( this article appeared on my website on IGN.com, I was inspired by the same article at GameInformer.)
World War I has never been touched in gaming, ever. It’s a war that nobody wants to do, due to the fact that World War I was mainly fighting in the trenches and mainly just sitting in the trench until you go over the top and do a bayonet charge. But, the history books got it all wrong and the Western Front was mainly fighting in the trenches and fighting street by street. The war wasn’t fought not only in Western Europe, it was fought all over the world and is a war that is mainly forgotten like Vietnam or Korea. World War I has a plethora of stories to tell and plethora of battles to see in a videogame.
Contrary to what we see in the History books, World War I wasn’t just about chemical warfare and sitting in the trench. The war spanned about six continents, the Great War featured alot of technology like dog-fights using the world’s first airplanes, water-cooled machineguns, automatic weaponry, battles using tanks that looked weird in nature, and aggressive combat- plenty of things that DICE could use in the expansion packs to Battlefield 1.
Here are three reasons why World War I works with Battlefield 1.
WWI is unexplored
Two generations ago at the dawn of the ‘2000s, everybody complained about WW2 games and how we got so many WW2 games. Last generation, it was all about modern warfare with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and the next step in warfare which was futuristic. Now, we’re seeing sci-fi based shooters with Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Halo 5: Guardians, Titanfall, and Evolve joining the fray.
World War I takes a stepdown to World War II in modern gaming or entertainment, so with DICE going to World War I, we might get to see history again but of course a dramatization of the War with the gameplay I’ve seen. But with the dramatization may come with a few history lessons about Ypres, Argonne, Somme, and Lawrence of Arabia. When I think of the Great War, like mostly everybody else I think of the battles fought in Europe. But doing further digging, the war was fought in the Pacific, The Middle East ( Lawrence of Arabia.) , China, and the coasts of North and South America. If DICE can implant all of these battles then just the ones that are “Well-Known” like the Argonne, Somme, Ypres then Battlefield 1 could be the premier and the definite World War I game.
Land, Sea, and Air
When you see pictures of the Great War, you mostly see pictures from the trenches and from troops on the ground manning a water-cooled machinegun or a Vickers. While infantry warfare was the main combat, we also see battles in the sea and in the air. Air supremacy and the first use of tank warfare.
Many armies used horses, tanks, and behemoths in warfare but as the war dragged on until the later half of the early 20th century ( 1916-1919.) , technology kept revamping and just kept coming out. By the end of the Great War, technology had progressed so far that jeeps with machineguns, airplanes with machineguns, tanks, the first use of automatic weaponry ( Browning, Mauser, Vickers, Enfields, etc.) , Submarines, and battleships all saw action and were now the norm if there will ever be another World War. These elements work in a Battlefield game.
Weapons fit in Battlefield’s arsenal
World War I didn’t have an abundance of automatic weaponry like World War II did but it was the birth of automatic weaponry. There were Lee-Enfields, Mausers, Water-cooled LMGs, Submachine Guns like MP-18, the German Gewehr, the Browning Automatic Rifle, and Lewis Gun were introduced towards the end of the conflict. There’s like a before and after scenario here, at the start of the war there were just rifles and water-cooled machineguns but at the end of the war, there was a huge scale of automatic weaponry in the sense that it can shoot more then just one bullet at a time like a musket. So, the weaponry fit in the arsenal.
The World War I setting is real and it’s happening in the next Battlefield, I hope it’s what Call of Duty 4 was to Call of Duty. A revolutionary game and an impressive game that can see a push for more game developers to set their next war game in World War I or see a push in period-era conflict like Vietnam or Korea, two other forgotten wars that nobody wants to do. I would love for Battlefield 5 (?) to make a return to Vietnam or do another forgotten war like Korea.
The open beta starts this week, on the 31st.