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    Battlefield 1

    Game » consists of 7 releases. Released Oct 21, 2016

    The long-running Battlefield series goes even further back in time in the 15th installment, this time to the first World War.

    How do we all feel about that lack of historical accuracy?

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    mrfizzy

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    Hey All,

    I should preface this by saying that I have a history degree and in getting that degree I specialised in the First World War and I also teach high school history which includes the history of the First World War so it is fair to say that my perspective is not the norm on this matter.

    More and more gameplay footage of this game is getting out there now and as I watch it I can't help but feel that it is sort of messed up that they have twisted the war to the extent that they have. Almost every weapon is semi or full auto, Zepplins rain fire down from the skies, tanks zoom around the map like they would on a modern battlefield. It feels like all they have done is put a WWI skin over the top of a modern shooter.

    I know that I'm going to get shut down with "well bolt-action rifles are boring" and I don't necessarily disagree with that but if that is the case why not just give it an alternate history timeline or something? "Oh this is WWI but it never ended in 1918 and now its 1925 and the war is still going but technology has advanced". Boom, done. Problem solved.

    A few bombcasts ago Brad mentioned that this war is maybe not thought of in the same terms in Europe as it is in the US due to the insane loss of life that European nations suffered in the war compared to the Americans who only came in 1917. Is this something that seems correct to the Americans reading this? I'm not sure how much this time period is taught in your schools but here in Australia we learn it A LOT in school due to our role in it. If you're not aware of the loss of life, to give you some context, the British lost 60,000 men on the first DAY of the battle of the Somme. I've been to the western front and seen the cemeteries from both sides (Commonwealth, French, American and German) and I can't help but get a not very nice feeling about this game.

    Does anyone else feel this way?

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    Painkiller80

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    If the game is fun I could not care less. I am playing a video game for fun not to learn, if I wanted to learn some thing I would read a book.

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    SpaceInsomniac

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    #3  Edited By SpaceInsomniac

    I feel stuck halfway between "who cares about historical accuracy" and "what's even the point of having the game in WWI then?"

    I'm having flashbacks to when I was excited about Battlefield: Hardline, and then I played the beta where a game about cops and robbers featured tanks and freaking attack helicopters. There's was a chance to do something actually different, and they didn't do it.

    In comparison, the last three Call of Duty games--including this latest one--look positively original. That would include boost jumping, hero shooter elements, and seamless transitions into space battles. Not that any of that is all that original--well, perhaps that last one--but it's sure a larger change of pace for the series than Battlefield seems to be pushing for.

    And THEN, with the one place where I actually wanted a re-skinned Battlefield game--Star Wars: Battlefront--instead we got a bare-bones shooter with almost no content, no four player parties, and an extremely limited amount of weapons and gear.

    But with all that said, Battlefield 1 still looks like a fun game, though. Perhaps it's for the best that Dice doesn't go screwing with things too much. Those changes to COD have upset a rather vocal element of the COD community, and it's hard to judge how large a group that really is.

    I'm personally looking forward to Titanfall 2 more than either of the others this year, but to each their own.

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    mems1224

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    A) it's a video game. Being fun to play should come before historical accuracy

    B) it's battlefield. Idk who expected this to be remotely historically accurate.

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    Humanity

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    #5  Edited By Humanity

    It does kind of suck that they chose a time period and then decided to do the bare minimum in order to cover it. Horrors of war completely aside there were plenty of WW1 elements they could have pulled from that weren't as arcadey and their depiction of them could have been more toned down. The original Battlefield 1942 actually portrayed that time period fairly well while still being a fun videogame to play.

    That said a lot of time has passed since 1942 and Battlefield has become a huge franchise now. It has to be a videogame that millions of non-history buffs are going to be able to pick up, play, and just have fun shooting whoever is on the other side of those crosshairs. Subtlety has been thrown out the window with the bathwater in favor of spectacle several games ago. Anyone that thought this was going to turn out any other way was a little too hopeful to put it nicely.

    As to how I feel about it? Not surprised in the slightest.

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    hans_maulwurf

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    #6  Edited By hans_maulwurf

    I don't care about that and I don't get why there is so much outrage about this war in particular being "misrepresented". It was mostly a war fought by soldiers against other soldiers (peoples armies to be fair, but still), the civilians that died mostly didn't do so as a direct result of the war, but because of famines and flu epidemics etc. related to it (and a lot of that was actually after the war).

    I mean maybe its because I'm german, I honestly don't know what the perception of this war is like in the UK or France (after all the war wasn't fought on german territory and all the devastation in the west hit France, so I don't wanna judge anyone), but I think taking liberties in the portrayal of WW1 is way less problematic than in WW2, where just so much more bad shit happened.

    All that said, I still don't like the direction of that game, it really does look like a reskin of previous bf games, which leads to the weird situation that I'm actually more interested in the new cod, even though I hugely prefer historical settings to scifi.

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    ThePanzini

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    #7  Edited By ThePanzini

    There is alot of historical accuracy in BF1 I'm not saying it's 100% but the guns & vehicle behave very different compared to past Battlefields. We've seen mainly MP which is an amalgamation of the 4 years war, the single player campaign should represent the war much better.

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    paulmako

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    I guess the question is, is it better to have a big AAA game set during the first world war that has inaccuracies to not having the game at all? I think it is.

    That time period is overlooked in games and hopefully this will get more people interested to look at it further. I'm sure there will be plenty of articles and YouTube videos about anachronisms and things there through a poetic license.

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    MeierTheRed

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    #9  Edited By MeierTheRed

    Personally i really don't see why they even bothered making a WW1 skin for Battlefield if they aren't even going to stick with at least a bit of historical accuracy. Or at least change things up dramatically which doesn't seem to be the case in terms of this game.

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    ivdamke

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    #10  Edited By ivdamke

    I find it fucking bizarre that people actually expected a serious reflection of WWI from a Battlefield game. I feel like it's coming from people who weren't big BF players to begin with and they were hoping that this would change it to be more in-line with their tastes.

    All I can say is the gameplay I saw looked very smooth compared to previous Battlefields, the entire pace of online matches will be drastically affected by the vehicles and weapons of that era. So in the end it looks like an iteration on the Battlefield formula with a fresh injection of a new setting and a bunch of mechanical changes (most of which are direct responses to a lot of criticisms I had for BF3 and 4.) That's exactly what I wanted.

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    thomasnash

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    @paulmako said:

    I guess the question is, is it better to have a big AAA game set during the first world war that has inaccuracies to not having the game at all? I think it is.

    That time period is overlooked in games and hopefully this will get more people interested to look at it further. I'm sure there will be plenty of articles and YouTube videos about anachronisms and things there through a poetic license.

    Isn't the whole point that the time period is still being overlooked, because what they've shown bears only the most superficial resemblance to the reality?

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    Rejizzle

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    To be honest I was really hoping for them to lean into The Great War setting more than they have. Guns jamming, melee combat, bolt action rifles, trench warfare, and whatnot. I guess I was kinda hoping for the Far Cry 2 of military shooters as it were. Maybe we'll get some of that in the campaign, but from the trailers and multiplayer stuff I've seen I'm coming away rather disappointed. It very much seems like the modern warfare (concept, not the franchise) take on World War One, which, all told, is probably more fun to play than what I had in mind.

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    OurSin_360

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    Well it's a competitive mulitplayer focused shooter, maybe they will do some sort of revisionist version of history for the game? I wouldn't doubt it was a comprimise they had to make some where along the line either within the development team or with the publisher as to whether they want to really make an accurate WW1 game or make another battlefield game. Also maybe the single player will be more accurate? Then again it has a "tank" class so i wouldn't expect too much realism from this game.

    And most people here(America) probably barely know what happened in WW2 let alone WW1 as our education is fucking horrid in a lot of places.

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    paulmako

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    @thomasnash: I meant overlooked to mean 'not featured at all'.

    Superficial or not, the game is firmly set during the first world war. And having a big budget first world war game with historical inaccuracies is still going to generate more interest in learning about that conflict than the game not existing at all.

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    Shindig

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    At best, it might see a few kids read up on the actual conflict.

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    MudKatt

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    #17  Edited By MudKatt

    Not accurate when some people say Americans don't learn much about the world wars or that our education sucks. It's just very different depending where you are I guess, because we learned extensively about both world wars. I remember that we even had stuff brought into the classroom that was supposed to be from the war, like trench knives and things like that.

    Anyway, historical accuracy would be nice, but I think most people would probably not appreciate it as much as those of us interested by history. Maybe one day, but as it is I'll play BF1 and just have a some fun with it.

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    viking_funeral

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    Gladiator wasn't historically accurate. Neither was Braveheart. Both won Oscars for best picture.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that audiances don't necessarily care for historical accuracy, and even if it was given to them, they may not necessarily believe it. At least Battlefield isn't trying to pass itself as historically accurate. And I say that as a history buff.

    (Apologies for spelling mistakes - mobile on public toilet.)

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    hunter456285

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    @mrfizzy: I funnily enough am a fellow Aussie with a history degree and am a highschool HASS teacher and have been having the exact same feelings you are about the game.

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    turboman

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    #20 turboman  Staff

    It certainly makes the game way less interesting to me and categorizes it as "just another shooter"

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    ALavaPenguin

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    To me it feels more like a reskin of battlefield than a WW1 game. I think when they showed how the airship was basically the unstoppable killing machine that changes the course of the battle I kinda checked out.

    IF it is a fun game fine, but it is highly unrepresentative of the war. I think alternate history would have been fine, because it basically isn't a WW1 game from that demo anyway. Even if they don't call it that, it pretty much is alternate history already. I am not offended by it or anything though.

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    UlquioKani

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    The problem isn't the lack of historical accuracy for me, it's that the setting hasn't been used to change the Battlefield formula, at least from what we've seen. A little more historical accuracy might have aided in making the gameplay different from the previous games but this just looks like another reskin, much like Hardline. It just looks boring.

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    Brackstone

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    As others have said, the problem is that the went for the most shallow, cursory representation of the war possible. If you look at individual visual elements, it's accurate. Those are the right guns, tanks, planes and so on. But in practice, it really just looks like a reskin of a modern Battlefield game.

    Honestly, the one that bugs me is that outside of the sniper rifle, it seems like every gun I've seen gameplay of has been a machine gun of some time. Like, they had a chance to change up the gameplay, to make bolt action rifles the main type of gun, make melee combat more prominent by nature of the slower reload and rate of fire. It's weird that when WW2 games were big, people were fine with bolt action rifles and semi-autos, whereas now it seems like videogame companies are afraid to have a shooter that doesn't have assault rifles in it.

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    Zevvion

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    A little. Moreso because their reasoning was probably something like: 'we need automatic rifles though, otherwise it isn't fun'. I disagree with that. Bolt action rifles are awesome in most videogames. As long as it's not a musket, you can completely build a game where the majority of weapons are bolt action. They are almost always more precise, efficient weapons. Which means they usually win gunfights in the hands of a skilled player.

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    xhaktmtjdnf

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    #25  Edited By xhaktmtjdnf

    I saw a little bit with the blimps and yeah they went with make it fun first and historically accurate a distant second. I don't know if you can make a battlefield game that plays like a battlefield game and have it set in WWI if it's accurate to history. Stay in a trench and die of gas, shelling or run and get cut down by a machine gun.

    I think you're right in that WWI doesn't get the emphasize in America that it does in other countries. However, I don't remember it being ignored entirely either. It's an interesting and important conflict that probably like a lot of things doesn't get the attention it warrants.

    All war games are on some level not very respectful of the horror of war as the get used as set pieces for teenagers to scream obscenities over a microphone.

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    Dragon_Puncher

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    As a History major specializing in the use and misuse of history in the media (though primarily film and television), let me say that the case of Battlefield 1 is certainly interesting. They are taking many creative licenses that's for sure and are basically are creating a spiced up version of WW1 with a much more dynamic battlefield.

    That being said, it really doesn't bother me. I never expected EA to completely change the gameplay of one of their flagship titles to accommodate for how differently WW1 was fought and they have been honest from the start about not going for a realistic portrayal of the War. In my opinion the titles selling themselves as an historically accurate portrayal, while at the same time taking huge liberties with the source material without informing the audience, is a much bigger problem, since these are the titles that really form the broad historical interpretation.

    So while it would be cool to have a high budget realistic WW1 game, I'm not going to fault EA for not making that.

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    MankMachinery

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    Historical accuracy is why people don't make shooters that take place in WWI, it usually just doesn't fit. But it's an interesting era that most people don't know that much about and DICE wanted to give it a shot. They have to take some liberties in order to do so, I can't fault them for it. I just hope the maps aren't all on the western front and I hope each map is set in different periods of the war with the appropriate technologies. WWI had an enormous number of technological innovations throughout and I hope they address that.

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    CouldbeRolf

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    The thing that bothers me is the fact that they were advertising the Harlem Hellfighters and then went on to not include france as a faction in the game, ignoring the fact that the only way the Hellfighters were able to take part in the war at all was by fighing the french army since American soldiers refused to fight along side them. Even ignoring that: how the fuck do you make a WW1 and not include France? Or Russia...

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    Hunkulese

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    #29  Edited By Hunkulese

    It's just as accurate as any of the other Battlefield games. Modern war is nothing like a battlefield game, neither was WWII. These games are trying to sell to sell millions of copies through craziness. They're not history lessons. However, it would be pretty neat if the Christmas truce made it into the game.

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    musclerider

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    The thing that bothers me is the fact that they were advertising the Harlem Hellfighters and then went on to not include france as a faction in the game, ignoring the fact that the only way the Hellfighters were able to take part in the war at all was by fighing the french army since American soldiers refused to fight along side them. Even ignoring that: how the fuck do you make a WW1 and not include France? Or Russia...

    They're not included as multiplayer factions. I bet if the campaign is about the Hellfighters there will be French there.

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    Deranged

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    Maybe they should've stuck with WW2.

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    deactivated-5f90eabee6bba

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    I was a Liberal Studies major with a concentration in History (basically I took a lot of history classes but didn't get a minor). I can't play a Total War game without a historically pedantic mod in it first. That being said, I don't really care too much about the historicity of this Battlefield game. This time period isn't my cup of tea, I don't know much about it, so I can't judge it if it's wrong. Now on the other hand, Ryse bothers the hell out of me for being so illogical and unhistorical in its treatment of some things. Same goes for vanilla Rome 2 Total War. God of War gets a pass because it's fantasy but I THINK like all the Greek mythology stuff was supposed to happen in Mycenaean times, not in Classical Greek times, so that's a big issue. Anyway...

    If you love history, I think unhistorical games comes down to "not in my backyard" of your field of expertise. The more I learn about history, the more it ruins historical video games.

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    mandude

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    I've played tonnes of war shooters. I'm tired of them.

    The only draw this game had for me was WW1: an extremely important, yet woefully underrepresented time period. If it's not going to capture the spirit of World War 1 in historical detail or in gameplay, then I'm not terribly interested at all.

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    BabyChooChoo

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    #34  Edited By BabyChooChoo

    I don't expect complete or even close historical accuracy, but it just seems so familiar to prevous games that it's hard to think of it as anything other than a simple reskin. BF1 seems to be doing exactly what everyone was afraid a new God of War or Resident Evil would do: taking the same, tired formula and sticking it in a new location. Honestly, it just seems like it's banking entirely on the novelty of WW1.

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    ZolRoyce

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    The only time I let something that is historically inaccurate bug me is when whatever is portraying it is going "Look at how accurate this all is! It's so accurate! The most accuratist thing that's even been accuratistated." And they get it all wrong.
    Otherwise I'm fine, fiction is fiction.
    Sometimes having something be an outlandish depiction of an historical event/era is cool because if it's done well it can get you interested in looking up the real thing.
    300 is nuts, inaccurate, obviously, but gave enough of the over plot of 'few held off many' that afterwards I was intrigued and looked up the actual events.

    So as far as I'm concerned this game can be pure lunacy wrapped in a WW1 sheen, and if it's entertaining enough it might make people like me go "Huh, so now what was it really like? What was similar? What was a complete fib?"
    So be crazy, be fun, be outlandish, be good, and maybe it will inspire learning. And other people can pick up the mantel of fiction meets history lesson if they want too.

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    Nime

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    Ideally it should still be fundamentally identifiable as WW1. Beyond that though, I don't really care. Embellishment for the sake of better gameplay is fine by me.

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    CouldbeRolf

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    @musclerider: I sure hope so. It's still crazy they're not a faction in pvp though. Unless I'm mistaken there's battles in the game taking place in France even.

    Besides that I'll echo the sentiment that it seems like they're playing it very safe

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    Giantstalker

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    This game already seems to be way more accurate than 1942 or Vietnam ever was, if only because the guns/kit/vehicles/tools will act closer to how they really did at the time

    Seems like a step up for the series but not enough for a lot of casual onlookers, which is fine - Verdun is over here, and it needs attention too

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    Crysack

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    @mrfizzy said:

    I know that I'm going to get shut down with "well bolt-action rifles are boring" and I don't necessarily disagree with that but if that is the case why not just give it an alternate history timeline or something? "Oh this is WWI but it never ended in 1918 and now its 1925 and the war is still going but technology has advanced". Boom, done. Problem solved.

    As another Australian, I sort of understand where you're coming from. Nobody would deny that WW1 has a particular resonance for us. Even so, I'm not sure I quite understand why BF1, of all games, is raising so much ire in the historical accuracy department. Nobody should have ever expected anything beyond another battlefield game with a WW1 skin, which is precisely what they're delivering.

    Further, as someone who holds a DPhil in Classics, I might raise the same objections about the likes of Ryse or TW: Rome 2. Nonetheless, doing so would be equally as silly as objecting to Gladiator, I, Claudius or Caligula. They're simply more forms of popular media subject to even more stringent restrictions contingent upon pre-existing and well-liked gameplay formulas.

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    whitegreyblack

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    I'm hoping BF1 is successful and it causes other developers & publishers to gain traction with the WWI setting for something more accurate for those who want that. In the mean time, I really do enjoy goofy dumb popcorn shooters.

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    ajamafalous

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    Personally i really don't see why they even bothered making a WW1 skin for Battlefield if they aren't even going to stick with at least a bit of historical accuracy. Or at least change things up dramatically which doesn't seem to be the case in terms of this game.

    Basically how I feel.

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    JesusHammer

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    #42  Edited By JesusHammer

    Battlefield has never been historically accurate, but man the French being sold as DLC seems kind of insulting. Also I can't stand watching the bi-planes doing a ton of flips and rolls. It's a good thing I don't think the game looks that great because I'm kind of done with newer Battlefield games.

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    ArtisanBreads

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    #43  Edited By ArtisanBreads

    I think it's silly people are so worked up by this. I'm a big history fan too. Codename Eagle was an old game they made in the same time period and it had a helicopter in it. The WWII games are not so accurate either.

    In the end this is more fun. And we run up to guys on the ground and bring them back from death. It's never been realistic in so many ways. I think the setting alone is interesting and a nice change of pace. No one wants to play a sit in a trench game and no sit in a trench game will have a budget. And it wouldn't be a Battlefield game either.

    Nice to have a shooter be something other than sci-fi as well. There are more historically accurate WWI games out there for people to play if that's what they want.

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    Error52

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    I'd probably think of it more as "anachronistic" than "historically inaccurate" since most of the stuff depicted was around, the timeline is mostly just ignored. It's not necessarily like braveheart where it's mostly bullshit.

    Honestly though, even if it ends up being a battlefield game with a skin over it, that skin is still interesting enough to me that I'll play it anyway.

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    deactivated-61356eb4a76c8

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    I'm a huge history buff but I have to say that this is what I expected from the game so it's hard for me to get too worked up about it.

    This is Battlefield ya know, what can you expect?

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    deactivated-5a46aa62043d1

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    I really couldn't care less and I feel like all the consternation about it is kind of silly.

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    Sergio

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    I've been reading Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, which was what inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda to create a musical about Hamilton. Miranda made some decisions that aren't historically accurate to make a more intriguing musical, while still trying to follow Hamilton's life and career as close as possible. Knowing this, I still find Hamilton the musical to be amazing, and Hamilton the man to be an inspiring, historical figure.

    This is a video game, not a documentary. Their foremost thought is to create an entertaining game to play. When being historically accurate butts up against being fun, the latter will win almost every time. I'm okay with that. I can watch a documentary if I wanted to know more about WWI.

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    Rafaelfc

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    I think not being accurate is a positive in this case.

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    deactivated-582d227526464

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    I actually have a huge problem with it, but more from a gameplay perspective as twisted as that sounds. As far as I know, WWI was basically the most fucked up war ever due to that fact that there were all these brutal advancements in killing lots of people alongside outmoded, and ill-suited ideals of about how wars should be fought (I mean with what I hear about the actual battles, it sounds like people were just marching into gunfire). Now, I know a game can't completely reflect that without totally dis-empowering the player, but after seeing a game like Verdun (that WWI game Drew's played a couple of times), I think you can at least do enough to differentiate it from a typical-ass FPS. I'm not saying it has to be the Dark Souls of FPSes, more like the ODST of Battlefields. Different kind of soldier should warrant a different kind of game, unless they want this to be nothing more than a change in setting. Honestly, I think it'd be refreshing to see non-automatic weapons more prominently featured in an FPS for once.

    tl;dr: If you can't design a WWI game without making so many concessions it becomes a standard FPS, why even bother with the setting?

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    audioBusting

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    I can't say I care either. A game like Battlefield won't exactly educate people who probably should learn these things either way, and people who would want to learn have access to the resources they would need. Sometimes you just need this kind of entertainment just to open up the topic, at least.

    What I'm mostly concerned about it is the political biases, that to be fair most other historical shooters also have. Stuff like guns firing too fast doesn't matter so much, but France and Russia not being a part of the setting is kind of weird. It's almost a trend to say that your game is apolitical now, but it's not something that simply comes true by just saying it out loud.

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