A Battlefield for Everyone, But Rarely at the Same Time


What’s your Battlefield? It’s an odd franchise, after all. Superficially many of these games have always been similar, but small differences in design and emphasis can leave their players intensely divided. As a franchise, Battlefield never inspired much devotion from me, but it’s produced a couple games that I could play forever. Rush mode in Bad Company 2, with its grinding assaults that left the earth scorched in their wake, redefined military shooters for me. Operations in Battlefield 1, which turned into pitched battles across bleak and beautiful First World War wastelands, made me feel the game’s scale in a way I never had before.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/vba7ex/a-battlefield-for-everyone-but-rarely-at-the-same-time


this trend of recreating horrific historical conflicts with the primary objective of Having A Fun Time Shooting People kind of sucks actually

i guarantee you this was not deliberate

it’s the latter pretending to be the former


I had a decent time with BF1, especially the Russian Revolution themed maps, but then you get murdered by recon assholes for the 1000th time and the charm wears off


I’m all for being more conscientious about respectfully portraying war, but I don’t know why this necessarily “sucks”. Do single player war campaigns suck? What about strategy war games in multiplayer or single player settings? What about stuff like Dynasty Warriors, which take a liberal approach to historical war re-enactments? I’m just not sure what BFV does that is so egregious compared to the rest of the industry.


As a German, I am not particularly keen on playing a game in which I get to play as a German WW2 soldier.

That being said, my Battlefield is the one where I can lonewolf a fair bit. I generally like playing as a sniper, something recent instalments of the series have made harder and, at times, less fun. I’ve also come to prefer the modern-themed Battlefield games over the ones thematising historic conflicts.


Gotta agree with Rob, Battlefield is best when it’s at a stalemate. Being part of the action that pushes through the stalemate and wins the match is so satisfying.

I used to love playing the Metro map in BF3. Every match would end up as a clusterfuck of grenades at the maps choke points, two sets of escalators leading up from the platforms. My strategy was to spawn in and just sprint up the stairs. Nine times out of ten I’d be exploded before reaching the top. When I’d make it though the other team would rarely notice and I could cap the point behind them single handed. My whole team could then spawn in behind the choke point and win the match. Felt awesome to to turn the tide of a 64 player match on my own.


The part of Rob’s review (and, more importantly, what he brought up on the podcast) that really sticks out to me is that this game doesn’t seem to know what it wants. I’ve spent a bit of time with it now, and he’s right: the “this is war, this is serious” bits don’t mesh.

It also strikes me as a hard departure from what the team seemed to be promoting in the lead-up to the game: that this was an AU of WWII, almost. That things might start out closer to real events but quickly begin to diverge into weirder, more bombastic territory, reflected by the personalized outfits and cool cosmetics flaunted early by the marketing team. I hope more of that comes as they roll out more of the modes and the game keeps growing, as they seem to be trying to do.

Most of all though (and this is a stretch, but bear with me): it also undercuts, in my opinion, DICE pushing back on shitty fanboys - one of the big reasons I chose to pick this up over many other shooter options this season. When the GGers got up in arms, affronted about the highlighting of women and POC, the smokescreen for their narrowmindedness was “Well that’s not historically accurate”. The response of “then don’t play it, we don’t care” was so…refreshing? @hideokojima, you’re right - accurately recreating nightmare history kind of sucks. going beyond them, using the trappings as a tool to get at something more, might actually end up being cool.