It's hard to discuss Battlefield 3 without talking about conflict. That's only fitting, of course, for a game which aims to realistically depict war in a contemporary context – but whether the conflict in question revolves around armed struggles for territory or commercial wars of words between FPS publishers, the game's executive producer, DICE's Patrick Bach, is reluctant to be drawn in. “We are Swedes,” says Bach: “We have a tendency to not take sides. I think that reflects in our games.” In fact, the one series he's willing to pit BF3 against is, ironically enough, DICE’s own work: the Bad Company titles that have sustained players while they await Battlefield 3.
“We’re throwing away everything that has to do with the tone of the Bad Company series,” Bach tells Edge: those spinoffs' humor and outlandishness will be jettisoned in favor of “creating a completely new tone and narrative based on the more authentic focus we had of Battlefield 2.”
“Controversy is probably a good marketing tool,” Bach muses, “but we make games. Our goal isn’t to make controversy. I don’t want people to feel bad playing our game. Our goal is to create a fun, entertaining experience.” To that end, he's at pains to draw the distinction between authenticity and fact. While the game's conflict is entirely fictional – “Russians versus Americans [is] like Red versus Blue – we try not to depict the reasons for the war, because then it can end up in a very bad place” – the design of weaponry, motion capture and mission structures have been guided by Bravo Two Zero author and SAS veteran Andy McNab, ensuring the accurate details of “the fantasy that we want people to live through our game.”
Bach's taciturn stance echoes comments he's made recently which attempt to distance DICE from the heated tone of EA's anti-Modern Warfare rhetoric: he recently argued that his game and MW3 weren't even “playing at the same sport.”
Jul 5, 2011
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