If you saw the reveal of Battlefield V last week, news of its controversy was hard to miss. Not because of anything we saw in regards to gameplay, which probably should’ve been the talking point, but the seemingly widespread anger over the inclusion of female characters in a game which promises to tackle the untold stories of World War 2.
Like a red rag to a bull, it didn’t take long for a few folks to suddenly care about historical authenticity in a series which has seen people instantly healed with a syringe, or able to jump from a plane and land in a tank. Nope, having a female in the game is the hill a few people chose to die on, and DICE has responded to this criticism in kind, reminding fans that “female playable characters are here to stay.”
DICE general manager, Oskar Gabrielson, took to Twitter in an attempt to settle the matter, saying “It's been two days since the reveal of Battlefield V so I wanted to share some thoughts on the reactions so far. It sure seems we created a lot of excitement, and also some questions on a lot of different topics.
“First, let me be clear about one thing. Player choice and female playable characters are here to stay. We want Battlefield V to represent all those who were a part of the greatest drama in human history, and give players choice to choose and customize the characters they play with.
“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!”
The Battlefield sandbox has always been about playing the way you want. Like attempting to fit three players on a galloping horse, with flamethrowers. With BFV you also get the chance to play as who you want. This is #everyonesbattlefield. pic.twitter.com/jZkzSRjIwL— Oskar Gabrielson (@ogabrielson) May 25, 2018
The Battlefield series has consistently been a series about wild, chaotic fun rather than any attempt at genuine authenticity, and complaining about this doesn’t really achieve more than poking holes in Inglorious Basterds’ historical authenticity. Going forward, it sounds as if DICE is going to be leaning even more heavily into playable female characters, potentially as a kickback against the #NotMyBattlefield movement.
Hopefully, once E3 2018 rolls around in a couple of weeks we can move the discussion onto more prescient topics, namely how Battlefield V actually intends to improve the series from a gameplay perspective. The reveal trailer was a little worrying, although it appears to be a far cry from actual gameplay. Fingers crossed that DICE can deliver.