The Problem with World War 2 Games...

Soviet Heavy

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Is not because we are burned out on WW2 in general, but because we are burned out on the same setting being replayed over and over. Whether it be the Normandy invasion, Market Garden, the Pacific War, or the Eastern front, these are the staples of WW2 games and the most frequently used settings. These are what we are burned out on. Everybody wants to make their own Saving Private Ryan, their own Enemy at the Gates, their own Band of Brothers. We're constantly repeating the same parts of the war over and over.

There are several campaigns that would easily be adaptable to games, but most are only paid lip service, if they are mentioned at all. The Italian Campaign or North Africa are two very interesting settings that are rarely explored outside of Battlefield 1942's few maps, or some side missions in Call of Duty. Then it's right back to the Stalingrad/Omaha/Iwo Jima show.

A game based on the Battle of France could be amazing if done right. A desperate and failing defensive action against a foe who are revolutionizing warfare as they continue to press past static defense lines sounds like a great setup for a game. Sure, it's a foregone conclusion that the battle was a major loss for the Allies, but there is so much potential in there for a good story. You're not liberating France, you're trying to salvage what you can.

Heck a game set in Italy with the Devil's Brigade would be awesome too. The original special forces unit, going on daring raids and commando operations in sunny Italy. Just thinking about it makes me sigh wistfully.

So, with this in mind, if you were to make a new WW2 game based on a neglected campaign or battlefield, what would you choose and why?
 

piinyouri

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I seem to remember one of the early Medal of Honor games on Play Station having an entry where you play a spy who has to take pictures of things as well as shoot things.
That was pretty fun.
 

Strelok

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The Saboteur takes place during the Nazi occupation of France. Not terribly realistic but it was a hell of a good game.
 

Terraniux

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Call of Duty 3 took place entirely in France after Operation: Overlord. No Normandy landings, no Reichstag or anything. I never played it myself, but I think Call of Duty 2 had an entire campaign dedicated to North Africa.
 

Mocmocman

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Terraniux said:
Call of Duty 3 took place entirely in France after Operation: Overlord. No Normandy landings, no Reichstag or anything. I never played it myself, but I think Call of Duty 2 had an entire campaign dedicated to North Africa.
And after that an Italian one. And Call of Duty Finest Hour had an African campaign as well.
 

Doom972

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The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising would be interesting for me to see in a video game, even if it has a sad end. I guess the subject is still considered sensitive though.

I would still prefer a non-historical setting though. Knowing how it all ends take some of the fun away for me.
 

kingthrall

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Soviet Heavy said:
Is not because we are burned out on WW2 in general, but because we are burned out on the same setting being replayed over and over. Whether it be the Normandy invasion, Market Garden, the Pacific War, or the Eastern front, these are the staples of WW2 games and the most frequently used settings. These are what we are burned out on. Everybody wants to make their own Saving Private Ryan, their own Enemy at the Gates, their own Band of Brothers. We're constantly repeating the same parts of the war over and over.

There are several campaigns that would easily be adaptable to games, but most are only paid lip service, if they are mentioned at all. The Italian Campaign or North Africa are two very interesting settings that are rarely explored outside of Battlefield 1942's few maps, or some side missions in Call of Duty. Then it's right back to the Stalingrad/Omaha/Iwo Jima show.

A game based on the Battle of France could be amazing if done right. A desperate and failing defensive action against a foe who are revolutionizing warfare as they continue to press past static defense lines sounds like a great setup for a game. Sure, it's a foregone conclusion that the battle was a major loss for the Allies, but there is so much potential in there for a good story. You're not liberating France, you're trying to salvage what you can.

Heck a game set in Italy with the Devil's Brigade would be awesome too. The original special forces unit, going on daring raids and commando operations in sunny Italy. Just thinking about it makes me sigh wistfully.

So, with this in mind, if you were to make a new WW2 game based on a neglected campaign or battlefield, what would you choose and why?
Its not the problem that its the same parts of the war, its the fact that the mechanics are usually the same usual gunk of a trooper running around gunning people down with no sense of the horrors or autrocities commited. Maybe a few scenes of death like the commisars gunning down German prisoners like in Cod world at war but they justify it and never ask you for your opinion.

I like this War Thunder game cause its going to introduce planes,ships and tanks and does in fact cover Africa and a whole lot of different random area's in the Beta but id like a ww2 game to provide more ideological influence in their game. Id love to see a rally from Hitler or Benito where you are a bystander listening (native language with subtitles) and realising how influential their actual histoical speaches were. Games have never explained why Germans went to war in the first place or how bad conditions were for them to rise into power in the first place. Its always one side of the coin which is really sad.

Anyway probally I expect too much from games :)
 

Gethsemani_v1legacy

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kingthrall said:
Its not the problem that its the same parts of the war, its the fact that the mechanics are usually the same usual gunk of a trooper running around gunning people down with no sense of the horrors or autrocities commited. Maybe a few scenes of death like the commisars gunning down German prisoners like in Cod world at war but they justify it and never ask you for your opinion.
I can see two problems with this line of thought:
1. Choices aren't really a big thing in military organizations, especially not during massive, protracted wars. Any opinion the player might have on anything would be irrelevant because as long as you play a soldier you are expected to carry out orders.

2. Any game made as an FPS will inherently make killing stuff fun (if the game has solid mechanics that is). It doesn't matter if you include the PoW-scene from CoD:WaW where you shoot some German prisoners (or the commissar does it if you hesitate) if you immediately afterwards run out and start blasting dozens of other Germans. The reason Spec Ops: The Line is the effective deconstruction it is is because it dares to actually be passive aggressive against the player. It even turns the shooting parts tedious by making them extremely long, requiring you to spend large parts of them in cover to regain health and avoid getting shot.

More OT:
You need not even find new campaigns to find interesting scenarios. How about the Battle of Caen (1944) during Operation Overlord, where British troops got bogged down in armoured fighting in the ruins? Leningrad could serve as the basis for an entire campaign on its' own, complete with extended sequences of civilian suffering. Operation Bagration has had no particularly good depictions in games to date, despite being one of the successful (perhaps the most successful) mechanized operations during the entire war, rivaling even Barbarossa in terms of sheer gains and damage inflicted. The Soviet push into south eastern Europe. Guadalcanal, Peleliu, Tarawa, Guam...

The problem as I see it is that it is always the same battles (D-Day, Stalingrad, Berlin) being portrayed and they are portrayed by means of ripping of Hollywood blockbusters (SPR, BoB, Enemy at the Gates). Considering the influence of the gaming medium today, it would be entirely possible to make a game focusing on other aspects of world war 2. But considering that SPR-rip offs sell well, I doubt it will happen.
 

skywolfblue

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More then just new settings, they really need to give players something else to do instead of being behind a gun all the time.

Have there been any good single player games based on the naval battles of WW2 in the past few years? All I can seem to find are MMOs, really old titles, or just bad.

The French Underground, it'd make for an excellent Assassin's Creed style game, blending in with crowds, stealthily escorting people past German patrols, blowing up Nazi bases, all that good stuff.
 

Zhukov

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I really don't see how FPSing Germans to death in Italy would be any different to doing it in France. I mean, there'd be more mountains maybe? The occasional olive orchard?

Yeah, not feeling it.

WWII was just done to death.

Besides, soldiers tend to make for shitty characters, what with their motivations amounting to "do what I'm told and don't die".
 

008Zulu_v1legacy

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wombat_of_war said:
one part that seems skipped alot of the time it the pacific theatre for some reason
Can't really do a FPS in a boat. At best it would be a rail shooter with the player on an AA gun.

You know what WW2 game I have always wanted to see? Where you have to escape from a POW camp like in the movie; The Great Escape.
 

Geoffrey Francis

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There is a French Underground Creed style game, It's called Saboteur. Not that great but there was a lot of blowing up Nazi bases.
 

Guffe

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One setting I want to see is the player paying as Simo Häyhä from Finland in te WinterWar (a part of WWII)
That would be sweet, roaming the Finnish winter nights, taking down a few hundred enemies with a sniper rifle!
 

Alexander Kirby

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008Zulu said:
You know what WW2 game I have always wanted to see? Where you have to escape from a POW camp like in the movie; The Great Escape.
Funnily enough they did make a game of The Great Escape back in... 2003 I believe. It was pretty mixed really; some missions were kinda fun but others were almost unplayable (oh dear god don't mention the shooting mechanics *shudder*).
 

J Tyran

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Strelok said:
The Saboteur takes place during the Nazi occupation of France. Not terribly realistic but it was a hell of a good game.
I would love to play a stealthy and gritty Metro style shooter where you play a resistance fighter or something, the OPs right WWII games are fine its the complete lack of creativity.

There are so many stories developers could tell us but they don't and stick with same concepts over and over.
 

Silverbeard

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The Brothers In Arms series of games was based on Operations Overlord and Market Garden. And that series has some of the best FPS WW II games ever made.
No setting is burned out enough to be thoroughly unusable, OP.

My personal choice for a WW II game would be based in China with the player assuming a role amongst either the Chinese or the Imperial Japs. There's potential to explore an unused theatre of war with massive consequences for the world that followed; the Japanese invasion of China and subsequent march into Korea and Burma was the death knell for the British empire.
The difficulties with this setting lie in the political ramifications; some of the atrocities the Japs perpetrated on Chinese citizens would have embarrassed Himmler, if the old bastard was still alive to see it. In fact, war criminal trials for the captured Jap officers from the Chinese campaign were conducted in India by an international council and didn't end until 1958. 68 Jap officers were accused of everything from setting fire to villages to seeking out and shooting pregnant Chinese women to bayonetting/ beheading prisoners of war, of which 62 were found guilty. Legend holds that some of the convicted asked to be executed by firing squad but the court rejected the request and assigned them the electric chair, claiming that 'only soldiers deserve to die standing up and facing their enemy'- or words to that effect.
Still a very useable setting for any genre, though!
 

BaronUberstein

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Personally I'd pick one war in particular that happened around WWII: The Winter War.

Seriously, why has America not jumped on this war for games?
1. It's a great underdog situation.
2. The Russians are the bad guys, we love making the Russians the bad guys!
3. That great Finnish sense of humor! They called the bombs being dropped in their cities "Molotov's Breadbaskets"* and decided to respond with the good old Molotov Cocktail!

*Foreign minister of the USSR, Molotov, had claimed that there were no bombs being dropped, simply food supplies.