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DICE: Most sandbox games are “boring” and “hard to get into”

Monday, 4 April 2011 20:51 GMT By John Callaham

Don’t expect DICE’s Battlefield 3 to be in a sandbox-style at all. Speaking to Edge, DICE executive producer producer Patrick Bach has said campaign-building is all about the straight and narrow.

“I don’t see that as the only way of building games, because then we wouldn’t build campaigns at all,” said Bach, speaking of sandbox dev.

Battlefield 3′s single-player campaign will more closely resemble the more linear type of gameplay made popular by Call of Duty.

Bach added that, while there are good games that have a sandbox theme, “In most cases sandbox games are hardcore, boring, hard to get into and they are not very popular.”

It will be interesting to see how Battlefield 3′s more linear campaign will stack up to whatever Activision has in store for the next, and as-yet unannounced, Call of Duty game.

Both shooters are due out sometime this fall. Meanwhile, a 12 minute trailer for Battlefield 3 will be released on April 17.

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33 Comments

  1. YoungZer0

    All i understand is “We’re incapable of delivering a sandbox game, they are boring anyway, and i don’t really understand them at all. Like that one Spider-Man Game … How do you shoot webs?”

    Seriously DICE, shut the fuck up. Are you so insecure of your own game that you have to insult everyone else? You know who also did this? Crytek.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Hunam

    Single player is going to suck then.

    Considering they basically invented mass scale open world warfare, why do they fail so utterly at making a BF single player experience?

    #2 4 years ago
  3. YoungZer0

    @2: I really liked the Singleplayer of BC2. ._.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Hunam

    BC2 has the worst single player ever.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. xino

    yea…like trash boring GTA 4!

    #5 4 years ago
  6. DSB

    If you’re bored then you’re boring. That’s exactly the case with sandbox games. If you have no imagination to put in them, then you’re free to screw yourself over.

    Heard of Minecraft? No? I guess someone of such high AAA pedigree wouldn’t know of a lowly indie like that.

    Really, YoungZer0 said it all. Apparently DICEs strategy going into BF3 will be to be as arrogant as humanly possible, with no consideration for the beating they’ll take if there’s even the slightest bit wrong with their game.

    Which doesn’t bode well, considering their latest efforts in BC2, BC2: V and MoH.

    It’s just extremely stupid, especially when you’re trying to make yourself stand out against the symbol of all that’s wrong with gaming in some peoples eyes, with the CoD series. Apparently they don’t just want to beat CoD and Activision, they want to be them.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Hunam

    Red Faction Guerrilla is the best sandbox game. Just Cause 2 is a close second.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Lounds

    @7 I hated RFG, it killed the RF series completly, fucking THQ.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. DSB

    Yup, did not like RFG myself. But then I also played it on the PC, which was probably my mistake. Didn’t cost more than 2 euro though.

    Just Cause 2, Minecraft, Saints Row 2, ArmA 2. Some even say that GTA IV has gotten fun thanks to mods on the PC, although I can’t be arsed to check when the others are fun straight out of the box.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. Lounds

    @9 I was hooked on the steam videos that kept getting uploaded and pre-orded it only to be shocked at how crap it was, the game is designed for consoles, it was a really bad port to pc.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. LOLshock94

    bad company one was the best sandbox game

    #11 4 years ago
  12. YoungZer0

    @8: Guess you missed Red Faction 2.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Erthazus

    @7, i’m sorry, but RFG sucks huge ass and as Lounds said it killed red Faction series COMPLETELY.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. pukem0n

    all he is saying is, they gonna make a cod like campaign.
    that wasnt a sandbox game at all if i remember correctly…

    #14 4 years ago
  15. Gekidami

    They dont really need to say it, off the footage they’ve already released, its obvious the campaign is going to be very linear and scripted.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. Old MacDonald

    Have they begun hiring idiots at Dice? Must have happened after the EA takeover.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. DSB

    @10 Worth keeping in mind that a lot of people who got it on console loved it. So it is probably just a game that wasn’t meant to be on PC.

    #17 4 years ago
  18. Yoshi

    I’ve really loved DICE ever since BF2 but they are making it very hard to defend them with all this bullshit talk of theirs :/

    #18 4 years ago
  19. The1stMJC

    I like when developers make games and don’t talk. Seems now devs only speak to trash on something or websites only report when devs trash.

    #19 4 years ago
  20. Hunam

    RFG is all sorts of wonky on PC, it was a terrible, woeful port. If you don’t like the game because you bought it on the PC I have no defence which to level, it was bad. Super bad possibly.

    But when it works, you get in robots and walk through buildings. Showing them who the fuck is boss.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. YoungZer0

    @20: You can do that on PC too. It just wasn’t a very good game. I really disliked the art-direction and storyline.

    #21 4 years ago
  22. Naaame

    Wow why do DICE keep talking trash about other genres/developers…

    #22 4 years ago
  23. OrbitMonkey

    I don’t care that the sp won’t be sand box, just deliver a well crafted military story, that isn’t trying to be. A James bond film & I’ll be happy. I mean the mp is going to be pretty much sandbox right?
    I am wondering what games this guy is trash talking about though? Guess he won’t be getting Skyrim huh?

    #23 4 years ago
  24. Pokeh

    DICE are starting to wear away at my patience.

    Sandbox games that are good – and heck, better than anything DICE have ever put out: Borderlands, Saints Row, Crackdown, GTA (before IV), Oblivion, Fallout, Read Dead Redemption, Assassin’s Creed, Prototype, Infamous.

    Did I miss any?

    #24 4 years ago
  25. freedoms_stain

    @24, did you mistake the word “most” for “all”?

    #25 4 years ago
  26. DSB

    @25 Still isn’t nearly true though. The guy is defending making a corridor shooter. Not that he needs to, because obviously it’s not about form, it’s about substance, but he seemingly wants to take that stab anyway. It does seem kinda insecure and unneccesary.

    #26 4 years ago
  27. HighWindXIX

    So when he says “sand-box,” is he referring specifically to open world games ala GTA or Infamous or is go so far as to say that BF3 will be a straight line? Let’s take Crysis for instance. The campaign is fairly straight forward but there’s still plenty of approaches to every encounter. Unlike say CoD or MoH. If he’s saying its like CoD, then no thank you! If its more along the lines of Crysis, then sign me up!!

    #27 4 years ago
  28. sakebomb

    Minecraft is the only true sandbox games mentioned. All the other games
    “borderlands, gta, assassins creed” are open world games.
    Sandbox games can be boring If the player is not into
    Complete freedom. Open world games give you direction, objectives.

    #28 4 years ago
  29. UuBuU

    Yep, sandbox games are so boring, unpopular and hard to get into it’s no wonder Rockstar went out of business. Oh wait.

    Regarding the confusion between “open-world” and “sandbox” I think people have a tendency to over-analyse these terms far too much and to try and separate them into different entities.

    Loosely defined, I would say open-world allows you to go where you want (within reason) and sandbox allows you to do what you want (within reason). Both are pretty much synonymous in games like GTA.

    #29 4 years ago
  30. Christopher Jack

    I agree with him, let’s only stick with the most overrated & flooded genre, the first person shooters.

    Let the ‘hardcore, boring, hard to get into’ games like GTA, Red Dead Redemption, Far Cry, Mercenaries, The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Saints Row, inFamous, Prototype, Borderlands, Assassins Creed, Crackdown, Fable & heck, even Pokemon & every other single nonlinear game die.

    Seriously though, non linear gameplay in a sandbox environment will always be home to my favourite games, we just need more RPGs doing this.

    Sandbox & free roam are exactly the same thing, If you want to nitpick you can make up your own definition but who gives a flying fuck? They’re both labeled under Open World.

    #30 4 years ago
  31. Gadzooks!

    Quite dissapointed to hear this from DICE. I thought they were going to beat COD by delivering something different, not a clone.

    I loved the open approach to levels in BF:BC1. Not truly openworld but close enough, and it still managed a superb story.

    I’ve not got round to BF:BC2 yet, but I hear the campaign is a pale shadow of BC1.

    #31 4 years ago
  32. DrDamn

    @31
    Yep DICE actually have some pedigree in what he is talking about – BFBC1 has a great sandbox-like structure to the levels and it’s all done very well. I think the key quote in the whole lot of that is this …

    “they are not very popular”

    That’s really the crux. With BFBC1 they did take this approach, the game was great but didn’t sell as well as they might have wanted. Fast forward to BFBC2 – they simply look at the most popular game in the genre (CoD) and try and emulate that for the SP campaign. Then the stupid buying public lap it up and sales double. It’s all your fault you bastards!

    #32 4 years ago
  33. thefaulkness

    I disagree but only to a certain extent
    I love sandbox structures as the idea that you can explore everything and you feel like you are playing in a living game environment but I dont like endless trudging back and forth to get to missions (which is the only thing I didnt like about Just cause 2 because the island is so big)
    I like linear structures in games because I feel uncomfortable with the huge amount of free choice that games give and I feel like I am not getting a full experience and im missing out on things.
    but open world games ”are not very popular?”
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    no

    #33 4 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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  • Mortal Kombat X is the fastest selling entry in the series to date

    Mortal Kombat X has sold faster than any other game in the series to date, making it the “biggest launch” in Mortal Kombat history, according to creator Ed Boon. Speaking in a series of tweets, Boon said both the mobile and console versions have “literally millions of players getting online” resulting in the servers being […]

  • Shadow of the Beast reboot resurfaces with some new screenshots

    The Shadow of the Beast reboot, which was announced in 2013, has show its face once more with early screenshots. Screenshots of the Amiga classic remake show off the Karamoon’s desert and the main character, Aarbron. According Matt Birch, CEO and founder of Heavy Spectrum, the team is currently hard at work on the “core […]

  • Halo: Spartan Strike arrives on Windows 8, iOS and Steam today

    Halo: Spartan Strike is now available on Windows 8, Steam, iOS devices and Windows 8 phones. The mobile top-down shooter will run you $5.99. Halo: Spartan Strike tells a new story in the Halo universe set during the events of Halo 2 on New Mombasa in 2552. Those playing on Windows 8 devices can compete […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 video shows highlights from the Episdoe Duscae demo

    Square Enix has released a Final Fantasy 15 video which shows highlights from the Episode Duscae demo included with launch editions of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD. FFT0 has shipped over one million copies worldwide, and a player feedback survey is available for the Duscae demo until May 19. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is available on PlayStation […]

  • Bloodborne has sold over 155,000 digital units since release – SuperData

    PlayStation 4 exclusive Bloodborne has sold over 155,000 digital units since it was released on March 24, according to SuperData’s latest report. The figure produced by SuperData is worldwide and comes on the heels of the one million units sold announcement earlier this week. “After the release of the beautiful but terribly short game The […]

  • Nintendo US eShop update: Mega May returns, Super Smash Bros. update, Mii Fighter costumes

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with a Super Smash Bros. update and the StreetPass Mii Plaza games Battleground Z and Ultimate Angler. The update is rather detailed, and a bit larger than normal, and you may wish to pay special attention to the activities listed. Here’s the full update: StreetPass […]

  • Here’s your first look at Sony boss Shuhei Yoshida in Super Time Force Ultra

    Sony Worldwide boss Shuhei Yoshida is a playable character in Super Time Force Ultra, and today, Capy Games has provided a couple images of the man himself in the game. Yoshida was announced as a playable character in the game during Sony’s PlayStation Experience event back in December 2014. The PS4 and Vita version will […]

  • The wait is almost over – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has gone gold

    CD Projekt RED has announced the news we’ve all been waiting to hear: The Witcher 3 has gone gold. This means Geralt’s latest, and possibly last, adventure has been sent to the factory to be pressed into lovely gaming discs. “We worked so damn hard over the past three years to bring you this game,” […]

  • Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is a “couple weeks out from beta,” new trailer

    Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is just a “couple of weeks out from beta,” according to development studio The Chinese Room, and a release date will be announced “shortly.” To give you an idea of how development has been coming along since it was announced at gamescom 2013, the team has released a new trailer […]

  • GTA 5 on PC looks incredible, but I can’t recommend it to console players

    As much as Matt Martin loves GTA 5, he can’t recommend upgrading from console to PC just for a slick editing suite and even prettier graphics. “This is the third time in as many years that I’ve bought GTA 5.” I have a Grand Theft Auto 5 obsession, as I’m sure you know if you’ve […]

  • The Forest engine updated to Unity 5, major graphical and gameplay improvements made

    The Forest’s latest patch added substantial improvements to the game. The Forest version 0.16 is now live on Steam with plenty of new additions. The game has been ported over to Unity engine version 5. The plant and skin shaders have been replaced or rewritten. Many other visual tweaks have been made, such as model […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront banner leaks from Star Wars Convention

    EA has been setting up the Battlefront booth at Star Wars Celebration, and one leaked picture shows what could be the game’s main art. Someone on Reddit posted a picture of the game banner at EA’s booth. Here it is: Lots of things happening here. There’s a Star Destroyer in the distance, TIE Fighters and […]

  • Get GTA 5 working with Oculus Rift using this tool

    There’s a way you can play GTA 5 in VR if you own an Oculus Rift Dev Kit and have a bit of cash to spare. VorpX, the go-to program for adding VR support to games has received an update recently to support GTA 5. This is far from perfect, as it only translates the […]

  • FIFA Ultimate Team: week of April 15 team revealed

    This week’s Team of the Week is now available for anyone to challenge in FIFA Ultimate Team. The team members get selected each week based on their performance during the weekend matches. You can fire up FIFA Ultimate Team on any platform and challenge this squad. You’ll also find some Team of the Week items […]

  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will let you stealth all encounters, including bosses

    Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will bring back one of the original game’s major features. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is considered by many to be a great game and worthy of bearing the franchise name. One of its grating issues though was its boss fights. You only had one way to fight them: be confrontational. The […]

  • Project Cars PC specs and supported wheels announced

    The release date of Project Cars is inching ever closer and more details have been revealed to answer all your burning questions. Project Cars developer Slightly Mad Studios has revealed the full list of supported steering wheels on all platforms, as well as the minimum and recommended PC specs. Minimum specs CPU – 2.66 GHz […]

  • GTA 5 gets custom FOV mod on PC

    Those not satisfied with GTA 5′s built-in field of view slider can use a new mod to push the number even further. The PC versions of GTA 5 – just like its PS4 and Xbox One counterparts – lets you switch between third and first-person view in shooting and driving. The game has an FOV […]

  • Win! GTA 5 on PC!

    Want to win a Steam key for Grand Theft Auto 5 on PC? Just enter here. GTA 5 released on PC this week and is going down a storm. We like it a lot, which is why we’re giving away a Steam code for Rockstar’s latest. All you need to do is enter your email […]

  • GTA 5 topples Skyrim’s record for highest concurrent players on Steam

    Not factoring in Valve games, GTA 5 is the new king of concurrent player numbers on Steam. GTA 5 is very popular on PC, even more popular than games like Skyrim in its heyday. The number of concurrent players for GTA 5 has peaked today at 301,246. This makes it the only non-Valve game to […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: what does a modern fighting game look like?

    Mortal Kombat continues to evolve as NetherRealm adds RPG systems and daily challenges to a solid fighting game, says Sherif Saed. “Mortal Kombat X takes many cues from games like Destiny, Call of Duty, and GTA Online with hourly, daily and weekly events.” For as many of its familiar facets, Mortal Kombat X has enough […]

  • J-Stars Victory VS+ coming west in June – new trailer

    J-Stars Victory VS+ will make the jump (see what I did there) to the west after all. J-Stars Victory VS+ is the western title for the fighting game which stars characters from a variety of Shonen Jump-published manga. Bandai Namco has announced the fighter will release in Europe on June 26 and in the Americas […]

  • Codemasters F1 license good through 2016

    Codemasters has at least one more F1 game in it. F1 2015 isn’t out yet, so Codemasters is naturally not talking about what it might get up to in the future. We do know what it can get up to, though; Codemasters’ Steven Embling told Videogamer has the option to continue the series. “We have […]

  • Project Cars has pretty deep graphics options on consoles

    Project Cars offers players a wide variety of ways to customise their graphic settings on PS4 and Xbox One. Project Cars is a graphics showcase and all early indications suggest it’s going to be one of the best-looking games out there. Slightly Mad’s commitment to graphics seems to go deeper than making things pretty, though: […]

  • Super Smash Bros. patch nerfs Diddy Kong – report

    Super Smash Bros. 3DS and Wii U is great but Diddy Kong is a beast and must be stopped. The latest Super Smash Bros. 3Ds and Wii U patch seems to have nerfed Diddy Kong, a character so over-powered that serious tournament players generate controversy by choosing to use him. Nintendo doesn’t publish patch notes, […]

  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel developer shuttered

    Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel developer 2K Australia has been closed down. Kotaku broke the news, and also had word from an anonymous source, who said that all staff have been let go. 2K responded to our request for comment with the following statement: We can confirm we have taken steps to begin the studio closure process […]

  • Samorost 3 trailer shows Amanita still in fine form

    Samorost 3 looks as delicately beautiful as its siblings. Samarost 3 developer Amanita Design has a reputation for gorgeous, slightly surreal world building. This new trailer for its latest adventure looks just as if not more lovely than the previous Samarost games and Botanicula. Samarost 3 is coming to Mac and PC later this year, […]

  • Amnesia dev’s new project SOMA now in beta

    SOMA is nearly here and I am torn between excitement and horrified dread. SOMA is the latest horror project from Frictional, the team behind Amnesia: The Dark Descent. We’re pretty excited to see what Frictional comes up with next, and we won’t have too long to wait, apparently; the developer has announced that SOMA is […]

  • Steam Guard mobile authenticator now in beta testing

    Steam is now testing its latest security measure. Steam helps you protect your account by offering two-factor authentication, a solution so beautifully elegant and effective that it’s astounding every gaming network doesn’t do the same (looking at you, Sony). Valve’s version is called Steam Guard, and it works via email. This isn’t always super convenient, […]

  • Godzilla battles Mothra in new trailer

    Godzilla lets you stomp around cities and battle classic kaiju. I’m in. Godzilla is coming to PlayStation 3 and PS4 in early July, but we haven’t seen a great deal of it since its December reveal. The new trailer below gives you an idea of just what Natsume has done with one of the biggest […]

  • Tales of Zestiria to launch this year – new trailer

    Tales of Zestiria continues Bandai Namco’s delightful new habit of bringing the popular JRPG series to the west before the shine wears off. Tales of Zestiria is coming west in northern autumn, the publisher has announced. That’s not a bad turnaround, given it first hit Japan in January, and localisation of text-heavy titles is expensive […]

  • Project Cars release date locked down, new trailer released

    Project Cars finally has a release date. Project Cars will release on May 8, Bandai Namco UK has announced. We haven’t yet had an update from Namco Bandai’s other regional offices, but its probably safe to bet the racer will release around the same time in the Americas, Europe and ANZ region. We can now […]

  • Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains trailer shows combat, online multiplayer

    Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains has plenty to offer fans of the anime. Previously known as Attack on Titan: The Last Wings of Mankind, the Spike Chunsoft action game is coming west thanks to Atlus. Gematsu reports it’s due in both Europe and North America in May, via the 3DS eShop. The trailer below […]

  • Bloodborne stamina recovery rate affected by equip weight

    Bloodborne players have unearthed an important gameplay detail not mentioned in the game’s menus or manual. In Bloodborne, players need to manage their stamina carefully for best results. A far more aggressively-tuned affair than past Souls games, Bloodborne does away with equip weight limits, and items have no listed weight details. As far as players […]

  • Street Fighter’s Ryu, Fire Emblem’s Roy spotted in Super Smash Bros. patch – rumour

    Street Fighter’s Ryu is rumoured for future Super Smash bros DLC following datamining of the latest patch. Super Smash Bros. 3DS and Wii U were updated recently, and hacker shinyquagsire23 claims to have found some interesting files while poking around in the 3DS patch data. As detailed on Reddit, the audio files included a new […]

  • Suikoden 3 PEGI rating suggests PS2 Classic re-release

    Suikoden. Suikoden 2. And now: Suikoden 3. Suikoden 3 has been rated by PEGI for PlayStation 3, presumably ahead of an upcoming re-release. Gematsu turned up the rating, and although we have no further information at this time, it’s not much a leap to assume the RPG will turn up as a PS2 Classic on […]