There's part of me that wants to do that, because that part has been programmed to think it should be outraged that human suffering gets turned into entertainment. Let's face it, though: this has always been the case. Whether it's video games, films, books, TV shows, or toy soldiers, if you're going to portray war in an entertainment medium there's always an element of titilation.
The only real way to get a better sense of war's cost is either to experience it first-hand, speak with veterans, or to go over there yourself and visit some of the battlefields. Indeed, I've been to France and Belgium with my dad. I've seen the trenches, and was suitably shocked by the scale of the devastation - the scars of which are still all too evident on the landscape.
I've wandered through the cemeteries, seen the memorials, and tried in vain to find something to eat in a small French village on a Sunday afternoon. I mean, what is it with Europe and Sundays, right? Everywhere closes. After a search lasting about an hour, we ended up finding a cafe, which begrudgingly served us a damp croissant with ham in it, which had presumably been left over from breakfast.
When we returned to the coach - scarcely less hungry than when we'd left - it was clear that the tour group organiser had had more success in finding an open establishment, because he came back considerably drunker than he'd been previously. He proceeded to swear aggressively at one of the other tour guests for returning late to the bus, and then sulked for the rest of the day, until he sobered up enough to apologise to the entire group.
Where was I? Oh yeah. World War 1.
So I could act all outraged at using conflict for entertainment purposes, but... I'm not going to do that, because Battlefield 1 is good enough that I can ignore all ethical questions I may feel obliged to raise. Yeah, that's right: I just got off my high horse, and bayonetted it in the face. Relieved much?
Unlike its stablemate, Star Wars Battlefront, there is a token single-player campaign in Battlefield 1. What there is of it is pretty enjoyable stuff - but it serves mostly as a way to get the player used to the environments and weapons they'll be using in the much more fulsome multiplayer modes.
What the all-too-brief single-player game does achieve, however, is managing to portray the scope of a war that is generally best remembered for its trench-based campaign of attrition in Northern Europe. It also succeeds - surprisingly - in humanising the conflict, putting faces and stories to tragedy.
Alright, this isn't exactly Wilfred Owen, but, without giving too much away, it does something clever in how it depicts the sheer scale of human carnage.
But y'know... you're probably not here for that. You want to know how good it is as a shoot 'em up. And you'll be glad to hear that it is this: it is very good indeed.
By setting itself down in an era of history that has been rarely explored in video games, Battlefield 1 offers weaponry, vehicles and locations which serve to freshen up the most stale of genres.
At its best, I was reminded of Call of Duty 2 - probably my favourite online shooter of all time - except with far better visuals, a broader canvas, and a lot more enemies swarming around.
Look... I could go on about the minutiae of Battlefield 1 - its character classes, its weaponry, even its game modes, but I've got a cold and a cough, and my ears are blocked, and I don't feel up to the task. That's right: I am looking for pity.
Bottom line is that it's bloody great. The maps are some of the best I've ever played on - from their layouts, to the visuals. There's no question that this is a next-gen game. Cleverly, the maps are also prone to some environmental weather effects, which can change them dramatically.
The first time I returned to one of the levels to find clear skies, having previously played it in thick fog, it was like a whole new map. There's a good mix of towns, installations, and one particularly gorgeous woodland location, which really shows off the visuals.
Mustard gas can prove to be an environmental hazard, armoured flame troopers stalk the maps, you can take to horseback, or call in a war train or Zeppelin to bombard your opponents. And then there are the vehicles - a mainstay of the Battlefield series, and potential game changers here as they've always been; rattling tanks, and biplanes, and motorbikes, an ting.
The real innovation though - presumably to evoke the seemingly endless slog of the war itself - is the Operations mode: a battle for dominance against an entire map, with conflicts lasting up to an hour.
What was truly refreshing about Battlefield 1 is how it pulls in the opposite direction to the way most first-person shooters seem to be heading.
Call of Duty and its ilk seem intent on moving into the future, offering more advanced and unlikely technology and scenarios with every new instalment. All those holographic HUDs and exosuits are somehow making our shooters colder, and less human.
By being set in the past - amid a conflict that we all know actually happened - Battlefield 1 is afforded an added weight.
Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe kids will play this thinking "Wooh! Yeah! Cool! Shooting stuff!", and not even pause to consider what it might've actually been like.
However, for most of us who play Battlefield 1, it'll be impossible to ignore the knowledge that World War 1 actually happened. Indeed, the developers clearly couldn't do so; it handles the material and context far more sensitively than the casual and tasteless slaughter that happens in something like Grand Theft Auto V or Mafia III.
And - bonus - does so while offering a properly first-class shoot 'em up.
SUMMARY: Contender for shoot 'em up of the year. The best sort of war - a great one.
SCORE: A++ out of 100.921