Battlefield 3 Dev: Sandbox Games Are Hardcore, Boring

Battlefield 3 looks amazing – no one can doubt that, but there might be a reason the single player appears to be so impressive: DICE’s Patrick Bach has spoken to Edge, saying the game’s campaign will ‘more closely resemble the tightly-scripted likes of the Call Of Duty series.’

“I don’t see it as an absolute goal for all games to be sandbox games,” said Bach. “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.”

“Just the fact that the environment can change dynamically creates a huge challenge for us when it comes to AI,” he explains. “[It] puts a lot of challenges to our AI code when it comes to finding new cover, reacting to the fact that it has disappeared, moving and flanking based on the new situation.”

The full interview is in the next issue.



  1. ‘I don’t see it as an absolute goal for all games to be sandbox games’

    Couldn’t agree more. I’m getting a bit tired of all these open world games with sketchy, repetitive objectives.

  2. Agree 100%
    I really like a quality narrative that is best offered by a linear game. I find sandbox games boring & too repetitive, tasks are often dressed up as different things but they always invariably end up being go over there do something & come back followed by going over there doing something remarkably similar and coming back again.

    • Who cares about single player campaigns in Battlefield Games , its straight to the Multiplayer until Virgin Media next dig up the road !! Its what Battlefields all about , the time they spend on poxy single player could be better put to use giving us twice as many maps !

      • Whoops that wasnt supposed to be a reply to your comment CC!

    • Like Dara O’Brien commented on GTAIV: you just end up commuting.

    • A great story often requires a linear game but that doesn’t mean that all open world games are boring. While I got bored in Just Cause 2 after a while I just couldn’t stop playing Red Faction Guerilla because it was mad fun to fool around with the physics of the buildings. It’s not all black and white with open worls games but there is no argument that they are seriously lacking in the story compartment.

  3. As long as the campaign is longer than 5 hours, I couldn’t care less if it was sandbox or not.

  4. He says it like the majority of games are sandbox games lately. They’re not.

    BF3 looks good and everything, but the actual gameplay just looks like the usual FPS gameplay. I’m not interested until they show something that isn’t just pretty.

  5. It’s up to opinion. I prefer sandbox games. They’re just better for me. I don’t understand how sandbox games are “Hardcore” or “Boring” in anyway.

  6. imo only a few can pull of a proper sandbox game Rockstar sit at the top of the small pile.

  7. This sounds like the multiplayer is going to suffer. I was wondering how they’d do destructible scenery in a built up area like Paris or Tehran. i am disappoint :(

  8. *Ok in some games its great, but co-op makes it better its so much fun.

    Oh and whos the enemy?, I swear if its the Russians or Arabians then forget it, I’ll fight in space on a planet… with blood thirsty alien canines.. ok I’ll stay on earth, oh wait alien invasion… pig cops damn.

    Fed up with Americans potentially fecking up relations with some country

  9. Ok, 9 out of 10 sandbox games do struggle with a compelling story but look at Rockstar and RDR, there’s an argument right there. I love Just Cause 1/2, not because of the brilliant storyline (*cough*) but because it’s great fun, I can spend hours towing slightly fat guards to helicopters and smashing them into buildings… who couldn’t. I do understand his point and I agree with him mostly but what most sandbox games lack in story, make up in fun.

  10. There’s a difference between GTA-style sandbox, Burnout Paradise-style sandbox and Battlefield-style sandbox.

    I’m getting incredibly sick of linear campaign’s in FPS games, Battlefield has the greatest multiplayer mode I’ve played, and I’ve been itching to play a true sequel to Battlefield 2. I’m sure the campaign in BF3 will be decent, but to be honest I couldn’t care less, purely because it’s Battlefield; the only game where MP outweighs SP for me, and from the sound of it, the campaign be a run of the mill, linear experience that’s nothing to write home about……

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