World War I has remained mostly untouched by the video game industry’s ravenous appetite for violence – mostly because dying messily over and over again in a cesspool of bloody mud and mustard gas is a difficult experience to adapt into an “action-shooter” video game.
Still, DICE is taking on The Great War for its next installment of the Battlefield series, and the first trailer showed us a lens flare-filled violent romp through the deserts of North Africa and the fields of Flanders. The original trailer was a heart-pumping technicolor adventure featuring cavalry charges and biplane dogfights in bright blue skies. But real footage of WWI is considerably less fun. YouTuber Alon “DancingEngie” Karmi re-cut the entire trailer with similar shots of actual combat during WWI, which is far more grim than the video-game version, as artillery barrages rain down and soldiers crawl through concertina wire on doomed suicide-rushes of enemy trenches. He kept the dubstep-remix of the White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army,” and it’s almost eerie how similar the two trailers feel, even though one shows a video game and the other shows an entire generation of young men dying in the mud.
Battlefield 1 is an interesting property — it’s one of the first major AAA titles to use the Great War as a setting, although it doesn’t look like it’s taking a particularly subtle or nuanced look at combat (this is a Battlefield game, after all). The setting has worked well for artistic indie games like Valiant Hearts: The Great War, but we’ll have to see if other studios buy into the bloody reality of trench warfare as a marketable setting for modern combat games.
Check out the remade trailer below.