DICE on why you can't shoot civilians in Battlefield 3: "people will do bad"

Battlefield 3 - desert warfare

You won't be able to kill civilians in Battlefield 3. Executive producer Patrick Bach explains why in an interview with RPS , in which he voices his worries that players given the choice to commit violent crimes against virtual innocents will more often take the darker path.

“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," says Bach, "because people think it's cool to be naughty, they won't be caught..."

“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,” he adds.

“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.”

It's a very different approach to that shown by Infinity Ward when they designed the controversial "No Russian" mission in Modern Warfare 2, which gave players the opportunity to mow down innocent civilians in an airport.

“Me personally, I'm trying to stay away from civilians in games like BF because I think people will do bad," Bach continues. "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.”

Bach also stresses that DICE's decision to exclude civilians from Battlefield 3 doesn't mean that they aren't taking their depiction of war seriously. Instead, they're trying to pursue a more adult sense of authenticity.

“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,” he says.

Battlefield is out on October 25 in the US, October 27 in Australia and October 28 in Europe.

Tom Senior

Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.