Battlefield: Bad Company - DICE Interview
EA and DICE change tack and turn their attention to singleplayer for their new Battlefield game. We visit DICE to find out more.
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In the 1999 George Clooney-Ice Cube-Mark Wahlberg movie Three Kings our trio of morally challenged US soldiers spends two hours pursuiing gold in Iraq during the chaos of the Gulf War.
While there's no chance of a Three Kings game coming anytime soon, the talented Swedes at Battlefield developer DICE have got the next best thing: a new game called Battlefield: Bad Company that packages the same premise into a new kind of shooter.
Karl-Magnus Troedsson, senior producer at DICE, admits that Bad Company is "quite different" for the team, mostly because this time there's actually a worthwhile storyline.
It's wartime in Europe and a foursome of American soldiers in B (for Bad) Company has caught wind that there is a lot of gold out there. Using the war as convenient cover, you, Sarge, Haggard and Sweetwater throw morality to the wind as you search for the gold and cause mayhem along the way.
"This is not an ordinary story," says Troedsson. "You're not fighting for medals or honor or all of that. We're talking about a rogue bunch of soldiers that have found their own reasons to fight this war."
The action is set across three locations, taking you from Eastern Europe down through Russia and onward to the Middle East. All the while you'll be fighting back military and mercenary opponents as you make your way to the ultimate prize.
"The gold is an integral part of the story," Troedsson tells us. "You need to run around and find gold as well and explore the area. It's not as big as Oblivion, we didn't compare it to that, but the environments are really big. We have sixteen-by-sixteen kilometres that you can see in the environment."
The most important feature here is that even though DICE is making a singleplayer game, it's still going to have the same sort of dynamic as its multiplayer-intensive forebears. And that means sand-boxing - allowing you to play the game how you want to play it without having to worry about whether or not you're sticking to some arbitrary path.
"It is a typical Battlefield game, meaning it is a singleplayer game, but it's not a linear game. It's not, if I may say, Call of Duty. It's not that kind of game. This is a complete open sandbox and that's the heritage that we bring to singleplayer," says Troedsson.
Part of the difference between this and previous DICE games is evident in the tone of the game, which is much lighter than some of the blood-to-the-knees action that has made the company's seal such a sought-after mark. Your three partners have character and speak their minds, joking around and generally making for a less stifled experience.