Let's Check The Battlefield 1 Trailer For Historical Accuracy

With the recently-announced Battlefield 1 sparking renewed interest in its WWI setting, historians are poring over the launch trailer to see how closely it sticks the details. The Great War's Indy Neidell takes us through the good, the bad and the... OK then.

I attempted to go through the trailer myself and look for any glaring inaccuracies, but the best I could come up with is that World War I ran from 1914 to 1918, nearly 90 years before The White Stripes recorded "Seven Nation Army". I'd best leave the details to Indy.

Neidell concludes that the Battlefield 1 is making a valiant attempt to stick with equipment, vehicles and tactics from the era, but there are several inconsistencies and one or two bits that feel like outright errors but might just be artistic licence or something. Like this guy right here:

Armour was used in World War 1, but it wasn't quite this fancy. That helmet, given materials available at the time, would have been neck-straining-ly heavy.

We've got trench fighters wearing full gear, something they'd leave behind in the trench before venturing forth. The trailer goes a little heavy on the Red Baron imagery, putting Red planes where they probably wouldn't have been. Several of the soldiers seen in the trailer are wearing the outfit of one army but carrying the weapons of the other, though grabbing fallen enemy equipment was certainly a thing that happened back then.

I think the trailer strikes a lovely balance between accuracy and fantasy, to the point that I've been watching The Great War videos all morning long, excited to experience the conflict from a new angle later this year.


    I was always under the impression this was an interpretation or alternate version of WW1. Pure WW1 wouldn't be as exciting, I don't think.

      To be sure. They have to take some creative license to make it a fun game.
      But they do seem to be making a lot of effort with the realism of the setting and equipment and everything which is great. I always appreciate that kinda thing.

      Going "over the top" respawn after respawn would be a major ticket drain...

        I can just imagine players saying "I got it this time for sure"

        And Bastion in Overwatch proves that players will cheerfully throw themselves into a pointless meatgrinder with no hope of success so that they can join their dead team-mates.

        I mean, they'll bitch about it afterwards, but they won't stop fucking doing it.

    Yeh that was great. I'm so keen for this.
    Hope it has a good campaign.

    Really looking forward to this. But I know there will be nothing about Australians or kiwi's and that's a massive blow for me, considering the USA didn't enter until the war 1917. But hey we can always dream.

      And british obviously. But you Americans get every other game ever, can't we have one? :-P

    For the most part it seems accurate, I can understand the different sides carrying the enemies guns because there is no side only weapons in BF, you can have whatever weapon you want. Same for grenade packs. There will always be things that aren't entirely accurate, but nitpicking colours and patches is going to extremes. I don't know how anyone can say WW1 will be boring in game if it was accurate, as mentioned in the video it wasn't all trench warfare.

    The armour is clearly the Bashford Dean panoply, although the helmet doesn't seem to follow any of Dean's designs.

    Thanks for the video, it was very interesting to watch. For the record the British aircraft was the Bristol F2b fighter, know as the Biff among its crews.

    Firstly the action sequence of the Fokker Dr.I (Red Baron) pursuing its enemy through the canyon and then exploding from receiving machine gun fire is not accurate. Bullets will not make it explode, at worst it will cause a fire from penetrating a fuel line and then the fuel leaking out onto the hot engine exhaust.

    Secondly the sequence of the British bi-plane crashing into and then completely demolishing the stone windmill is not accurate. Bi-planes of the day were very fragile, made out of light weight wood and skinned with fabric. The plane would have completely disintegrated upon impact with the windmill and at worst would have deformed the windmill and maybe displaced a bunch of stones but not demolish it.

    The trailer has great visuals but the physics is questionable.

    The speed of these triplanes, tri fighters or tie fighters or whatever is completely bonkers too.

      Completely agree. Also the speed of the tanks depicted in the trailer are too fast. The tanks of WWI could barley reach walking speed and that was on a perfectly flat terrain that wasn't churned up by artillery shells and rain. I guess the devs need to compromise on some accuracy for fun gameplay.

      But I think I will stick to Verdun for my WW1 action.

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