In one segment of Battlefield 3's single-player campaign, the player kills a rat with a knife. Most gamers probably shrugged off the scene but PETA won't forget it so easily. The German branch of the animal rights organization has issued a statement condemning the game.
"The realistic computer game Battlefield 3 treats animals in a sadistic manner," reads a translated version of the statement (via BF3Blog). "The game gives players the option to kill a rat with a combat knife in the back in order to then lift it by its tail, then toss it away."
"Killing virtual animals can have a brutalizing effect on the young male target audience. There have been repeated cases of animal cruelty in Germany, where young people kill animals. Inspiration behind these acts often came from movies and computer games."
In the scene in question, the player - a US Marine - is hiding from a passing army of Iranian soldiers. He crawls along a ditch until a rat crosses his path and starts to nip at him. The character, presumably afraid that the rat's squeaking will alert the nearby soldiers, stabs the animal.
You don't have to kill the rat. If you don't, however, an Iranian troop finds you and shoots you. In your dying breath, you - I shit you not - give the rat the middle finger.
I'm going to guess that the vast majority of comments related to this story are going to be of the "LOL" or "fuck PETA" variety. Still, it's tough for me to give a passionate defense of a pretty silly moment in the game. The little encounter with the rat really didn't add anything to the experience at all.
BF3 was released two weeks back on the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. Find out more about it in our review.