The Flamethrower is based on the American M2 Flamethrower.
Like the original design of an M2 Flamethrower, if a bullet penetrates the gas tank, the player will blow up.
The Flamethrower can also burn bodies of enemies that were killed by other weapons. It can't, however, burn anything but people.
This is the weapon of choice for Ira Hogeboom, who seems to own at least three (one at his home, one found in an armory room in the LA river tunnels, and one he wears in the tunnels).
PC players should note that this weapon has serious range issues, the effective range is even shorter than the ones seen in the flashbacks. So always approach to your enemies before you try to burn them, otherwise you cannot hit them or they will dodge the flame, you can move when your enemies are reloading or taking cover. Also, NEVER turn your back to your foes, if a bullet hits the fuel tank, it will blow up, causing instant death. Like Stuart Ackerman said "The guy using the Flamethrower only has five minutes of life expectancy."
It is not clear that if this weapon will overheat or run out of fuel, you can fire for 15 seconds and you have to wait for a few seconds to fire again, keep this fact in mind while engaging multiple enemies with the Flamethrower.
- Once Jack Kelso puts the Flamethrower on the back, he can't take it off until the cut scene shows Jack taking it off before the final cut scene.
- The flame looks notably a bit cartoonish, though it is unknown if this is intentional or simply due to poor design.
- In real life, military-grade flamethrowers would likely not explode, unless critically hit in key points. Most military flamethrowers contain a pressure tank holding compressed gas used to propel fuel out of the nozzle, and a fuel tank holding liquid petroleum. There is no air inside the fuel tank, making ignition very unlikely - however, it is possible that the tank may spray fuel when punctured, which could be easily ignited by the spark from the bullet impacting the metal. Tracer bullets, which contain an incendiery material at the bottom of the bullet can also ignite fuel tanks, but aren't very effective at doing so. Incendiery bullets are also very effective at igniting fuel tanks since they're designed to do so, but are more common for aerial and vehicular combat rather than infantry combat.