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Ex-SAS Member: Battlefield 3 Will Offer Realistic Emotions

Games like Battlefield 3 strive for intense realism. But how authentic do they feel, really?

Well, according to ex-SAS soldier and novelist Andy McNab, DICE's new shooter should be pretty damn close to the real thing. In speaking to GamerZines, McNab said that everybody who is "normal" is scared on the battlefield, and the emotions we'll feel when playing BF3 are similar to those of people in real-life situations. Said McNab:

"That emotion is still there when you're playing the game. If these guys (DICE) get it right everybody becomes emotionally involved. A player doesn't want to fu** up, they want to get to the next level, and the emotion of wanting to progress is the same emotion as people in the battlefield."

We're all human. We all have emotions but they come out at different levels and with different motivations. A gamer will be as much into it as somebody on the battlefield, only in a different way. There's no illusion that he's on the battlefield; he's not wet, cold and hungry, he's at home being entertained. But the emotions are the same. The heartbeats are up."

McNab is co-writing "Battlefield 3: The Russian," which is obviously based on the game, so maybe there's a teeny bit of self-promotion in his words. But we'd also like to think he knows what he's talking about, and given his proximity to the project (yeah, we know, it's just a book), perhaps he has seen footage that we haven't. The bottom line is that if Battlefield 3 succeeds, this might be as close as any of us ever come - or ever want to come - to the real thing.

Related Game(s): Battlefield 3

Tags: battlefield 3, bf3, ea, military games

8/11/2011 10:36:59 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (42 posts)

Underdog15
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 10:49:19 AM
Reply

huh... an FPS with an immersive story... immersive enough that I feel emotion...

I really hope he's right.

Still... why do I feel skeptical about feeling emotion in an FPS?

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Alienange
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 12:12:01 PM

Bioshock had me going. I think there's a few others too...

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 12:21:56 PM

It's a different sort of emotion with shooters. It's more instinctual rather than cerebral.

You won't feel Heavy Rain or L.A. Noire emotion; it'll be more of a nervous, jumpy, sweaty palm, white-knuckle sort of emotion that's closer to a battlefield. Survival and sh**, you know? ;)

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Underdog15
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 1:00:31 PM

Fair enough, Ben. I get that kind of feeling you are talking about in shooters more in Co-op experiences than playing solo. I feed off others, I guess. lol

@Alienage
Believe it or not, I own Bioshock, but have -STILL- not gotten around to that. That and Fallout 3. Own both, but haven't touched either yet! (Got them during a sweet Amazon sale. 9.99 new each)

I will get to both eventually.

But of the shooters I have played, any emotive situations attempted never left me -fully- believing the emotion. Definitely doesn't help that I'm a theatre major, and therefore a bit of a critic. Admittedly, it sometimes removes the element of emotion when you're so focused on the artistic representation of those emotions... Probably works against me in many cases.

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AcHiLLiA
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 1:22:09 PM

I think the non-mature audience will only care about getting enough pawns as possible.

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Excelsior1
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 1:27:39 PM

@underdog

if you got fallout 3 goty edition you are in for a real treat. i would rate that as my favorite game of this gen. bethesda knows how to create an immersive world with great characters that draw you in. the dlc content is great as well. i put over 100 hrs in that game. beware of fallout new vegas. it's not as good, and lost a lot of fallout 3's charm.

the game is not perfect. it's more unstable on the ps3 and has a lot of bugs. especially in the dlc. don't be surprised if you have to endure 5 fps and multiple system resets. it's worth it even it feels like your ps3 is going to explode at times. me, beamboom, and temjin are in agreement it's one of the best games of this gen. it also scored highly on this site.

it was my first wrpg. i was surprised how much there was to do in that game, and i was also surprised how much i loved it.

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NiteKrawler
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 2:18:46 PM

Half 2 and its episodes felt more emotional than any FPS I've ever played.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 3:10:54 PM

You have Bioshock and Fallout 3 unplayed on your shelf? That's 2 of this generations best games gathering dust! You are in for such good times.

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mastiffchild
Friday, August 12, 2011 @ 5:49:00 PM

I call BS! It's common knowledge in the UK(everyone's best mate has an uncle in the SAS-fact)that you can only join the SAS when you have NO EMOTION at all.

&underdog-get playing Bioshock pronto! I can't join in the praise for FO3 as it was a big let down for me and didn't live up to it's series heritage whatsoever. Less atmosphere, less cerebral, VATS is arbitrary to the point of lottery and the FPShooting aiming is broken. As a massive Fallout1 andd 2 fan and a shooter fan FO3 should have been gaming nirvana for me but it just wasn't, not at all. You'll probably love it, though, because FO3 and the Portal games seem to be where mainstream opinion on gaming and I go our separate ways(I can't find any value in Portal 2 being a full cost game when it's so easy and there's no real reason to go a second time when you've solved all the puzzles)!

Anyhow, hope you DO enjoy them both, as 99% of the non awkward populous did but I just thought I'd warn you that it IS possible not to fall in love with the new Fallout regime and a few fans of the originals feel like I do too-not many, mind, but a few! Enjoy though!

OT-I don't see a military shooter managing much true emotion anyway. COD4 tried pretty hard but even that was ham fisted and since then I've seen the genre do worse and worse when it comes to character and story.

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Nickjcal
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 10:57:10 AM
Reply

idk about that. Didn't Red River also say it'd be as close as you'd want to get to the real thing? Red Rivers characters were paper without writing. Now i'm not a fanboy of CoD, BUT when """SPOILER""" Sheppard kills the two guys, I felt some emotion there. Maybe a little bit when """SPOILER""" Sev's buddy dies. Can't think of the name right now.

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sirbob6
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 1:23:41 PM

Garza I do believe.

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Ludicrous_Liam
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 4:57:22 PM

Your not serious right? I loved Killzone 2 as much as the next guy, but their was next to zero character development. If you cried when Garza died then, jees, I'd hate see you watch a disney film, you'd be bawling lol.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 5:46:03 PM

Disney sucks

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Vivi_Gamer
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 11:00:01 AM
Reply

I can't help but see on the online mode, the players characters facial features looking like dogs. Slobbering tounges sicking out.

But seriously, I hasn't this been in gaming for years? I am now looking back to Medal of Honour: Frontline, on the D-day mission the soliders lined up by the minefield, they all had the emotions animated... I just dont see this as something new...

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556pineapple
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 11:16:41 AM

Did you read the article? It isn't about the in-game characters physically expressing facial emotions. It's about trying to evoke real emotions out of the player, which is something that doesn't happen all too often. Except anger... $%^@#&$ water levels!!

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maxpontiac
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 12:43:03 PM

I see your point Ultimadream.

I remember the D-Day mission, and how it brought up emotions I haven't felt before in a shooter. After watching Saving Private Ryan, those feelings were only magnified.

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Excelsior1
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 1:55:45 PM

yeah, ultima does bring up a good point. he cites a valid example of a fps game evoking emotions. maybe, he did not word it so great, but i get what he's saying.

fi'm expecting bf3 to be a very competent shooter. i will be very surprised if it offers anythinng revolutionary. if it pulls off evoking a wide array of emotions i will be very surprised as well. i know they try with scripted events, but i always feel detached from the characters for some reason in fps.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 3:12:46 PM

lol, the point of this article went WAY over your head homey.

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big6
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 11:13:30 AM
Reply

I'm almost finished "Battlefield: Bad Company 2", and I have to say that I'm really impressed with it. I skipped the original, as it didn't impress me that much from the demo.

However, after playing so much BFBC2, I really feel that Battlefield 3 will be an awesome game. The destructive environments alone makes Battlefield a better game that any Call of Duty I've ever played.

Looking forward to Battlefield 3!

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Underdog15
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 11:14:13 AM
Reply

I felt more emotion from FFVI in the SNES days than I have ever felt from any shooter ever.

Just throwing that out there.

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Vivi_Gamer
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 11:16:59 AM

I don't quite understand what you are trying to say... Final Fantasy VI is an emotional game... there's no denying that.

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Underdog15
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 11:33:18 AM

This article isn't about the character's emotions. It's about bringing out emotions in the player. My point, is that it's funny this is big news for FPS's, when other games have been creative enough to do this for nearly 2 decades.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 3:18:28 PM

I know what you are saying Underdog and I agree whole heatedly, there is no real emotion in FPS's. The stories are basically throw-away material for any hollywood war movie.

However, as Ben said above I don't think we will see real emotional emotions here. Not, "Chick emotions" if you will but instead what happens in real war: panic, relief, intensity, etc.

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Alienange
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 12:11:23 PM
Reply

The only emotion DICE has succeeded at putting in a game is frustration. This ex-soldier clearly says "if they get it right." That is one HUGE "if."

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maxpontiac
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 12:44:43 PM

That is an excellent point.

I only say that because this is an EA game, and hyping a title up (IE Shift 2) is something they do well.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 3:19:22 PM

Did BF1 and 2 not get it right? I never played em.

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Geobaldi
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 4:45:12 PM

@World

The original Battlefield games were basically how CoD is now, the multiplayer part anyway as the main Battlefield series never had a campaign. After playing the Alpha for this new one, I have to say that the emotion is lacking but then again it was all multiplayer. And I have no emotion when I log on to kill people who are trying to kill me :) Except for the anger I spew when I'm constantly shot by snipers lol.

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aaronisbla
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 5:26:06 PM

in which ways have the frustrated people who play their games? im interested since its one of the main shooters i play yet dont know exactly what you mean

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Lawless SXE
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 1:39:06 PM
Reply

McNab is also a consultant on the game, so he clearly knows something that we don't. That being said, I always get a little bit tense in shooters because I don't much like dying, and usually play them on hard to prolong that initial experience. It's an interesting comment and I hope that he's not just blowing smoke. It's about time certain games started emulating reality, and getting us to feel as though we truly are in a war... That's a rare thing. KZ2 sort of did it, and Resistance 3 should do it as well (in a different sort of way). If Battlefield 3 does it, I'll be dancing a jig.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 3:25:03 PM
Reply

This is why I'm tossing around the idea of buying this game, that authenticity. I'm actually not too concerned about whether it will make my heart pound because I have an anxiety condition and will probably hafta take a pill to play the thing but I like the idea of getting close to a simulator with this theme. Part of the reason I'm not much into military shooters is all the fakiness and, in my opinion, general disrespect for what's going on.

If you missed Homefront I think that game actually did a decent job in at least TRYING to get you emotionally involved. For instance when they made a point of showing American citizens bodies being shoved into open graves by dozers. That's something that has never happened here but we are used to seeing elsewhere in the world so tapping emotions in that manner to bring to the game was well done imo, no matter what else was wrong with the game.

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Excelsior1
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 3:59:15 PM

wow. props for homefront. don't hear that often.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 5:50:24 PM

From a story standpoint I commend the attempt, I think most people just gloss over such things.

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Axe99
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 5:13:58 PM
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I call absolute bulldust on this one - my military experience (a few months in the reserves over here, and nothing close to actual combat) is really, really limited, but it's still totally chalk and cheese. Andy McNab's just doing his job to sell the game, but suggesting that a videogame can reflect what it feels like to be running (and crawling - in real combat in non-urban situations you spend plenty of time prone - at least it's in the game this time lol) through the scrub, live rounds going off, the rattle and recoil of your rifle. Exercises are a completely different experience to videogaming. Now I know actual combat is very, very different to training, but I find it _very_ hard to believe that the addition of the real threat of death, and seeing your mates die beside you and feeling the ground shake as ordnance makes craters around your position make it more like a video game than the training.....

The only downside to Andy trying to help people with the emotional buy-in is that it'll give some kids the idea that actual combat feels like a videogame. Then we get idiots signing up for the 'great adventure' of war [rolls eyes].

Don't get me wrong, I'm going to grab BF3, and I have no doubt I'll love it, but washing the dishes after dinner is as close to the emotions you'll feel in actual combat as BF3 is.

Last edited by Axe99 on 8/11/2011 5:14:57 PM

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aaronisbla
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 5:29:42 PM

i think he meant the adrenaline rush will be there, not that the game will feel like real life. he clearly says "There's no illusion that he's on the battlefield; he's not wet, cold and hungry, he's at home being entertained. But the emotions are the same. The heartbeats are up."

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 5:56:27 PM

You've missed the idea as well, it isn't necessarily to represent the combat experience authentically but instead to elicit through fantasy a similar feeling to what exists in reality.

An example would be an area where it is easy to run out of ammunition so you must rely on your knife, the idea being to pull out that fear that comes with being forced to up the danger level to get close enough for the kill and then the "aaaah yeah!" reward emotion for making that kill under such circumstances.

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Shiva369
Friday, August 12, 2011 @ 4:10:22 AM

I should read all the comments before I put my own up lol. You said much better exactly what I just said!

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Axe99
Friday, August 12, 2011 @ 4:20:20 PM

Sorry, probably should have been clearer (but didn't want to hit you with a wall of text), but the adrenalin rush from the real thing (even training for the real thing) is very, very different from playing a game. Chalk and cheese. Hell, BF3's a respawn shooter, so the tensions almost non-existent anyway (so if you run out of ammo, have to use your knife and die, you respawn 10 seconds later). The emotional response to that is very, very different from being out in the field feeling the air and ground vibrate around you and seeing people you know killed (or, indeed, having to kill others, which is so ridiculously different emotionally IRL than in a game I didn't even bother mention it earlier)!

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DVE2k
Thursday, August 11, 2011 @ 11:11:39 PM
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It's a FPS game for crying out loud. I just want to have fun and be amazed and drawn in to this game that I hope will out sell Mw3. If this is emotionally attach like he says it will be, are we gonna have psychological problems next xD?

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___________
Friday, August 12, 2011 @ 4:02:49 AM
Reply

sure, and im going apple picking with scooby doo!
oh, what happened to my favourite cartoon?

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Shiva369
Friday, August 12, 2011 @ 4:06:18 AM
Reply

I dunno...something about suggesting that a game can even come close to scratching the surface of the feeling of actual combat just makes me want to guffaw and scoff at the same time.
I mean, I've played some intense games and never seen actual combat...never been in an actual fight, truth be told, but I've been shit-scared for my life once or twice, and the two things are nothing- NOTHING alike. I may be just taking this too seriously but I dare say actual soldiers would feel similar to this.

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Axe99
Friday, August 12, 2011 @ 4:21:03 PM

All good Shiva, credit to ya for having a good head on your shoulders and not buying into the marketing BS ;).

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Caanimal
Sunday, August 14, 2011 @ 10:11:31 PM
Reply

And according to more than a dozen friends/ex-school mates who have ACTUALLY BEEN IN SEVERAL COMBATIVE ENGAGEMENTS say the complete opposite over EVERY FPS that has been released to date. In real life engagements you don't run around like a chicken w/ you head cut off like in most of these games. Everything is controlled, or semi-controled at the very least. You DON'T run off on your own and become a "one man army" that is so common in video games. And you DON'T see hours of endless high activity (running around) combat. In real life, even modern, combat is relatively stagnate; for example(an example from a friend who actually experience this), you are on a patrol for 4 hours, you come under fire, you take cover in a known "safe" location, you return fire, you sit and wait until you get back-up.

In video games you DON'T have to fear being shot because you KNOW you'll just pop back up at a spawn point. You CAN run around on your own and be a "one man army". You are almost guaranteed to "die" if you "site and wait".

Video games are FAR from getting even remotely close to being "realistic", at least "at home" video games...

Last edited by Caanimal on 8/14/2011 10:29:33 PM

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