Everyone remembers ‘No Russian’ from Modern Warfare 2 right?  Controversy was always going to follow the game after it was revealed that a scene included walking through an airport killing civilians.  You could of course have simply not pulled the right trigger during the mission, but it was there and it made a lasting impression on the concept of mature gaming.  It transpires that Battlefield 3 has decided to go one step further and essentially insist that you have to kill police officers to complete a mission.  The reason for this is quite simply that “millions of lives are at stake”.

Well, to be fair it’s also not the first time a game has included this disregard for the rule of law – Grand Theft Auto is a master at it, and the next Hitman has a mission based around it – but expect the tabloids to be preparing the headlines already.  However, we are all mature adults and hopefully only mature and psychologically stable adults will actually play the game and realise that that is all it is.

EA has responded to the ESRB rating via Eurogamer, and they obviously feel that the shooting of police officers may be taken a little out of context: “For God’s sake, there is a nuke in Paris! Millions of lives are at stake!!”

As revealed by Eurogamer last week, US ratings board the ESRB has Battlefield 3 down as a ‘Mature’ game.

Notes accompanying its rating detailed a few of the more graphic elements in the game.

“The frequent combat is highlighted by realistic gunfire and large explosions; characters sometimes scream and emit large splashes of blood when shot. Players can also engage in hand-to-hand combat: repeatedly punching enemies in the face; stabbing soldiers to death with knives.

“In one sequence, a restrained character’s throat is slit (off-screen); in another, players shoot police officers to complete a mission objective. The words ‘f***’ and ‘s***’ can be heard frequently in the dialogue.”

The mention of shooting police officers conflicted with comments made by the game’s producer Patrick Back earlier this year.

“If you put the player in front of a choice where they can do good things or bad things, they will do bad things, go dark side – because people think it’s cool to be naughty, they won’t be caught,” he explained.

“We have to build our experiences so we don’t put the player in experiences where they can do bad things.”

In response, EA issued Eurogamer the following statement: “I don’t think you understand the gravity of the situation. For God’s sake, there is a nuke in Paris! Millions of lives are at stake!!”