What kind of content do video games borrow from movies? Could Battlefield 1 function as a movie or only as a game?
According to GameSpot.com, Battlefield 1 ranked as the second best-selling game of 2016. Battlefield 1 is a first-person shooter video game developed by EA DICE and published by Electronic Arts that is available for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It is part of the Battlefield game series that first started in 2002 with Battlefield 1942.
When asked about the historical accuracy about the game’s World War 1 theme, design director Lars Gustavsson told GameSpot, “We base the game on authenticity, and we extract those pieces to create a game, meaning that we don’t get bogged down by history.”
They chose to set the game during the World War 1 period because it was when “the world changed.” Gustavsson says, “It was a time of new weapons–bolt-action rifles, automatic rifles, semi-automatic rifles.” He continues, “This was the first time ever that people saw light tanks, heavy tanks, armored trucks.”
The game’s single-player campaign consists of five war stories: Through Mud and Blood, Friends in High Places, Avanti Savoia, The Runner, and Nothing is Written.
During the prologue, “Storm of Steel,” the player (in the perspective of a Harlem Hellfighter) must fight against German soldiers. When the player is killed, the game’s perspective changes to a different soldier.
The intro to the game is very cinematic. It shows a man waking up, while music is playing. All of a sudden, he is taken into the middle of a battle.
Change of Perspectives:
Just from the intro, we already get a sense of a narrative. The mixture of the graphics, action, adventure, and plot work well to draw in the player. As Gustavsson said, the game makers focused on basing Battlefield 1 on real, historical elements, such as the weapons or the group of soldiers called the Harlem Hellfighters. The game also borrows elements from war movies, such as the protagonist being a war hero. In Battlefield 1, the player takes on the role of a soldier, and this gives them the pleasure of feeling like a hero. Playing the hero also gives them a sense of patriotism, because there is a clear enemy.
War is a recurring theme in many movies. In 1998, the film Saving Private Ryan released with Academy Award-winning director Steven Spielberg. The movie made $481.8 million at the box office. Just last year, films released such as The King’s Choice, The Siege of Jadotville, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage, and Hacksaw Ridge, which all centered around a war. This year, the film Dunkirk, which focuses on the Dunkirk evacuation during World War II, is expected to debut in the U.S. in July with Christopher Nolan as the director.
It is clear that a game like Battlefield 1 would certainly work well in the film industry as well.