Battlefield 1’s single player campaign is said to be massive, spanning several countries and characters. We don’t have a lot of details, but some new information is interesting.
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In Battlefield 1, one of the characters you will play is a woman. While we don’t know her name, we have already seen her.
In an interview with Eurogamer, Lars Gustavsson, creative director at DICE, spoke about the female protagonist, who is revealed to be the Bedouin we saw on horseback in Battlefield 1’s first trailer.
The Bedouin in World War I did play an important role in the desert warfare of the Middle East. Interestingly, different tribes sided with the Ottoman Empire or the British. Around 1,500 Bedouin took part in the Raid on the Suez Canal against the British in 1915, though another Bedouin tribe took Aqaba with T.E. Lawrence in 1917.
This could mean the female Bedouin character in Battlefield 1 will be fighting on the side of the Central Powers, or both.
It wasn’t able to find any record of female Bedouin fighters in World War I, but who is to say it didn’t happen? Women did fight in World War I.
Both Milunka Savic and Flora Sandes fought for Serbia, and even became officers. The Russian Army created special Women’s Battalions. There’s also the potential for espionage – the dancer Mata Hari was convicted and executed as a spy, though her guilt is debatable.
On the inclusion of a female protagonist, Gustavsson says “For us, we wanted to stick to authenticity but also do it in a respectful way and an inclusive way, where we portray the different armies – not always as it was, but to portray the multitude of soldiers that fought within the different armies, showing this war in a modern way as part of what DICE believes and what Battlefield believes.”
At inception, Battlefield 1 allegedly did have playable female characters for multiplayer, but these were left on the drawing board. A decision a former DICE coder says was made because the core audience of men wouldn’t find female soldiers “believable.”
Personally, I’d really like to see Savic or Sandes in Battlefield 1, especially if Serbia is included. If you’re curious about them, The Great War channel has an excellent episode on women in World War I, which you can check out here.
Aside from that, what do you make of DICE’s announcement we’ll be playing as a Bedouin and as a female character in the campaign? Tell us in the comments!