Gamers wondering if the Battlefield 1 trailer is actually historically accurate can now take a look at this in-depth analysis from a popular WW1 channel.
The Battlefield 1 trailer has accumulated over a million likes since it launched just over a week ago, marking a clear indication that gamers around the world are ready for a return to historical shooters as opposed to futuristic sci-fi scenarios. It looks like DICE will be providing gamers with plenty of diverse gameplay options given the venerable melting pot of combat technologies shown in the trailer, which begs the question: is Battlefield 1 even historically accurate?
One of the most popular history channels covering the conflict, simply titled ‘The Great War’, has now answered that question in the form of a fifteen minute long analysis video which takes a look at each quick cut of the trailer to see if the combat, uniforms, and scenarios are historically accurate. Hosted by historian Indy Neidell, the channel is an ongoing four-year-long project aimed at covering the war on a week-by-week basis as it happened, which sometimes does special episodes to cover question-raising events like the Battlefield 1 trailer.
Here’s the analysis itself, which doesn’t shy away from going into the details:
In general, the consensus seems to be that while there are plenty of smaller-scale inaccuracies in the way Battlefield 1 portrays combat during the Great War, these changes can be accounted for by making things easier to interpret when it comes to multiplayer action – like medics carrying crutches during trench warfare, for instance. Some larger mistakes in accuracy – like the location of planes among different fronts of warfare, or the inclusion of a heavily-plated infantryman mowing down Italian soldiers with unrecognizable weapons, are likely only to irk more serious historians, with the latter error likely being a result from using pre-release footage.
In either event, Neidell is quick to point out that this is an entertainment product, and that the mix of historically accurate uniforms and soldiers that are wearing customized clothing can likely be accounted for by multiplayer customization options versus singleplayer portions of the game. Some of the items that gamers may have been more skeptical about – like tanks bursting into trenches, heavily armored soldiers, or even the giant zeppelin itself – turn out to be factually correct, and earned DICE some props from Indy Neidell.
He also reveals the reasoning behind the German soldiers engaging in close combat with a grabenspaten, as opposed to the familiar-feeling bayonets which most gamers will be accustomed to. It’s an accurate portrayal, as it turns out, because the German infantrymen believed the bayonet was too easily capable of getting stuck in an opponent’s ribcage, which obviously wouldn’t be a problem with the spade, which was sharp enough to cut through the entire body. Gib-kills, anyone?
Here’s what the historian himself had to say when summarizing whether he thought the trailer brought an accurate representation of The Great War, which seems to be a mixed bag of accuracy.
“We get asked a lot how accurate the trailer is in historical terms, and it’s difficult to say. Some of the scenes feature some unusual or experimental gear, and some weapons are carried by soldiers from the other side. Overall, it is an entertainment product foremost, and you probably won’t get an accurate depiction of the horrors of the war. However, the trailer already shows a lot of aspects that are usually forgotten when talking about this war.”
Gamers interested in learning more about real history behind the setting of Battlefield 1 can do so on Indy’s channel here.
What do you think about the Battlefield 1 trailer, Ranters? Did it catch your interested at all?
Battlefield 1 is scheduled to release on October 21st for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.