Killcams in Battlefield 3 – An Unwelcome Feature?

In a recent Q&A session with DICE representatives at GameCon 2011, it was confirmed that a killcam feature would indeed be included in Battlefield 3. This has been a hot topic among gamers recently and I can see why.

But first, a killcam in a first-person-shooter, for those who don’t know, is a quick replay on your screen of what your enemy saw moments before he shot you dead. It was an idea that became extremely popular during the release of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and many developers since then have included it in their own shooters, or a least a version of it. Lately, Crysis 2 did cut-and-paste job with their “kill replay”, while Homefront was a little more original in that the camera panned up to your enemy after you died, revealing his location.

The reason the killcam has become such a controversial idea is because it is a feature that could potentially make or break an FPS, or any shooter for that matter. Give away too much enemy intel and it could provide little challenge to some players. Give no information at all and it could prove frustrating for players who constantly find themselves in a death-streak due to an unknown enemy position.

There are also many other factors that play into this. If I took Crysis 2 for example, you will find that it’s multiplayer is quite fast-paced. Crytek, the developers of Crysis 2, gave player characters the ability to move much like a free-runner or parkour practitioner in real life (but obviously with the added advantage of alien nanosuit technology). Players had the ability to slide under objects, grab and quickly climb ledges, and power jump great distances. With all this freedom of movement, there was very little incentive to stay in one spot or ‘camp’. This led to many players either using the sub-machine guns or assault rifles to adequately deal with all these fast-moving soldiers on the battlefield. Sniper rifles were fairly uncommon in Crysis 2’s multiplayer. For these reasons, I personally felt that a killcam or kill replay was unnecessary. If I was shot dead by an enemy, it was very rare that that same enemy would stick to the same location after I re-spawned. Most players were constantly on the move. Another factor that played into this opinion is that Crysis 2 actually featured some very well thought out level design. There weren’t many hiding places and most sniper perches were easily accessed through multiple flanking routes. Again, offering little incentive to stay in one place for too long.

In contrast, another game that I thought could have really used a full-on killcam was DICE’s multiplayer component to the recent Medal of Honor. If you tried hard enough, it was completely feasible to spend an entire match in one hiding spot with a high powered sniper rifle. The choke points in the level design were numerous. Some moments, it was almost suicide to enter a corridor or an entrance way when most of the time, an enemy sniper already has the shot lined up. With the many nooks and crannies which served as hiding spots that were present on many of the maps, it was extremely frustrating to be shot dead, completely unaware from which direction, and only have the game tell you your killer’s name and what he killed you with. Being on the other side of this situation, I found it absurd that on some maps, I could view a large portion of the map with my sniper rifle through a minuscule crack between two crates. It made it almost impossible for enemies to realize where I was shooting from. In general, I felt that Medal of Honor gave too many advantages to the sniper class. Having a killcam, in my opinion, would have added much more balance to the game.

Back to the Battlefield series. Battlefield 2 had no killcam and some searching on the US and UK EA forums told me that many fans were okay with it and enjoyed BF2 the way it was. I personally enjoyed the version of the kill cam used in Battlefield: Bad Company 2. I thought it provided a good balance to all the bush wookie, spawn campers. Since the camera was always in front of your enemy, it never completely gave away his position since you couldn’t see his point of view. It was a good balance between revealing too much or too little. As for Battlefield 3, it seems like DICE has provided at least a little bit of a counter to campers with the new scope glint feature. Currently, if an enemy with a high powered scope has you in their sights, you should be able to spot them with the reflection that will shine off their scope lens. Perhaps leaving out a killcam in this case could be justifiable. However, this glint feature only covers those classes with sniper scopes attached to their weapon and not those using an ACOG or red dot sight on a battle rifle or assault rifle.

Again, DICE has at least left the option to turn the killcam (or what ever they will call it in the the final product) off on the normal, non-hardcore mode. If it’s included, would you prefer a CoD-style killcam, or something more like BF:BC2? Or, do you think it should be permanently removed all together? After all, DICE did say that this game is to be the true sequel to Battlefield 2.

Pleas let us know in the comment section below.

Remember, if you’re interested in writing for MP1st, visit our write for MP1st page and follow @MP1st on Twitter.

Previous Post

Next Post

53 thoughts on “Killcams in Battlefield 3 – An Unwelcome Feature?

  1. Wow this game copies more and more from Call of Duty each day.

    I thought Battlefield fans hated Call of Duty? Battlefield is basically becoming another Call of Duty clone…….

    1. LOL? If you look at the original CoD you will see how much they copied from Battlefield 2. Perks was first invented by BF and CoD only made it popular. Get your facts rite stupid moron.

      1. Yo yo, “If you look at the original CoD you will see how much they copied from Battlefield 2” are you moron enough to say that the original CoD copied things from BF2? Man you are the moron! and right away get you your facts, the original CoD was released in 2003 and BF2 in 2005, how the copy occurred? I can’t think of any way possible.

          1. Just on your calendar moron, that’s why next time you know what you are talking about, stupid you said the original CoD. The moron word become known for the stupidness of someone like you.

            1. gash kids… Read original CoD… even a baby would know that he is talking Bout modern warfare (call of duty 4). BF and CoD are way different… they used a few similar things on their own way. BTW i don’t know what you guys are saying that BF copied from CoD on this article… CoD dont uses “scope reflections” on their multiplayer… they dont even have a “spot” feature like BF… Kill cam and seeing the guy that killed you (not the replay) are two different things.

    2. I like both games and what does it matter if they copy things from cod they are just trying to balance out there online, im sure somewhere down the line cod will be adding vehicles and destruction to buildings. Then people could say there copying bf.

  2. I welcome this feature, and no death penalties on non-hardcore mode. 6 seconds between deaths is the shortest we can get, huh, BF?

    1. You can go on a media blackout, but this way you won’t visit MP1st :(, so I’d say push through this faze. You’ll be fine. MP1st will get you only interesting news.

  3. I think ‘Killcams’ are only really useful when a player is suceptible to ‘Campers’ or snipers in which their location can be hidden but a more difficult game mode (‘Hardcore’ mode on the newer CoD games for example) could easily just take away all aids like Killcams and maps so that more hardcore gamers can still get their realistic, tactical feel.

  4. I would like it if it went back to how Bad Company 2 had the “show the enemy that killed you”. It made it fun in some ways to figure out where he’s at, and actually helped me to learn maps fast, because if I saw a paticular object wall or building that my enemy was standing when he killed me, I can trace back to the spot, and I felt it added a more tactical feel, especially if I get revived, I could get revenge, depedning how far he has gone from the death. I think a killcam is good for Call of Duty in where it can show you who camps, sucks using only explosives, and the cheaters who hack or whatever else in the game, but Battlefield doesnt have many of those problems at all, so it doesnt seem completely neccesary for Battlefield 3.

  5. I welcome this feature tbh. It’s a great way to see where you went wrong and learn from your mistakes. and like someone said, if there’s any bugs present, this will surely shed light on a lot of them. It might be borrowing the idea from CoD. But if developers didn’t do this sort of thing, where would games be today?

    1. I agree, “copying” features doesn’t mean you make your game exactly like the other. Combining a bunch of different features from different games can make an awesome game. Rage is a good example of this, so is Batman: Arkham Asylum, and even Brink (Mirrors Edge, Battlefield, Team Fortress, and Call of Duty all combined).

  6. They should keep it the same as Bad Company 2. That system is perfect. It gives you just enough information to ensure that you still need to engage your brain and figure out where people are.

    I played the BF3 Alpha and a lot of people were complaining in the Alpha forum about being killed by people over and over again and not having a clue where they were. There was a lot of camping.

    A COD style kill cam is useless in terms of promoting tactical thinking and it also serves to enrage people when they see that they were killed in some sort of glitchy/laggy manner. More often than not developers are quick to insist that kill cams dont truly reflect actual in game events… which begs the question, whats the point.

    Also with such large maps you need some way to work out roughly where people are otherwise you just end up wandering around aimlessly.

  7. There is a correction, “killcams” were actually from the original Call of Duty, NOT COD4. Back then it was VERY welcomed, and why? Because it allows you to easily see if the person was cheating or not. I think it’s a very nice feature to have in BF3, and I WISH that MORE first-person shooters would use the idea. Just because emulating a feature in a game doesn’t make it “copying.” If only one franchise ever used certain features, games would never grow and combine these features to make even better games.

  8. It’s true that killcams were in CoD earlier… however “it was an idea that became extremely popular during the release of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare…” So, since CoD 4 was the first game to really blow up in terms of popularity, so did the idea of the killcam. Before then, it may not have been such a well-known idea to developers.

    I do agree that it is a great way to make sure that the fight was indeed fair. There’s nothing more frustrating thatn being shot and killed while you THINK you are behind cover… only to see that your enemy had a clear sight of you the entire time when watching the killcam! And I suppose on PC it could detect aim bots.

  9. Are you kidding me? Who write this some guy in activision? Seriously… your fanboyism must have forgot Halo did this a year before Call Of Rehash ever thought about it. Do your homework, and don’t hate on a game (Battlefield 3) that you wouldn’t even consider buying because you have Call Of Duty cramed in your cheeks!

    1. Dave, thanks for sharing.

      A couple things.

      Are you referring to Halo’s theater mode? If so, it is not quite the same as the type of in-game killcam found in CoD4, which I stated if you read correctly, had become popular through CoD4, even though it may not have been the first. I have played Halo 3 and Reach and know of no in-game killcam that is similar to CoD4.

      If you did indeed read this article, then surely you would have seen it written that I preferred the killcam in Bad Company 2, a BATTLEFIELD game, which I am currently playing and enjoy more than any CoD game I have ever played (though CoD is still a game that I have enjoyed for many years and would never speak ill of). I can also not tell you enough how excited I am for Battlefield 3, a game which I pre-ordered as soon as it became available months ago (I have yet to pre-order MW3).

      When writing, I try to state my opinion as un-biased as possible, and try to see the situation in discussion from both sides of the fence. If you feel I have failed to do so, then please let me know in a mature and civilized manner. I truly appreciate the feedback.

  10. Why people hate campers?

    In real War all soldiers go in camper style.

    I dont see any problem with that.
    No kill cams for me.

    1. Um because this is not real war? In real war people don’t run around with snipers. In real war people don’t go for a knife kill in a middle of a warzone. In real war tanks and jets and shit don’t spawn in the middle of the game. Yea, that’s real…

  11. I don’t like kill cams. I’m a sniper when I play, so in games like CoD, any position I chose was quickly exposed given the small scale maps. With BF3 and their giant maps, maybe it won’t be as bad.

  12. Every single Battlefield fan that is saying they are just copying Cod and killcams should not be in the game HAS OBVIOUSLY NOT PLAYED MEDAL OF HONOR.

    In Medal of Honor, I am maxed classes, with a skill level of 5000, and have gotten every medal, ribbon, and trophy in the game but one. With a K/D of about 2.40 and a W/L ratio of 3.6, and that is without barely ever using the gay ass bolt snipers. So I know what the fuck I’m talking about.

    Medal of Honor was set to be a great game. The beta was awesome, and snipers were not overpowered damage wise. However, after the release the game was just ridiculous. Unfortunately, all the maps were made so that it was pretty much impossible to get to snipers on the other side, especially on the Combat Mission game mode, which is like Rush. Barely anyone played the objective, but it didn’t matter because you’re team would get crushed by Cruise Missiles from camping douchebags over and over and over again. And then that one person on the other team that wasn’t a douchebag could take the objective after everyone was wiped out.

    From the start, it was a combination of the design of the maps, no killcam or a pan to the enemy after you died like BC2 or Homefront, way overpowered damage levels of the bolt-action snipers (which is still not patched on 360 but is on PS3 and PC), and finally the killstreaks or scorechains, which would give those douches even a bigger reason to camp, so they couldn’t die yet still easily pick off people on the other side.

    I doubt DICE have made BF3’s maps so that you can not get to the enemy team in anyway, but still if there is no killcam that makes snipers overpowered a lot more than they should be. Even in BC2 if people were camping with snipers we knew where they were, so unless they were smart and moved, we’re gonna spawn close to them and destroy them. That’s why BC2 wasn’t corrupt with bullshit.

    Just because a thing came from Cod doesn’t mean it is bad. The Killcam is one of those very few small things in Cod that was a good idea. I absolutely hate to death Cod, (except for Cod4, that game was the shit), but that doesn’t mean things like killcams are bad ideas.

  13. I think a kill cam is needed in fps or at least a spectate mode as it is much easier to weed out hackers. BFBC2 was extremly difficult do admin since there was no actual way of spectating and proving that a player was hacking, having a COD style kill cam would go along way to proving one way or another that a player is suspicious. Also having the ability to turn the killcam off in your server config means that you have a choice wether to play on a server with the killcam or not, so if you wanna camp and be a skilless player perhaps you should choose a server that will allow you to do this and let everyone who hates being spawncamped enjoy thier game aswell.

    And to all you people complaining that one game is trying to copy another need to get a new tune. Everything these days is a copy of a copy so dont complain that bettlefield is trying to copy cod cause fps games have been around since long before battlefield of cod existed

  14. G’day mate,

    Love your work, love the site and to be honest i have used your articles on another website and given full credit to and yourself. Would just like to say keep up the good work and keep the info coming, im looking forward to seeing what MP1st can bring gamers in the future!

    Cheers, Classiq

Comments are closed.

Top Games and Upcoming Releases