Battlefield 3: Aftermath Interview With DICE Producer Craig Mcleod

This late November and early December, military-shooter fans around the world will be treated to the latest digital expansion of the world of Battlefield 3.

Battlefield 3: Aftermath will put you in the shoes of a soldier who must fight for survival in a war-torn, post-earthquake environment. Bloodied and bruised, you’ll have to make the most of what’s left in the wake of destruction by scavenging every corner of your surrounding area to find better gear, utilizing makeshift military vehicles damaged in the quake, and carefully traversing the warped and uneven environment. Judging by our earlier preview, Aftermath is set to provide fresh new experience on the Battlefield.

During EA’s Naughty or Nice event in New York City, I asked DICE producer Craig Mcleod about the inspiration behind Battlefield 3’s latest expansion.

MP1st: Aftermath takes place in a very specific setting – in the aftermath of an earthquake that has taken place in Tehran in the middle of a battle between American and Russian forces. How exactly will this setting that DICE has chosen for their latest DLC affect the gameplay?

Mcleod: So it affects [the gameplay] in a number of ways. First and foremost, it actually affects our characters, our vehicles and our weapons. A lot of the new stuff we’re bringing in is born out of this post-earthquake aftermath. So, what you’ll notice is that the characters are a bit more bloodied – they’re a bit more wounded. We’ve done a complete re-skin of this which is the first time we’ve ever done this for battlefield 3. On our vehicles – they’re all heavily modified. The reason for this is because they were caught in the earthquake as well. So, the military engineers have had to salvage what they can, build them back together, weld on some stuff, and also, in true Battlefield style, they’ve added some extra firepower at the same time. So the Phoenix and the Barsuk, which are the two new vehicles for each specific side, they both have have two gunner positions now. So, you have the heavy machine gun and the grenade launcher.

But, regarding the environments themselves, it’s very unique to start in such a war-torn environment theme. It really is a post-earthquake environment. There’s a lot of cracks in the roads, places for you to hide, it creates a lot of elevation [thanks to] toppled buildings, which isn’t always present in the older maps.

MP1st: DICE is introducing a brand new and very interesting weapon to the Battlefield – the Crossbow. Tell us more about it!

Mcleod: The Crossbow’s our new weapon and it’s unique in two very specific ways. The first one is it’s not acting as a primary weapon. It’s acting as a gadget. So, this means no matter what class you want to play as, or what your play style is, you can use the Crossbow. There’s two versions of it. One is a red-dot sight and the other one is an 8X rifle scope. So, if you like to get up close and personal, you can do that. If you want to keep your distance, you can do that too. The other great thing is it has such a variety of gameplay. This comes in the form of the four bolts that you can equip it with. So we have a standard bolt – it’s very much your bread and butter. It’s mid range, it’s mid-damage. You also have a scan-bolt which you can fire to a certain location and it acts as a proximity detector to show up enemies. You have a high-explosive bolt which is great for vehicles and you also have the balanced-bolt, which is good for those long range shots.

MP1st: Scavenger brings a new twist to Conquest Domination. Where did the inspiration for this new game mode come from?

Mcleod: So, Scavenger is born out of the post-earthquake theme. You’ve been trapped. You got caught in in this environment. You have to find whatever you can to survive. You’re almost left with nothing. So, as you start with Scavenger, you start with one pistol, one grenade and one specialization, so the class here doesn’t matter. And then, as you go along, you need to explore the map to its fullest to actually pick up or scavenge weapons. You’ll find that there’s three different levels of weapons. Your less effective SMG’s, which are a bit weaker, you’ll find in safer areas, maybe around the outside of the map or in enclosed areas. To get the real heavy weapons like the assault rifles and carbines, you need to go into the most dangerous areas. You’ll need to go around the flags or into open, level places and this really creates a risk-vs-reward gameplay.

MP1st: What type of assignments can players look forward in this DLC?

We do have 10 new assignments which are coming in. Five are specifically tied to the crossbow itself – to actually unlocking the crossbow for your use – and then four for the individual bolts. Some are tied to the vehicles as well.

MP1st: What was your goal with Aftermath? Did you purposely want to bring in elements from the single player campaign into the multiplayer?

Mcleod: So, we had two main trains of thought with this. The first one is to do with the actual size of the maps that you play on, the environment and the type of infantry-vs-vehicle gameplay. Close Quarters was very infantry-focused, Armored Kill was very vehicle-focused and we really wanted to mix it up. The other thing that we wanted to do is that we did want to tie it back to the single player campaign. We wanted our player who played the single player campaign – who got caught up in the emotion of the Tehran earthquake – to be able to really take that story further.

PlayStation 3 Battlefield 3 Premium members can look forward to Aftermath November 27th while Xbox 360 and PC Battlefield 3 Premium and non-Premium members can expect it shortly after in the month of December.

What do you think about the setting that Aftermath takes place in? Do you prefer this theme-based approach to Battlefield 3 DLC? Let’s hear your thoughts below!

Don’t forget to follow MP1st on Twitter and Facebook for the latest on Battlefield 3!

  • AndroidMango

    David, so there are definitely no new guns in Aftermath/Endgame?

  • Hol_Up

    The should add a horde mode for this expansion, that would be so awesome.

  • AndroidMango

    David, so there are definitely no new guns in aftermath/endgame?

    • Aftermath and Endgame are two different DLCs. We haven’t even heard any info about Endgame yet. As for Aftermath, I guess David will know. Otherwise, only time will tell.

    • As of right now, no, there are no new weapons in Aftermath other than the crossbow. But keep in mind, we are over a month away and DICE may have kept a few things from us. But don’t get your hopes up 🙂

      No news about Endgame so far.

  • Amazing News, i have yet to dislike any DLC so far. DICE keep up the great work.

  • Brian Anthony

    Yes a horde mode but 4 vs 12, or like defend one territory, by letting the defending team create a proximity from the wave of attackers. Giving the defending guys more firepower and Claymores to set up a defensive perimeter like we had to do during Vietnam War once we took areas..and like we do now in Afghanistan.

  • Nemesis_96

    As fun as this does look, it is the usual; Dice trying to hide the fact they’re running out of imagination.
    Picking up weps = Old school mode and Halo. Crossbow copied from Crysis and Black Ops, not to mention the assignments are 9/10 for the crossbow! Five are required to unlock the crossbow! That’s a lot isn’t it? Only two new vehicles, which are modded from old ones, not really hard to make :S
    Setting IS cool, but I don’t get what he said – the ’emotion’ of the Tehran earthquake?! WHAT!? I love de the campaign, but there was definitely nothing emotional about the earthquake…

    • Mikey MiG

      When he was talking about assignments, I think he meant 5 are tied to the crossbow. Meaning there is an assignment to unlock it and 4 for bolt types. The other 5 assignments are for other things.

      And please don’t try to speculate on how much work it takes to make the new vehicles. You’re not a developer. And remodeling and reskinning a vehicle (like they are doing) is like basically making them from scratch. Plus there at least 3 new vehicles, not 2.

      • Nemesis_96

        Umm no I know what it takes to make a simple 3d model and change a few physics settings, it’s not that hard..
        And thanks for clearing up about the assignments, I wasn’t too sure myself :S

        • then go ahead and you make it genius, and if it is so simple, why are yuh here instead of signing up for a game development team

        • notneedtoknow

          Just write down, how would you “innovate” the genre, and let us try to find a game, that has similar game mechanics.

          • Nemesis_96

            Ok how about an open world fpswhere you can upgrade your character in a way similar to any RPG. You can build in a modular fashion, on friendly territory, and then you can go in clans to destroy enemy territory, as the landscape is destructible, so domination on a large scale. There are vehicles also. Now. Go find.

            • Mac

              Battlezone 2 and Planetside. Go do your homework.

    • Mac

      Is this post serious? Picking up weapons from Halo? Crossbows from Black Ops? Are you 12? Picking up weapons has been in pretty much every FPS multiplayer since Doom. Crossbows were in BF2 Special Forces and I’m sure sone fps before BF2 had them as well. Sometimes rampant anti-fanboyism is as bad as being a fanboy. Research these things before you look stupid.

      • Nemesis_96

        So you’re agreeing that its not original on any way. Right?

        • Mac

          I would argue nothing has been original in FPS in about 10 years. It’s hard to add to the tried and true model of “shoot other people, from a first person view.” It’s not about who did it first; it’s about who does it well. If crossbows and vehicles and earth quakes don’t do it for you, move on to a new game.

          • Nemesis_96

            That, I shall do.

            • Nemesis_96

              Wtf why does this have negative votes. Surely you’d WANT me to go play other games which I do already -.-

        • sircolby45

          Personally I feel that the problem with many FPSs today is they are trying to innovate too much. They are moving too far away from what makes a shooter great by dropping rainbow sprinkles on it. COD is a perfect example. COD4 was a brilliant game. They just keep “trying” to innovate it and in doing so they are ruining it.

      • When did Crysis have a crossbow? I’m sure the weapon in Crysis 3 is a Bow and arrow set. Same mechanics, not the same weapon..

    • Not to be too picky, but only one assignment unlocks the crossbow while four others unlock the different bolt types. Also, there are actually three new vehicles 🙂

      • Nemesis_96

        Oohh OK thanks 🙂 I really wasn’t sure they’d do that with the crossbow assignments :S – sounded a little too far fetched. Is that only three or more than three? :O they should take some inspiration from Borderlands when making the vehicles!

  • Wonder if the crossbow will 1-hit-kill to the chest within 15m like the bolt-actions…

    • I can’t remember 100%, but I think the range will be a little longer since it takes longer to put in a new crossbow bolt than it does to pull the sniper rifle bolt back between shots.

  • CG13

    BC2 style motion sensors. Yes!

    • Small thing, but that got me excited as well. As a recon player, those motion sensors AND explosive-bolts (anti-vehicle) are really gonna step up my game!

  • whats going on

    So is this single player or multiplayer wtf the paragraphs talk like they are Watching a single player game

  • Angelreborn96

    MW3 DLC is over? Oh right I got BF3 with DLC coming up for more fun – such as guns, maps, and game mode! Sweet! Haha mw3 can’t do like bf3

  • RYH31

    Should have added fucking dinosaurs…


    WHOOT! A little over a month away. Can’t wait!

    Great interview, David!

  • lrishjake

    Aftermath multiplayer gameplay footage:

  • roland0811

    For me it’s too little too late. Close Quarters was terrible and Armored Kill had one decent map. I don’t see Aftermath being worth it if it follows the trend the other DLC set.