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Top 10 Times Video Games Butchered History

VO: Dan Paradis
Script written by Dimitri Vadrahanis If you know your history...then you know these games are flat out wrong, baby! Now THAT’s definitely not what Bob Marley said. Wow, off topic fast...uh...WELCOME to http://WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Times Video Games Butchers History! Special thanks to our user “th_robin” for suggesting this topic using our interactive suggestion tool at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Times Video Games Butchered History

Stay in school kids, because games won’t be replacing textbooks anytime soon. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down the top 10 times video games butchered history.

While games can often be a great source of new knowledge, with many trying to incorporate real world events into their plots and narratives, complete historical accuracy isn’t something to be taken lightly. Our list looks at titles that defy history by either bending or outright changing historical facts to better fit into their game’s world.

#10: “Shadow of Rome” (2005)


The intrigue surrounding Caesar’s assassination is one that’s kept people occupied for centuries, but despite what many may think, this was not a top-secret assassination that gripped the city of Rome in an investigation. The assailants were well known and literally nobody tried to hide it. Hell, Brutus issued new coins celebrating the event. Instead of the bland reality, “Shadow of Rome” gives us a murder mystery where the assassination is pinned on poor old Vipsanius, who requires gamers to uncover the truth to clear his name.

#9: “Medal of Honor: Underground” (2000)


World War II is a fantastic setting for many games and genres. There were sieges, open warfare, tank warfare, and of course, occupations and liberations. And while this title takes the latter approach of focusing on the occupation of France, it trips up in so many ways. Germany didn’t actually occupy the city of Paris until June of 1940, so why is the resistance in the capital set in May? And remember when the French soldiers fought Nazis equipped in suits of medieval armor and swords? No? Oh right, that’s because it never happened.

#8: “Rogue Warrior” (2009)


We can all agree that this game is definitely awful, but aside from that, it’s also incredibly stupid. Marcinko is based on a real life U.S Navy Seal, yet the game uses the title of his autobiography and manages to ignore everything in it. Instead, the game insists on an imaginary North Korean ballistic missile threat in 1986. That should tell you all you need to know about the effort that went into this one. Worse than that are Mickey Rourke’s pop culture references about movies that would only come out 14 years after the date of the game.

#7: “GUN” (2005)


Setting your game in any historical setting can lead to great narrative experiences, but if you’re not careful, that illusion can all come crashing down. Case in point, this Wild West themed title that manages to get so many things wrong. Why is Texas Hold ‘Em played in saloons despite most experts dating it to the early 1900s? And why does the game infer that the Civil War ended in 1870? They may not be game-breaking mistakes, but they really add up and completely ruin any immersion the game tries to build.

#6: “Nioh” (2017)


No, there weren’t any demons in feudal Japan. While the game makes a good effort at incorporating real historical figures like Tokugawa Leyasu into the plot, there’s a lot of head-scratching decisions here. Firstly, Will Adams wasn’t Irish at all, but British, and had black hair, not blonde. He was also never an esteemed fighter, he was awarded the rank of Samurai by being an expert navigator. Secondly, Edward Kelley died before Adams ever arrived in Japan! These two guys that are integral to the plot. If you’re going to twist history in a game that already has demons, why not just make new characters?

#5: “Assassin’s Creed” series (2007-)


Some of the series innacuracies include assassins being portrayed as stealthy killers instead of murderers who publicly executed and terrorized people, and the Knights Templars being an ever-present organization despite only really existing for less than 200 years. Whether it’s pirates engaging in naval combat and wrecking their ships instead of intimidating their rivals, or not realizing that child labor in Britain in the 1800s was well regulated without the need of assassins, you’ll constantly be reminded that while the environments are polished to high degrees of accuracy, a lot of the rest just isn’t.

#4: “L.A Noire” (2011)


While the crime drama gets a lot of stuff right, there are still a few overlooked errors. In Jessica’s handbag there’s a letter with a zip code, when this format wouldn’t exist until 1963. Brake lights and turn signals are on every ride despite not being widespread until the 50s, and the game has a strange fascination with Nixon. Sure, he was elected to Congress just before the events of the game, but there’s flyers around the city in areas that shouldn’t have been able to vote for him. And why would McKelty make a passing reference to him being a crook? It’s funny, sure, but is also about 30 years out of place.

#3: “Battlefield 1” (2016)


You’d think with so many shooters on the market, DICE would leap at the chance to use realistic, period-specific weapons to differentiate themselves. But no, we just got more of the same old guns that really hurt the accuracy of this game. Infantry soldiers in the 1910s were mostly equipped with bolt action rifles, not the widespread automatic firearms that populate this title. And while some of the attire for regionally-specific soldiers, like those in the Middle East, are good recreations, they’re also equipped with European-style sabers rather than the scimitars they’re most known for using.

#2: “Genji: Days of the Blade” (2006)


Sony will probably never live it down, but it’s worth remembering. E3 2006 had the game giant parading their new title that accurately detailed the historic battles that took place in ancient Japan. Cool right? Well no, because immediately after that statement they fight a giant enemy crab. We’re sure it’s a very accurate giant enemy crab, but still, that never happened. Feaudal Japan also didn’t have magic lightning attacks, despite what the game might have you believe. The moral of the story is, if you’re going to do something, go all the way. Half-assing it only makes you look bad.

#1: “Dante’s Inferno” (2010)


In case you weren’t aware, the game is indeed based on a real poem “The Divine Comedy”, written by Dante himself. That’s a good start, but given this information, you can probably guess that Dante was not a warrior that struck down Lucifer after his involvement in the crusades. He was a poet. Even if you wanted to ignore this fact and suspend your disbelief, how is it possible for Dante to have participated in the Third Crusade when he wasn’t even alive for the conflict? He wrote the Divine Comedy over 100 years after the war. Talk about bad-timing.
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