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DICE: Most Sandbox Games Boring, Inaccessible and Unpopular

Matt Gardner
Battlefield 3, DICE, FPS games, Linear games, News, Sandbox games
Battlefield 3

DICE: Most Sandbox Games Boring, Inaccessible and Unpopular

Battlefield 3's executive producer, Patrick Bach, has stated that DICE's upcoming shooter will be more tightly scripted than previous instalments in the series and its Bad Company spin-offs. Out go the open, sandbox-style mechanics of old and in come the tighter, more linear methods traditionally associated with competitor Call of Duty.

Talking in the latest issue of EDGE, Bach reportedly suggests that

'I don’t see it as an absolute goal for all games to be sandbox games. We’ve been building sandbox games for quite some time and we’ve got pretty good at it, but 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.'

Whilst we'd agree that linear games often have it within them to tell a more focused, crafted story with the player, we think there's likely to be a bit of contention with this one. What do you think? Is this the right move for DICE? Is Bach off his rocker or dead on the money? Comments on the virtual postcard below please folks!

Add a comment4 comments
Lemming  Apr. 4, 2011 at 22:04

I think it's a huge mistake to push the linear route with games. Personally I'd like to see shooters provide more options for how you do things rather than just blast your way from room to room. Bulletstorm was hugely disappointing due to how linear the single player way, even with the variety added by killshots you were still very restricted to the environment and set pieces.

The odd thing is that the multiplayer side of games like call of duty is what keeps them so popular yet their maps are open and the game is often different from one match to the other. So why not give us similar options in single player?

Matt Gardner  Apr. 5, 2011 at 00:09

This ^

Couldn't really have put it better myself

ODB  Apr. 5, 2011 at 09:33

If only Rockstar did FPS's

Ryan  Apr. 5, 2011 at 15:53

Look at Valve to get an example at how to create great linear storylines without sacrificing gameplay. Look at Half Life 2 (regarded by many to be one of the greatest games), the story is completely linear with areas of open ground to do what you wish. Similar with Portal, the entire game is a single building but it's up to the player to figure out how to solve the checkpoints.

One of the BF3 videos had the player get grabbed from behind. You can't wait and ambush the NPC, you can't turn around and use the gun, you can't plant a claymore or whatever. This is fine if you like this (which isn't bad, it's like an action movie) but most players are looking for much more. Have a main path if the player wants a movie experience but give hidden options for those that want to explore, easing the gameplay for those that do.


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