Since the announcement of the next Battlefield game, the internet has exploded with outrage. Whether this outrage is a minority or majority group is hard to determine since the internet always has that loud minority who spews out their anger over anything. Still, no matter how many people there are who are angry, they have made themselves known. There are multiple reasons as to why people are mad over this new entry. The first primary reason is that a woman is on the cover art and the trailer which makes people feel this will be a historically inaccurate representation of World War 2. The other reason is the trailer which looked to over the top with its action. I will discuss my thoughts on both manners, first by the trailer.
Note, I am not trying to dictate how people should view this game or about this current controversy. I want to provide my point of view on the manner. Also, I see a trend of people having a knee-jerk reaction to something such as a woman being in a World War 2 game. I am going to logically look at this with some evidence to assess this situation and formulate an opinion.
The trailer starts off as an action-packed cinematic that transitions into gameplay. All you get is action, a female soldier, a World War 2 confirmation on the setting, and some glimpses as to what changes appear in the gameplay. Nothing about the trailer is impressive, but it is not terrible either. Whether you like the trailer or not is up to you. What needs to be discussed is this is the first look at the game. The purpose was meant to give an announcement to say, “Hey, this is the new game. Look at how beautiful it is and the crazy action you will experience.” When the EA Play event happens June 9-11, we will get a lot more information on the game. We see every developer do this with a trailer then more details at a later date, whether they are showing it at an event like E3 or post about it online when they are ready. We have not seen anything unusual out of this strategy, and there is no real reason to be outraged over the first trailer. Rumors started a while ago that we would go into World War 2 after the successful World War 1 entry that the series made with Battlefield 1. Gamers have a right to be skeptical, not enjoy what they have seen, or love what they have seen so far. What we should do as gamers are to allow EA and DICE to show more of the game before making a definitive opinion on the game before EA Play.
The other major complaint people have is about the female soldier we see in the trailer. People have stated this is historically inaccurate. Yes, female soldiers in World War 2 were not that prominent as male soldiers. However, they were still around and made their impact. The United States had roughly 400,000 women who served in the military. Those were traditional jobs for women, so they did not fight there. Other countries did have women going out into combat.
To take a look at the Russian side of the war, these are some of their strongest females. Some of these women serving had to enlist in the military, while others were more underground in their operations. Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya was a teenager when she had died because of her guerrilla activities, but had managed to do some damage to the Germans. She would set landmines, set fires, and other methods to cut off the Germans. After Zoya’s death, she would receive the title Hero of the Soviet Union, the first of any woman in World War 2. Russia had many well-known sniper women who had high kill counts such as Roza Shanina who had over 50 confirmed kills. Lyudmila Pavlichenko is a common example during the debate about Battlefield V and its historical accuracy. Lyudmila has over 300 confirmed kills and is considered to be one of the greatest snipers ever to live. Then the Soviet Union had Nadezhda Popova, a deadly pilot who took down a lot of German aircraft. She flew over 850 missions in her biplane. Herself and the rest of her squad completed deadly missions at night which granted their team the nickname, “Night Witches.” Just by 19 she had become a pilot and is known to be one of the best.
Throughout Europe, other women were fighting off Nazi Germany. Nancy Wake was living in France with her husband when the war broke out. She becomes a spy, who ruthlessly killed Nazis, even with her bare hands. Besides killing Nazis, she ran messages for the resistance, helped people flee, and also participated in raids. Pearl Cornioley worked as a courier in France to support the resistance and eventually rose to command 3,000 fighters. She and her soldiers had accomplished a lot by killing 1,000 German troops and making 18,000 surrenders. These women had a mighty hand in the resistance and caused significant damage to the Germans.
From deadly spies to snipers, women made quite the impact during World War 2. Of course, they did not do as much damage as the men in combat due to numbers, but there are plenty of excellent examples of said women. To see a woman in an announcement trailer for Battlefield V then call it historically inaccurate right away is too quick of an adverse reaction.
Above everything, this is a video game. Movies, video games, and books take real-life tragedies into entertainment. Drawing the line properly then there is nothing that should be disrespectful to the real event such as a major war. The need to entertain players comes first so there will be some inaccuracies here and there. We might see too many female soldiers, but if that is the most abhorrent historical inaccuracy, then DICE did not do a bad job at making Battlefield V. DICE’s boss Oskar Gabrielson says, “Our commitment as a studio is to do everything we can to create games that are inclusive and diverse. We always set out to push boundaries and deliver unexpected experiences. But above all, our games must be fun!” You can view his whole tweet thread by clicking below:
The Battlefield franchise has been the more realistic route to go for first-person shooters. This holds true especially when looking at mainstream first-person shooters like Call of Duty. People have a preference on the fast-paced combat from Call of Duty or slow pacing that has an emphasis on sandbox gameplay such as Battlefield. This is a franchise that has been about playing the way you want in either a realistic strategic way or running an ATV that is strapped with C4 to blow up a tank. Video games are meant for fun so some historical inaccuracies will have to take place for the game to work for the players. If a game is too realistic or accurate to a historical event, then that will take away from fun gameplay. Developers are the ones who need to have a clear vision for their game to strike the balance they feel necessary for realism and fun.
Image via DICE