Gamers are already drawing battle lines over the Battlefield V trailer



The preamble:

When a friend who plays CoD + Battlefield style FPS games every year asked me “What do you think of Battlefield V going back to World War 2?” I said: “eh, I don’t get excited by the idea of buying a Battlefield game every 2 years, and uh this one has like strange women in it, and it all looks a bit odd, I don’t know what to think really, and I’m not excited by/have no need of the mainstream WWII game”. For the record, I have played Red Orchestra/2. To which the person replied “Call of Duty WWII has women in it also”, and I basically said “Ye, but you know I’m not interested in annual Call of Duty releases either”.

So, moral of the story is that the formula of these games is wearing thin, hence it is much more interesting to court sexist controversy than it is to talk about or reinvigorate an ailing or stale annual or bi-annual franchise. I haven’t even got around to buying or playing Battlefield 1 yet.

An analysis of the Art style/Marketing materials that make up the Modern Battlefield franchise, since BF3, to follow…

… which will hopefully answer the question as to why people actually had a problem with the BF5/V trailer & announcement.

… Not to mention all the bugs, glitches and net code issues that have plagued the series since BF3, 4 etc. Did they fix these issues for BF1?


It will be a fun arcade game that appeals to everyone. That’s what AAA needs to be these days. I don’t have a problem with this.


but the attempt to bowdlerise this as accurate representation of the norm by po-faced chatterati has an element of the Emperors New Clothes about it. I don’t think lauding the Soviet women fighters is wrong, but brushing over their minority status removes focus from the realities of what was a male army, and one that committed largest mass rape in history once the Red Army left Russian territory, including any Russian women who were held by the Germans. I don’t think EA/Battlefield devs are even trying to pretend this is historical, nor should anyone else. This is diverse, inclusive, universally appealing AAA fun.

The minority that want “historical accuracy”, for whatever reason need to look away from AAA, they are a minority, not the market.


Indeed! I agree completely. I think the AAA titles have become Cheeto-fudgsicle nonsense. All are welcome to have as many Cheeto-fudgesicles as they please. I fully embrace that I am not the likely target of any AAA mass-marketing attempts.

I’d also add I am not merely seeking some pristine holy grail of historicity either; in addition I prefer a more-deliberate gameplay experience overall, a single campaign mode and a more deliberate, strategic MP mode (not a frenetic kill-fest), as well as the freedom to not be marketed to incessantly in-game. Hence Sniper Elite (again).


The problem with FUN and WORLD WAR 2 is that they don’t seem to do well in the same sentence.

Do we watch a depressing film to have fun? Probably not, since that is not how people would describe the experience.
So why does the climate of modern video games (now about World War 2 again) allow people to so easily argue that mainstream games must abide by SUGAR RUSH FUNTIME!™ above all else?


This was the best response to claims of historical accuracy and realism in Battlefield games:

I mean, I’ve only played a couple, but stupid shenanigans were always the order of the day. Discussing whether it was appropriate given the real world conflicts they are based on seems to be an argument long lost.


There are plenty of fastidiously realistic ww2 games that embrace the tedium of war. I don’t know why they all need to take that tack.


There are one or two FPS that take that tack. Most now are, as @preciousgollum1 says,“SUGAR RUSH FUNTIME”.


The other problem is that we haven’t seen a situation before where video games are mainstream. When big budget AAA etc etc developers stopped tackling World War 2, they weren’t as mainstream or important as they are now.

In this current climate, people are content to write off the same game design as some sort of interesting tour through gamedom or ‘gamer culture’. The best analogy I can come up with is that people are getting excited (or annoyed) about Battlefield being in WWII in the same way that a famous musician announces where they are going to tour next.

RobZacny wrote about how Call of Duty: WWII looks as though it, and by extension the genre/medium, is willing to forget about history, and is therefore content to internalise ‘greatest generation’ myths topped with copying & recycling what are now OLD examples of how the movies portrayed WWII, and sprinkled with video game fun.

If believed, and that Cod: WWII represents the point where, with the dwindling numbers of living primary sources, that history becomes hazy, then Battlefield V/5 etc may end up being the point where WWII history ends up looking like a drug-fueled fever dream.

And… in talking about the new box art, besides it looking like said fever dream, and ignoring the ‘triumph’ of having a women on the cover - nothing about the box art communicates World War 2 in the slightest. People who don’t follow video game news etc wouldn’t know what era it is set in - I’ve tested that theory. Battlefield 1 was bad enough, since it had a character on it that a friend said it looked like the adventures of Count Blackula, and did, at best extremely hazily, communicate World War 1.

Generally speaking, while CoD pertains to act ‘seriously’ about the subject (and arguably too much so) Battlefield marketing screams edgelord underground club vibes, or a fashion show; More ‘Fight Club’ than Battlefield. EA borrowed its dad’s (Activision) movie collection, and then proceeded to edit them with modern music and scenes made to look more COOL!

I remember watching a recent Polish WWII film, which also tried, 3/4ths of the way through, this ‘edgy young people modern flair Call of Duty’, and unfortunately it was the point where that movie (cannot remember what it was called) Jumped.The.Shark.


Concur. As well the “Triumph” and arguements with imaginary (or few and far between) “Troglodyte Man Trolls” seems to be the marketing strategy. Every Kotaku, or Polygon, or IGN…EVERY article about “GamerBros being hopping mad about women in the game” start with an EA exec talking about it, the writer taking it at face value, and then it being a stepping off point for EA to talk about how courageous they are.

So it’s this as the marketing strategy:


And if you call them on that and hold the opinion that the game ahistorical diaper trash (and that BF 1 is no excuse, that was as well), they talk about how empowering they are with this title.

Thus endeth the strategy.


I can’t help but laugh at the notion that serious WW2 fps games don’t get made. Post Scriptum just hit open alpha, Red Orchestra/2 were big games, Darkest Hour, etc. They’re all there.

I think the FPS is a really poor choice of game to do a realistic take, the mechanics don’t mesh. The games are tiresome slogs, and even they are a joke in terms of realism.


I think we agree here.


I’m just sort of baffled, though I should not be, that folks would be worked up about a WWII-themed shooter being an unrealistic theme-park type game. Um, yeah? I admit that marketing people get carried away sometimes–especially in the early days they did–and present these games as “gritty realism” or some such rot, but they’ve always used the historical setting as a good way to have identifiable sides, a lot of gear and weapons, and some context in to which to put the virtual mayhem. That’s about it, really.

I mean, I grew up with boardgame wargaming, where everyone was trying to outdo everyone else in their grognard-ness and ability to deliver withering critiques of this or that game’s lack of realism or accuracy, as if the level of fidelity they were asking for was even possible or desirable. But wargaming did grow directly out of history geekdom, so I could grok that. But FPS games? As noted, this is not the genre to do realism.


Cool. I think i’m more a wargame guy at heart.


Concur. I’m merely aghast/bemused that their new alternative to “gritty realism” is “empowering women”. Really??? In your cotton candy game??? EA/DICE can’t be wonderfully empowering with their game and tell me I should take seriously while simultaneously telling me it’s sugar rush trash and to not take it seriously. Which is it?


[quote=“Panzeh, post:33, topic:135421”]

How long will it be before those games are accused of sexism for now including female playable characters?

Aside from that, (in the mid to late 2000s), even having the option to shoot a woman in a video game would have been considered lewd & inappropriate by most journalistic standards, but now that the floodgates are open, both the media and big publishers now have the power to dictate trends that others will be pressured to conform to, whether those trends are helpful to the indie dev/lower tier publisher or not.

Debates rage on between whether an Avatar should reflect the self, or that a player should be comfortable with inhabiting the virtual shoes of an NPC, and meanwhile Blizzard is doing very well with Overwatch, the bombastic hero-shooter that is a straight compromise down the middle - with customisation!

Other companies are motivated primarily to chase that Overwatch money, so these systems are more reflective of video game hegemony + ubiquity than they are of providing any unique, interesting or relevant experience. Games as a Service.

All things are a waste of money; some more than others.


This is most certainly true, but since when was it a game developer’s duty to give history lessons? Lamenting a game not being historically accurate is like lamenting that the latest Fast & Furious movie could never happen in real life. Of course not! Entertainment is about escaping real life, not re-living it (mostly).

I’m so disappointed in the fact that this is even a topic. Of course all these assholes complaining are focused on realism in gaming, and not searching for new ways to be outraged by any perceived encroachment by people who want to broaden gaming’s appeal beyond themselves. Just like Gamergate was about “ethics in journalism.”

News flash: DICE was never trying to make a realistic war game. I played the first Battlefield, and it was a blast, but I never thought I was getting a history lesson.

Of course these reprobates know this, but hey, here’s an opportunity to cry havok and try to push back the savage hoards who dare try to make games for someone other than hetero white dudes.


Heh. It’s whatever you want it to be, and neither. Cognitive dissonance to mess with the mind, put us all into groups, and turn everybody into fans and anti-fans; keeps the treadmill rolling, but we never cover any ground 😉.


I think the article was more about the idea that Cod: WWII THINKS it has more to say on WWII than it actually does, and that you are indeed getting a history lesson fron simply experiencing the game; albeit an arguably poor and misdirected one, that is loaded with mythology.

It isn’t about dismissing the poor storytelling, but realising that, for the people that don’t exercise the power to dismiss, they have absorbed a history lesson through a warped and foggy lens or kaleidoscope - they don’t have the knowledge to resist the lesson.

Sometimes, games that think they are trying to say something, can be more concerning than those games that have nothing to say at all.


They’ve been quite clear about which it is:


Right! And their marketing saying they are socially relevant and empowering is also bogus. I’ll buy that.