The Escapist Presents: The Escapist Report: War Games

The Escapist Report: War Games

Games of war, an insider's look on what makes them so fascinating.

Watch Video

From the title, I was hoping it'd be about (strategic) wargames -- not games in a war setting. More Panzer General or Hearts of Iron than Call of Duty.

But this is a pretty good look into what the games actually offer, and how they are accepted by soldiers.

interesting, im disappointed to see that some companies are afraid to express them self artistically by making a now and/or a +/- 2-5 years game, im not sure when modern warfare 2 takes place since im not really in to CoD's multiplayer and 60 euro for 6 hours is a bit much, but ill definitely pick up six days in fallujah.

Believability... very important. Modern Warfare's 2 presentation and execution is excellent, but the storyline sucks. The notion of a massive, surprise russian invasion on the U.S. is totally out of wack. But I guess they needed an excuse to have a war on american soil.
A nuclear missile accidentally taking out the international space station is just as ridiculous. MW2 reminds me alot of "Independence Day". Outrageously stupid plot events to justify a storyline dripping with pathos, drama and patriotism. It's a shame because it starts out rather well.

jordik:
From the title, I was hoping it'd be about (strategic) wargames -- not games in a war setting.

Dito. I believe "Wargames" usually means strategic wargames.

Really interesting. I do agree that people need some form of sudo violence in their lives or they resort to violence.

i want a studio one day that will have enough balls to make a war game where you play as the villain. and not something that is some cartoony bullshit (see overlord) i'm talking about an historically accurate depiction of an (what we would call)enemy side. regardless of whether that side wins or loses in the actual game the story would be pretty epic, and if that's what developers are challenging themselves with, then i say why not.

now this is an extreme example but why not a game where you play under hitler's regime as a nazi soldier. i mean they would lose. don't get me wrong, you'd be playing a game where you know defeat is inevitable. yet could you imagine seeing (or playing) a story where at one point victory is almost certain, as well as all the godlike splendor that was promised, to only have everything turn on you. imagine what a talented story writer and talented voice actor could give us in terms of an emotional experience. if you thought the emotions that arose in the COD games or other war games we can't even imagine the emotions that would bring up fighting not only as one of the most hated people in the world but on a losing side of war at that.

i'm just saying it would be interesting is all.

paralost:
Now this is an extreme example but why not a game where you play under hitler's regime as a nazi soldier?

That would be an interesting game. The story of the Third Reich is always told from the outsider perspective: they did this to these people and that to those people and they were totally evil. But that's not what they told themselves. It would be interesting to have a game where the player's character is spoon-fed all the Nazi propaganda as he goes through Poland, France, the Eastern Front, the Western Front, and gradually discovers that it's all a lie.

That swallow that the soldier did was painful to listen to.

Nice article though, I agreed with it all, but it was a bit obvious.

jordik:
From the title, I was hoping it'd be about (strategic) wargames -- not games in a war setting. More Panzer General or Hearts of Iron than Call of Duty.

Yay! I love HOI.

Yes, I too was expecting RTS's.

Team Hollywood:
The Escapist Report: War Games

Games of war, an insider's look on what makes them so fascinating.

Watch Video

Bill Hunt (If I got that name right, I'm referring to the narrator), if you're not already, GO PROFESSIONAL VOICEOVER GUY

Really, you sound smoooth :D

"Preparing Future Recruits Simulator 2009" that's a greeeeaaaat game name. i'd add console for some propaganda for consumers... instead of PC lol

swaki:
interesting, im disappointed to see that some companies are afraid to express them self artistically by making a now and/or a +/- 2-5 years game, im not sure when modern warfare 2 takes place since im not really in to CoD's multiplayer and 60 euro for 6 hours is a bit much, but ill definitely pick up six days in fallujah.

No you won' pick up Six Days in Fallujah because it got canned.

It would be interesting to have a game where the player's character is spoon-fed all the Nazi propaganda as he goes through Poland, France, the Eastern Front, the Western Front, and gradually discovers that it's all a lie.

Agree with the first idea; but why have them realise it is all a lie? I'm sure many German soldiers went through the entire war, still confidently believing all the propaganda. Perhaps it would be all the more poignant when you have a patriotic soldier whom you know is not working for the greater good, yet never-the-less, the gamer is forced to come to terms with the bitterness and despair the soldier feels from losing in the end.

I don't think they went into enough detail in questioning whether the portrayal of conflict is tasteful. They released Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 over the Remembrance day period, which to me, strikes me as somewhat in bad taste. First and foremost, people play war games for the excitement and the fun of combat; they do not do it for the purpose of experiencing the genuine horrors of conflict - otherwise scenes like the controversial terror strike in COD:MW2 would be appearing far more often in videogames to hammer in the horror of frontline warfare and terrorism.

On the other hand, some soldiers will admit to finding real wars genuinely entertaining. If you don't think there is something cool about seeing Blackhawks screaming overhead, MGs flaring, then you're probably in denial. Most books and films will go to extreme lengths to show war in a negative light, whilst video games are one of the few mediums that actually capture the sense that warfare can be fun.

What? Just shooters? There are other genres of wargames ya know besides shooters and one flight sim. I would really have liked to see a comparison of a strategy game to real life warfare (e.g. World in Conflict). Get on it, Escapist! You can call it War Games Pt. 2 or something.

Artistic? Being part of something greater than myself? I just want to shoot shit dead!!! Is that too much to ask nowdays?

I love when they all brag about realism and in WW2 games except the surname of the dude from Wolfenstein there is nothing Polish!!! For fck SAKE the 3-r biggest contributor in terms of amount of soldiers to the allied forces and what... hmm NOTHING, maybe because all game developers play the same tune as Hollywood to phase out poles so it wont look soo bad that allies sold that country to fckng Russians. PREPOSTEROUS.

Tiamat666:
Believability... very important. Modern Warfare's 2 presentation and execution is excellent, but the storyline sucks. The notion of a massive, surprise russian invasion on the U.S. is totally out of wack. But I guess they needed an excuse to have a war on american soil.
A nuclear missile accidentally taking out the international space station is just as ridiculous. MW2 reminds me alot of "Independence Day". Outrageously stupid plot events to justify a storyline dripping with pathos, drama and patriotism. It's a shame because it starts out rather well.

jordik:
From the title, I was hoping it'd be about (strategic) wargames -- not games in a war setting.

Dito. I believe "Wargames" usually means strategic wargames.

No, a Russian attack on USA soil isn't that unlikely. Yes, it's more of a 40 years ago thing, but it's still a reasonable assumption to say that there are a few countries that would realllly like to take the USA on given a legitimate excuse that would keep Britain, the UN, Aus, etc out of it. China for one, Russia for another, most Arab countries given the USA's continued support of Israel.

maninahat:

It would be interesting to have a game where the player's character is spoon-fed all the Nazi propaganda as he goes through Poland, France, the Eastern Front, the Western Front, and gradually discovers that it's all a lie.

Agree with the first idea; but why have them realise it is all a lie? I'm sure many German soldiers went through the entire war, still confidently believing all the propaganda. Perhaps it would be all the more poignant when you have a patriotic soldier whom you know is not working for the greater good, yet never-the-less, the gamer is forced to come to terms with the bitterness and despair the soldier feels from losing in the end.

I don't think they went into enough detail in questioning whether the portrayal of conflict is tasteful. They released Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 over the Remembrance day period, which to me, strikes me as somewhat in bad taste. First and foremost, people play war games for the excitement and the fun of combat; they do not do it for the purpose of experiencing the genuine horrors of conflict - otherwise scenes like the controversial terror strike in COD:MW2 would be appearing far more often in videogames to hammer in the horror of frontline warfare and terrorism.

On the other hand, some soldiers will admit to finding real wars genuinely entertaining. If you don't think there is something cool about seeing Blackhawks screaming overhead, MGs flaring, then you're probably in denial. Most books and films will go to extreme lengths to show war in a negative light, whilst video games are one of the few mediums that actually capture the sense that warfare can be fun.

I agree with that last part of your post, war can be extremely entertaining. Seeing a group of planes with full afterburners set, Apaches coming up over a cliff, all the military hardware in motion.. Then seeing it all playing out. It's like Chess but in real life.

That bit about it being in bad taste though.. Possibly the day it was released? That might be an issue.. I can't really see how though. A controversial scene isn't all that bad either. We're trying to get video games elevated to the same level as art here, getting a game which presents war as chaotic, uncontrolled and decidedly distasteful is doing a great job. Both as making a point, and showing something for what it truly is.

Rigs83:

swaki:
interesting, im disappointed to see that some companies are afraid to express them self artistically by making a now and/or a +/- 2-5 years game, im not sure when modern warfare 2 takes place since im not really in to CoD's multiplayer and 60 euro for 6 hours is a bit much, but ill definitely pick up six days in fallujah.

No you won' pick up Six Days in Fallujah because it got canned.

But you can play Kuma War.
http://www.kumawar.com/
They had missions from Iraq hours after they happened. Reasonably realistic and nice graphics. They upgraded to the Source engine too, so now they're pretty good. And free. :D
Then there's... A few others if you want realism and current events. America's Army 3 is another. My brain has just died so I'll see if I can find my list of others later.

Freaks From Within by Frank Klepacki.

Nice.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here