Should We Make Videogames About Real Wars?

Adam De Salle
12 min readMay 14, 2021

My articles tend to be focused more on politics and philosophy, and though I have written theatre reviews (not on Medium) and music reviews (on myself and my friend’s podcast That Film You Like), I thought today I’d diversify a bit. I absolutely love video games; when I’m not writing or working, I’m probably playing a game. And yet, I have never written a game review…until today. However, this article is half game review, half ethical debate. I’ve been playing a lot of World War Two games recently, specifically Battlefield V (thanks to Sony, it was a free PS Plus game this month — and I absolutely recommend you download it). Why am I reviewing a game that came out 3 years ago? Because it has made me think a lot about gaming as a medium, as well as historical fiction as a genre.

Let’s begin…at the beginning. When you boot up Battlefield V, you will instantly begin an introduction in the form of the war story ‘My Country Calling’. Though the four other war stories after this are nothing really to write home about (they are heavily focused on stealth, which doesn’t really work for the bombastic, action-packed, cinematic style Battlefield is going for), this introduction blew me away. My Country Calling sees you play 5 minute snippets of various famous battles that occurred during World War Two, with this dramatic narration/monologue from a soldier about what being a good soldier means, how war changes people, and how violence destroys and creates. You jump from being a British soldier in the dark, snowy mountains of Norway, to a German tank operator in North Africa, to a fighter pilot above Provence, all while the phenomenal score, composed by Johan Soderqvist and Patrik Andren (who return to the series having composed the Original Soundtracks for Battlefield 1, the predecessor to Battlefield V) blares in your ears, sweeping orchestral noises and beautiful, dramatic music pair perfectly with the amazing photo-realistic graphics, as you fight off enemy soldiers.

The introduction has no heads up display (HUD), and this, combined with the first person perspective and the terrific sound and visual design, gets you instantly immersed— you do feel like a real soldier

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Adam De Salle

I am a young writer interested in providing the intellectual tools to those in the political trenches so that they may fight their battles well-informed.