Here’s another little snippet sure to have a few more PC loyalists frothing with rage at how consoles are spelling out the doom of gaming in general. There’s been a fair amount of grumbling about the direction Electronic Arts have taken the Battlefield franchise since its debut, with the free-to-play Battlefield Heroes, the console title Battlefield 1943 (cancelled for PC after long delays) and narrative-oriented spinoff Battlefield Bad Company all coming in for some stick.
The long-awaited Battlefield 3 – the first ‘proper’ Battlefield sequel in a while – has been anticipated as a return to form, though an increased emphasis on a singleplayer campaign through teaser videos of the new visual technology at work has seen hardcore fans fearing they’re about to be let down again. Single-player has long been viewed as an afterthought by many vocal Battlefield players, perhaps more so than any other big FPS franchise.
UK magazine Edge have a taster from a preview featuring an interview with developers DICE in their latest issue (available to buy in the UK from April 12th) which is likely to give the old guard a few more reasons to worry. Executive producer Patrick Bach reveals
I don’t see it as an absolute goal for all games to be sandbox games. [...] I don’t see that as the only way of building games, because then we wouldn’t build campaigns at all. In some cases they aren’t, but in most cases sandbox games are hardcore, boring, hard to get into and they are not very popular
After EA CEO John Riticello revealed Battlefield 3 is explicitly pitched to ‘take down’ Call of Duty (here’s the BeefJack story on that one), this doesn’t seem like too much of a surprise – evidently it’s felt Battlefield needs a big, linear rollercoaster campaign to stand a chance. And Bach was obviously careful to say ‘in some cases’. Still, this is probably going to lead to a few pre-orders angrily cancelled.