A Historical Analysis of the Battlefield 1 Trailer

Gettin' EDUCATIONAL up in here!

Now, I’ve been a big fan of Battlefield since the days of the 64-player, all-out carnage of Battlefield: 1942. I loved Battlefield 3 and 4, and still play Battlefield: Hardline semi-frequently. Now what I like about Battlefield: Hardline, is that it’s an FPS cut from the same cloth as the other Battlefield games and CoD, but based around being a cop as opposed to a soldier on the front, or taking part in secret missions. It was a nice break from the norm.

Now while CoD are sticking to their more futuristic guns, Battlefield have opted for The Great War as their setting. The first major industrial conflict that changed the face of war forever. A war that defined a generation, and still plays a defining role in the countries that took part the most. Speaking as a citizen of the United Kingdom, I can vouch for this. The 100 Year anniversary of the start of hostilities service that I attended in 2014 at the RAF station that I work in my other job away from gaming, serves as a testament to that. The fact that I work for the Royal Air Force, which was born from WW1 in a building that was constructed by German POWs during WW1 also shows me personally that this conflict’s influence is quite literally standing the test of time.

So I was extremely excited when I saw the trailer for Battlefield 1. But I couldn’t help but wonder…how accurate is it? And after doing some digging around, I found a YouTube channel called “The Great War“, which is not a gaming channel by any means. It’s a very good, very reliable (with regards to the information that they present) historical channel, focussed on World War 1. And low and behold, they have had a surge in subscribers since the Battlefield 1 trailer was released – and their reaction to this? A lot of channels would be annoyed that people are jumping on a bandwagon that they have always been on, just because of a pop-culture (potential) fad. Not The Great War, they have responded with open arms, and released a video today which goes into incredible detail over the…incredible detail within the Battlefield 1 trailer, to see how historically accurate it is.

Now do you want me to let you know what they think, well I may, but you should really watch their video first. It is just under 15 minutes long, but it doesn’t feel like it, and it’s supremely interesting.

For those of you who wanted to skip to the end or just want a quick summary, here is what the video narrator, channel host and author, Indy Neidell had to say about the historical accuracy of the trailer:

“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 wont 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. The different theatres, the different vehicles, the different types or airplanes…

“Another interesting aspect is the close combat which is something you always remember when you read All Quiet On The Western Front, so it’s definitely applaudable that the developers took a look at the whole conflict and all it’s aspects. 

“The trailer itself shows a product which is not yet finished, and most of the scenes are only seen for the blink of an eye, so we don’t know for sure how loose or how accurate the whole game will be.

“For example in a few shots you see soldiers who appear to wear customised equipment, while other scenes show accurate uniforms and equipment. Could very well be that this is an indication of different game modes – looks like a lot of fun though, look forward to playing it.”

You know what Mr Neidell. I’m looking forward to playing it too. But what about you RGMers? Did you watch this trailer and think about it’s historical accuracy? Did you not care? Are you happier with the trailer and the thought of this game now you know how historically accurate a lot of it could well be? Tell us what you’re thinking in the comments or in the RGM Forums.