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Battlefield 5 Doubles Down on the Representation of Women in World War II

And of course there's a backlash.

News by Matt Kim, .

Today EA showed off the first look at Battlefield 5 and we were pleasantly surprised to see that the studio is doubling down on representation. As historically literate individuals, it was great to see EA continue to tell a war story that encompassed the full scope of the meaning "World War." And social media lit up with positive responses to Battlefield 5.

To backtrack just a bit, when Battlefield 1 came out EA put a black soldier on the cover to highlight that it wasn't just white men who fought in these wars. It was true for African American soldiers, it was true for Indian British soldiers. Not to mention the diverse guerrilla fighters who were fighting in various theaters of the war, something the Lawrence of Arabia story chapter highlighted when players played a woman revolutionary during the Arab Revolt.

A Norwegian resistance fighter whose story will be told in Battlefield 5.

Fast forward to Battlefield 5 where the launch trailer highlights women on the battlefield once again. EA teased a story chapter in Norway where a Norwegian resistance fighter fights for her family, while the reveal trailer showed several woman combatants fighting alongside men during World War 2. This was a great opportunity to share real-life war stories of women fighting in World War 2 on social media.

As with everything these days, the backlash was immediate. During the Battlefield 5 livestream event, the comments would react with "womaaaan" when the main title image for Battlefield 5. The game's subreddit has also been hit with threads discussing the historical accuracy of women's portrayal in the game's trailer. Particularly the British amputee featured in the main trailer.

In the meantime, I picked up Svetlana Alexievich's The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II which I've been meaning to read for some time.

For more on Battlefield 5 we recently got a chance to check out the game during a preview event in London. You can find our Battlefield 5 impressions here. You can also check out our full Battlefield 5 coverage with all the latest trailers, game details, and release date information you need all in one place.

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Comments 12

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  • Avatar for lanmao #1 lanmao 5 months ago
    The only controversy here is that this still isn't Bad Company 3!
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  • Avatar for donkeyintheforest #2 donkeyintheforest 5 months ago
    I think including more people of all types is great. Telling exceptional stories is more interesting than repeating the same stuff.

    I hope this game has tanks that can be controlled by a single player. Battlefield 1 tanks were pretty rough in my opinion; I enjoyed 1942 (especially secret weapons of wwII expansion) and 1943 much more!
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  • Avatar for themblan #3 themblan 5 months ago
    That’s really cool. I had no interest in this game until this article. I wonder if we will be able to be a female in multiplayer as well.
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  • Avatar for NiceGuyNeon #4 NiceGuyNeon 5 months ago
    My only problem with this game based on the trailer is that looks a little too stylized to be played as a WW2 game if it doesn't inject some of that Wolfenstein flair to the campaign.

    But I'm sure I'm overthinking it and the game will be fine.
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  • Avatar for VotesForCows #5 VotesForCows 5 months ago
    That book you're reading sounds brilliant. At the lighter end of the scale, there was an interesting documentary on BBC the other night about what the lady royals were doing here Britain in WW2. Not a huge amount, as it turns out.
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  • Avatar for riderkicker #6 riderkicker 5 months ago
  • Avatar for pdubb #7 pdubb 5 months ago
    @stuartatkins98 Well there have been easily over 100 WW2 games and I can't think of a single one that has been about Lyudmila Pavlichenko or her exploits so this easily falls within that 1% you seem so concerned about.

    "But, but, but I said front lines!!!! And she was a sniper with 305 kills. That doesn't count!!"

    Callate la Boca.
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  • Avatar for WiIIyTheAntelope #8 WiIIyTheAntelope 5 months ago
    Let's just hope DICE does the right thing and makes the Nazi side just as diverse. It would be a shame if someone didn't get their proper representation.
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  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #9 Kuni-Nino 5 months ago
    This is the stupidest backlash I’ve seen this week. Hopefully next week’s is more entertaining.

    /s
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  • Avatar for AstroDemon #10 AstroDemon 5 months ago
    I really enjoyed the stories of WWI in the last game, and I thought the mission with the female protagonist to be one of the best ones in the game. There is a lot of potential for some interesting stories in BF5.
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  • Avatar for docexe #11 docexe 5 months ago
    @WiIIyTheAntelope I think they have already confirmed that you can play as a female soldier in the multiplayer modes for both the Allies and the Axis powers.

    Strictly speaking is not historically accurate: Women did served in the armies of both the Allies and the Axis during WWII, but in auxiliary and administrative roles, not as frontline combatants. Female combatants did existed, but in small numbers and primarily as part of the resistance guerrilla fighters in the territories occupied by the Axis (so that part of the campaign is accurate, I suppose).

    Then again, it’s the multiplayer side of the game, the one that exists for the sake of fun, so, I don’t get people getting up in arms about it. From what I understand, it’s not even the first time that they take “artistic licenses” for the sake of the multiplayer. I remember someone mentioning, for example, that some of the weaponry in Battlefield I wasn’t accurate to the historical period.
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  • Avatar for Tashathomas #12 Tashathomas 5 months ago
    It is the first time I am hearing about Chicago Beers. How is that made? Is it available everywhere? It will be better if you share some more details regarding the topic and also its availability so that all are aware of it. cheap cable
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