Three days ago marked the launch of the Battlefield 5 Official Trailer, a two-and-a-half minute long montage of CGI cutscenes, epic action sequences, and plenty of gameplay hints. Yet despite having over seven million views, the trailer currently is sitting at a slightly negative like to dislike ratio (That means more dislikes than likes), hinting at very mixed reactions from fans. So what’s the problem? According to the Battlefield fanbase, quite a number of things.
The most frequent complaint is the trailer’s focus on a female character, which indicates the ability to choose one’s sex in gameplay. While some might praise this as an act of inclusion, many Battlefield fans are frustrated by the decision because the game is set in World War 2. They argue that, while there were women fighting in the military in World War 2, they were not placed in combat roles because the public opinion at that time would not allow for that. These fans continue to argue that much of Battlefield’s success comes from the game’s attempt to simulate realism, and this is breaking away from that in a way that they very much dislike. Plus, many fans find it shameful and even scary that Battlefield would distort the historical accuracy of their game based on a real, historical war in order to better fit modern social views. In a comment under the Battlefield V trailer, Youtube user Paul Banks calls the game “Battlefield V: Sjw’s History Revised Edition”.
In rebuttal to this, other fans have responded to the outcry that “Battlefield is no longer realistic” by spreading around clips like this and this. And while it’s true that these clips are rare stunts that will never happen in an average game, the game still allows for things like this to take place, a logic that some have been using to call others out on their sudden displeasure with a lack of historical accuracy.
One of the other complaints comes from the game’s overall art style and aesthetic. The trailer is very bright and colorful from beginning to end. It’s easy to see where these complaints come from, as the trailer does seem quite cheery and saturated for something that’s supposed to be a World War 2 battle, especially a scene at the end where a female soldier with a prosthetic claw arm beats a man over the head with a bat, only to look down at another soldier and casually say, “Hello old friend”. The issue that people take with this aspect is quite similar: This game is set in World War 2, and World War 2 is being conveyed here as something much more hectic and casual, where soldiers jump like action heroes off the roofs of buildings as tanks roll through the buildings and bring the whole thing down, only for the soldiers to get right back up and keep moving (A moment from earlier in the trailer).
In a video by popular Youtube Content Creator TheQuartering titled “WHY PEOPLE HATE THE BATTLEFIELD V TRAILER #NOTMYBATTLEFIELD”, he details some of the reasons community members have problems with many aspects of the trailer, as well as his own take on the issue. He comments on not only the heroic, over-the-top stunts, but also the tremendously chaotic nature of the pseudo-gameplay footage that is shown, as the soldier from whose point of view the trailer is viewed from is seen shooting a pilot out of a moving plane, surviving several explosions, and gunning down multiple opposing soldiers as they advance on him from all sides. TheQuartering views this as an attempt by Dice, the creators of the Battlefield games, to cash in on current gaming trends by copying the bright and hectic style of Fortnite or other similar experiences. He, like many other members of the Battlefield community, has a big problem with these kinds of edits being made to a real and historically significant battle.
But the clips that fans submitted as counterpoints above still apply here. While the Battlefield games all feature realistic-looking models, locations, weapons, and military jargon, almost everyone has allowed for absurd stunts similar to the ones shown in those clips. So is this a case of a company bending to current trends and disrespecting a serious historical event, or is it the case of a few fans taking their favorite video game a bit too seriously.