AMD Contest Group
Final Round FiringSquad-Intel Edito...
Round 3 Editors Challenge Sponsored...
Top 10 Challenge Round Sponsored by...
Editors Challenge Sponsored by Inte...
Lord Of The Rings Online Beta Conte...
FiringSquad Editors Challenge Round...
||10 entry(ies) in this category
| One more World War II game? Does the genre still hold its appeal? (18 comments )|
by: OgreFade (150) | Posted in cluster FiringSquad Editors Challenge Round 1 Prelim 1
Posted 76 months ago ( edited 76 months ago ) in category DEFAULT
World War II, a global conflict, posed the Allies and the Axis powers against each other, drawing in more than seventy countries and prompted the early demise of 60 million people. The events that transpired between 1939 and 1945, however terrible, have become a breeding ground of inspiration. Many entertainment industries have had the insight that conflict creates compelling photographs, articles, movies, television, and video games. There are numerous examples of this in mainstream entertainment; Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan, Thomas Keneally’s novel Schindler's Ark, and multitudes of video games. In fact, the Saving Private Ryan Wikipedia entry denotes:
“The movie is credited with spearheading a resurgence in America's interest in the Second World War; with old and new novels of World War II enjoying financial success as well as the release of numerous computer and video games displaying the same style of action and often using the same battlegrounds as the movie itself.”
A bit of research gathering shows that in the last 10 years more than 350 different titles have used some aspect of WWII for inspiration. Many of these games are mainstream, even Game of the Year winning titles; most recently in 2006 Company of Heroes and previously in 2005, Call of Duty 2.
Just for fun here are a few titles:
101: The Airborne Invasion of Normandy
12 O’clock High: Bombing the Reich
1941: Frozen Front
1942: The Pacific Air War Scenario
Airborne Assault: Red Devils Over Arnhem
Armored Assault: Ground Battle of World War II
A.R.S.E.N.A.L Extended Power
Avalon Hill’s Squad Leader
Axis & Allies*
B-17 Flying Fortress: World War II Bombers in Action
Battleground Europe: World War II Online
Blazing Angels Squadrons of WWII
Brothers in Arms*
Call of Duty*
Combat Flight Simulator
Command: Aces of the Deep
Company of Heroes
Day of Defeat
Decisive Battles of World War II*
Desert Rats vs. Afrika Korps
East Front II*
European Air War
Elite Forces: WWII Normandy
Eric Young’s Squad Assault: West Front
Faces of War
Flying Legion Air Combat Challenge
Gary Grigsby’s Pacific War
G.I. Combat: Episode 1 – Battle of Normandy
GROM: Terror in Tibet
Greatest Navel Battles: Burning Steel 1939
Heroes of the Pacific
Hidden and Dangerous*
Jane’s WWII Fighters*
Heats of Iron*
Medal of Honor*
Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator*
Moscow to Berlin: Red Siege
Naval Ops Warship Gunner
No Surrender:Battle of the Bulge
Over the Reich
Operation Teddy Bear
Pacific Warriors: Air Combat Action
Panzer Elite Action
Pearl Harbor Attack! Attack!
Pearl Harbor: Zero Hour
Pilot Down: Behind Enemy Lines
Prisoner of War
Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Resistance Fall of Man
Rowan’s Battle of Britain
Secret Weapons Over Normandy
Soldiers: Heroes of World War II
Soldiers at War
Sniper Elite: Berlin 1945
Strategic Command: European Theater
The Great Escape
The Operational Art of War: Century of Warfare
Undercover: Operation Wintersun
Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory
World War II: Air Combat
World War II Combat*
WWII: Desert Rats
World War II Fighters
World War II Frontline Command
World War II GI
World War II Panzer Claws
World War 2 Pacific Heroes
World War II Sniper: Call to Victory
World War II: Tank Battles
WWII Tank Commander
* Notes sequels, and expansions.
Has the market reached its saturation point? Are there too many WWII games? How many is enough, how many is too many? Currently it appears that the market has not reached saturation as is illustrated by current releases Resistance fall of Man, and Call of Duty 3 for example. It appears there is room for new games as more WWII games are slated for production (e.g. Medal of Honor: Airborne http://www.ea.com/moh/airborne/index.jsp). Why is it that WWII has so much coverage yet still appears to be capable of producing a viable product?
The evidence is abundant. The scope of WWII is positively massive. 70 countries enable the end user to be of almost any nationality. The air, ground, and naval battles, facilitate gamers to take a role in a variety of vehicles, from planes, tanks, to submarines (a treasure trove for the simulation gamer). The geographical distance from the Pacific, and European theaters, to the Mediterranean and African locales allows gamers to visit familiar and distant locations. There is room for the macro scale gamer to take on the role of an entire country (turn based games), and the micro scale gamer to take on the role of the individual or squad in battle (First Person Shooter games).
The familiarity with the generalities of WWII makes the basics tenets of a game more comfortable. Knowing a bit about WWII gives the gamer a head start in the learning curve for games, the Americans drove Sherman tanks, the Germans had an amazing air force in the Luftwaffe, Japan had its famous Zero’s, and the British had the Bren, the Sten, and the Lee Enfield .
Now the personal distance from the vast majority of gamers is very significant. Their fathers, grandfathers, and great grandfathers served in WWII, the current ‘Video Game’ generation is highly removed from the atrocities that lead to the death of 60 million people. Some human traits are indisputable for instance; passion to survive will never be diminished, the desperation to protect family and loved ones can never be extinguished, nor will the pride of protecting ones homeland. This makes WWII a unique situation that establishes gamers with a potentially positive outlet for violence that actually had its place, and a valid reason for its execution. WWII creates an arena for establishment of patriotism, pride, the protection of those who cannot protect themselves, and the eradication of an enemy of unspeakable evil. However the unspeakable fear, and psychological damage has not been inflicted on this generation of gamers. So gamers have the allure of being the hero, the possibility of personally having a global impact, and a clear enemy.
There are some negative aspects to using WWII as a backdrop for ‘entertainment.’ There is a certain amount of ‘tolerance’ for violence being bred among gamers, especially when this violence is a part of our past. Indifference is something that should be avoided when it comes to reliving a past in which so many lives were irreversibly touched. There is a significant amount of controversy surrounding events that transpired during WWII; simply the existence of the holocaust is reason enough to be very wary about the setting of WWII. There are other troublesome issues concerning games ‘loosely’ based off of WWII in that we dilute the amount of factual information and perpetuate incorrect facts. Some of these are minor irritations, and some are bigger philosophical issues grander than the scope of this inquiry.
I hear and read more and more often that the theme of WWII is tired, and gamers are growing tired of the subject, and I agree, that the world needs fewer and fewer rehashed, unoriginal, uninspired and remade games. I think World War II games while common in nature will continue to be, as it appears the market has not reached full saturation. It is much like adding salt to a glass of water, no matter how much you stir at a certain point you can’t get more salt to mix into the water. However the saturation point increases as the temperature goes up, warm up the water, and the salt that you couldn’t stir in suddenly stirs into solution with no problem.. The gaming public in general is still interested in its history, and in familiar settings. I believe the determining factor in the future of these WWII inspired games and whether the gaming public will accept has a lot to do with the quality and creativity of the development teams out there. The ‘heat’ is going up as graphic power increases, as features increase, as gamers are more deeply immersed in their games. This heat is a good thing, while the world will still receive superbly original games like Prey, and Spore, in our gaming world we will still spot the ‘old’ standby’s like the WWII FPS after all old favorites are comforting. How many of you out there still secretly play solitaire at work? Don’t worry I won’t tell.
|18 User Comment(s) • 9 root comment(s)|
| Dave64258 (1) Feb 13, 2007 - 12:00 pm|
|» I partially disagree with the article|
I do not believe ogreFade has ever played Company of heroes. If he did, I think he would have written this article differently. Company of heroes is a WWII based RTS and is one of the most innovative games ever created in terms of depth of gameplay and dynamic interactions. I do not believe that the WWII concept is what bores us in video games, it is that most WWII games are copies of each other (call of duty, medal of honor, brothers in arms, etc). Company of heroes has greater depth and detail than any RTS ever created. There is nothing wrong with WWII games as long as developers find innovative ways to provide players an original experience. I do not mean to come off as offensive toward ogreFade, I understand where he is coming from, I just think that the purpose of his article is too extreme, more needs to be discussed, there was not even any mention of gameplay in the article.
» Login to reply to this
| theginger (3) Feb 11, 2007 - 07:56 pm|
|Great job. It was quite informative and definitely spurred more interest in the subject. Congratulations on the new baby. 10/10|
» Login to reply to this
» Note: You need to be logged in to write a comment!Login here, or if you don't have an account with FiringSquad, register here, it's FREE!
My Media-Blog categories
No categories created yet.