughts on this one.

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User Comments

MJTH's Avatar


I bet if he hadn't of stated it, nobody would of even noticed that there isn't a chance to shot civilians in this game.
I think another reason he mentions this because, since this is going to be a very hyped game, he is trying to cover himself and the game from any sort of backlash that could happen from the general public.
To be brutally honest all this is doing is publising the fact they didn't do something.
Posted 16:56 on 31 August 2011


Sounds like it's more a case of having to get the game to keep track of all the casualties if they let you harm civs. I don't think the engine could cope with that.
Posted 15:49 on 31 August 2011
robotboys's Avatar

robotboys@ coletrain

Posted 15:42 on 31 August 2011


I think it's a bit of a cop-out by DICE personally. There's not much moral highground in a war shooter, why do they pursue realism in every aspect of BF3 then not bother to allow realistic cause->effect when it comes to civilians?

I'm not suggesting I want to go around slaying them, but the odd accidental injury can often add to the game.

Black-ops for example would have you burst into a room and assassinate a dictator who's holding a I ask: If you can't harm that hostage where's the suspense?
Posted 13:27 on 31 August 2011

Game Stats

Release Date: 28/10/2011
Developer: D.I.C.E
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: First Person Shooter
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 1,215 21
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