Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Broken Records

One thing which has troubled me for a while is the fact that the vast majority of developers focus on one of two time periods when creating an FPS: WWII, or the modern era. The Call of Duty series is a shining example of this. I must cut Infinity Ward, who I recognise as the only legitimate developer of the series, some slack here; publisher Activision wanted more of the same following the second installment, and when those crazy, crazy IW devs decided they'd had enough, Treyarch was ready to step up to the plate with yet another WWII shooter, and then another following the extremely successful Modern Warfare from IW. It seems that even Infinity Ward itself can't get far enough away from the legacy of the Treyarch releases, dropping the Call of Duty title from Modern Warfare 2.

As good as it's looking, though, I can't help but feel a pang of disappointment. They finally got away from WWII... and caught up with every other dev, portraying modern warfare instead. While I must give them serious points for making the Generic Middle-Eastern Nation™ merely a sideshow rather than the chief bad guy, it's still just a modern war being fought with modern weapons by modern soldiers in various locations around the world. Don't get me wrong, I'll be all over MW2 when it goes up for pre-order, but I just feel let down that once again, a whole array of other conflicts have been passed over.

My pet hope is that one day, somebody will make a game set during the Falklands War. It was an exceptionally hard fight in an extremely inhospitable environment; elite British troops of the Royal Marines and the Paras were pitted against a vastly larger force of Argentine conscripts, as well as a small contingent of Argentine Special Forces. An Argentine Exocet hit and sank the Atlantic Conveyer, sending the bulk of the British force's transport to the bottom of the South Atlantic; the soldiers were forced to march over rock-strewn peat bogs and dense scrub, up steep mountains and through heavy fire by day and by night. As can be expected from the South Atlantic, the weather was absolutely vile at best, and as a result, losses on both sides were more or less equal (not counting the 300-odd Argentine sailors lost when HMS Conqueror torpedoed the General Belgrano). The terrain and the distances involved meant that both sides' soldiers had very little in the name of support. It would be hard to even imagine up a harder conflict.

So with that in mind, this is my challenge to any current or hopeful future developers who may be reading:

Give us something we haven't had hundreds of iterations of already. Give us something interesting. Give us something that many people either haven't heard of, or are at risk of forgetting.

Give us a Falklands title.

Royal Marines putting their boots to good use, due to a chronic lack of helicopters

Paras pose for a victory snap after the battle of Goose Green



  1. Its TVTyrant. What about WWI? I've always wanted a WWI game :(

  2. WWI has indeed been neglected, but there's not much opportunity for a WWI FPS which actually works. Until the final two years of the war, very few battles were actually fluid enough to make for an enjoyable or even tolerable gameplay experience; making a whole campaign would be very difficult. Things did start to change in 1917, but honestly, I'm not sure a full-on campaign would work for most players.

  3. Hey, digging ditches is the most fun experience video games can offer. Don't diss WWI.
    But yeah, I totally see what your getting at. I'm still holding out for a Korean War or a good Vietnam game. Most of the Nam games are supposed to be terrible.

  4. It aint exactly a game, but it's a mod for a game -