I have not seen gamers talking about Frostbite with the same disdain that they’ve levied at Bethesda’s engine or, more frequently, at Unity. The Bethesda complaints are consistent and focused, given the breadth of their product line: the games look and feel the same, and they break in the same ways. The Unity complaints are more general, given that thousands of games are made by thousands of developers worldwide: games on Unity “feel the same” or “feel crappy”, they have that “Unity look”, and they “don’t run well on my build”. Mealy-mouthed nothing criticisms made by people who can’t better articulate that they don’t want to like Unity games without admitting a bias.
No one is going to make the case for the beauty of Bethesda RPGs. They look junky these days. On the other hand, Unity games can look gorgeous. When gamers think about Unity, though, they don’t think about AAA titles with huge art departments. They think about indie studios making comfy games about hugging frogs or dating pencils or whatever non-gamer shit indie devs are ruining the industry with. To the gamer, indie games look like shit, indie devs use Unity, therefore, Unity looks like shit.
By comparison, Frostbite is at the other end of the spectrum. It’s an engine that sprung forth from the pipeline that produces the Battlefield franchise, one of the most visually spectacular franchises in the industry. It’s used almost exclusively by AAA studios. The games that come out of it, fraught though they are, are uniformly pretty. Gamers don’t notice Frostbite because they think of engines in terms of how they look above all else. If it isn’t ugly or framey or utterly incompetent, then the engine is fine; any other problems must be caused by something else.
EA is also good at plowing through surface-level problems with millions of dollars and dozens of external devs from other studios when studios get stuck on Frostbite problems. This seems to result in a game that runs well and basically does what it’s supposed to, but is mired by the consequences of time and energy wasted trying to make the engine work for years prior. The problems that remain aren’t busted graphics or bad framerates, but long load times and missing content and other shit that devs just couldn’t figure out how to make work properly in a timely fashion. Still caused by the engine, but, to the gamer, not perceivable as such.
To put it extremely bluntly, gamers are fucking dumbasses who are dazzled by spectacle like Romero zombies watching fireworks. That’s literally the only reason Frostbite isn’t mentioned in the same breath as Creation Engine and Unity.