War Video Games


#1

I would like to dedicate this thread to everyone’s favourite (real-life-) war games, list yours below!
Mine are (in no particular order):

Battlefield 1, a game set in the Great War featuring many iconic but also less known battles, weapons and vehicles. Surely one of my favourites. A great detail is the codex entries, written by the Great War channel crew.

Call of Duty - World at War: one of the best ww2 games in my opinion. Features gritty realism for its time, and tells stories on multiple fronts from the pov of multiple soldiers and armies.

Medal of Honor - Pacific Assault: set on the Pacific Theatre of ww2, ground-breaking for its time as well. Also features you as a soldier at Pearl Harbour during the Japanese attack on December 7th, 1941 (a date which will live in infamy…).

Battlefield Bad Company 2 - the Vietnam expansion: 4 iconic Vietnam battles with real vehicles and weapons. Best expansion pack for any Battlefield game.

What are your favourites?


#2

The old Call of Duty games were amazing indeed! And MoH: Pacific Assault has left some of the most vivid memories of PC-gaming in my mind, even though it’s years old.

My favorites though, aren’t so much wargames, though I’d say they counts:
Victoria II - Lead a country from 1836-1936, with westernization, imperialism, industrialization, revolutions - both social and national, and probably the most complex economic system in any game.

Europa Universalis (both 3 & 4) a bit of the same, but covering 1444-1821. Colonizing, reformations, and the growth of the state in the early modern world.

Hearts of Iron (Again, both 3 & 4) Same deal. But starting in 1936. So, you know, world war’s the thing.

All 3 are made by Paradox, and are GSG (Grand Strategy Games) where you can play any state in the world. Wanna be the Archbishop of Wurttemberg, navigating the intricacies of the Holy Roman Empire during the 30 years war? EU4’s the game. Making the Dalai Lama into a fascist leader of Tibet? Go for HoI. Or, you know, just boot up V2 as Prussia, unite Germany and win the Great War.

Paradox is pretty much the only games I play by now. They make Cvilization look like a kindergarten.


#3

Best War Games… I think that COD World at War was the one I enjoyed the most. Really liked how they showed experience from various fronts instead of the abomination that is COD WW2 which was essentially an “America F*ck Yeah” experience.

The one that has a sentimental value for me is Age of Empires 2 because it’s the first game that I ever played on PC. On that note, I really enjoy strategy games such as the Total War franchise. I had a hell of a time playing Total War Empires, Shogun 2 and Rome. Company of Heroes is freaking epic. I mean the sound, ambience, the thrill, really puts you in the moment. And do Starcraft and Warcraft count as war games? :stuck_out_tongue:

Multiplayer wise I like Battlefield 1, and War Thunder and World of Tanks, though World of Tanks is mostly just a rage simulator right now, with all the mostly game-ruining changes they made to the game in the past 2 years.


#4

Without a doubt for me the best WW2 Cods were Cod1 (with United Offensive Expansion pack) and Cod2. They both had 3 campaigns for the Americans, British and Soviets; and each of them had a unique feeling. In Cod1 the US one was something straight out of Band of Brothers where you para-drop into Normandy and have to capture these small French villages. The British one was more focused on special missions like blowing up a giant dam or infiltrating a massive German battleship alongside Captain Price. Then you had the Soviet campaign with… THAT Stalingrad level. When was the last time a COD game gave you just a piece of ammo and told you to charge forward without a weapon?

Cod: WaW on the other hand was way too streamlined and it broke immersion constantly, especially with the voiceacting.
Reznov: Shoot those Germans, Dimitri… Take cover behind that building, Dimitri… Cross that street, Dimitri… Shoot those surrendering Germans, Dimitri… Have an existential revelation about the horrors of war, Dimitri!

WaW really needed some of the subtlety of the previous CoDs where you actually felt like a small piece of the larger war as opposed to ‘the main character’. For example I found it very annoying how Reznov was constantly bragging about committing war crimes as revenge. It didn’t feel natural at all and it felt more like the writers going: “Were you aware? The Soviets wanted revenge on the Germans!”. Compare this to that one CoD2 level where SPOILERS you had to cover your comrades while they stormed a German ammo supply and a Russian sniper just comes in and asks: ‘Leave some for me okay?’ and then proceeds to take great joy in shooting Germans, all the while screaming out: ‘This is for my mother… This one’s for my wife… This is for my father… my little sister… my dog…’ - He gets so carried away in his anger that he just gets shot in the head. With just a few lines I felt more sympathetic to this one random NPC that in its brief appearance felt more like a real person than… Look through this empty restaurant and realize that war is terrible, Dimitri. Though in CodWaw’s defence it was visibly rushed to release and had they had an extra year of development (like later CoDs) they probably would’ve improved it greatly.


#5

Back in the day, I really liked Steel Panthers I & II, and the Art of War.

I’ve just binged out on HoI 4, which I’d enjoy more if it’s naval combat worked (yup update on it’s way).

Agreed. Loved to play it when they had Tank Companies, had some wild fun with some good mates.


#6

I agree strongly, cod ww2 was a big letdown.

I really hope BFV will be fun (though the trailers dont look very promising)


#7

CoD WW2 could have been saved if the writers actually had the balls to kill of Zussman in that concentration camp. In fact it almost seems like the writers had a much darker ending at first, but got cold feet later on. So end up in a situation where you are slowly walking through this concentration camp, realizing how terrible and horrible it was and then all of a sudden… ZUSSMAN, ZUSSMAN! and he is just running through the forest where a random German officer was trying to execute a bunch of Jews. See, if I were this random officer and I knew that the Americans were coming and that I want to kill these Jews THAT badly, I’d just shoot them in the head and run for the hills but… I’m not the writer.

The one thing I have to give credit to CoD WW2 though is the MP and how they have managed to collect some of the most obscure weapons out there. The Volksturmgewehr being one of my favorites since I researched it. The Karabin as well, which turned out to be a Polish carbine that saw action only once in the entire war.


#8

The best war game for me is an obscure, fairly realistic tactical shooter known as Hidden & Dangerous 2. You control an SAS fireteam and are sent on assignments to various theaters of WW2, including Africa, Norway, Burma and even Czechoslovakia, among others. It has Rainbow Six-esque gameplay in that you can give commands to your squads, either in-game or through pausing the game (which you can do at any time) and going to an overview. It’s hard as nails and I love it. When I was in school, I made a fansite for it as my IT project.

Other favourites are what @al-Srouji rightly mentioned. I’m a huge fan of Paradox’s games and I actually co-founded the unofficial official Discord server, which is 10,000 strong! My favourite is Europa Universalis IV, for its dynamic diplomacy system, excellent moment-to-moment gameplay (never dull!) and clear sense of cause and effect based on your strategic decisions. The combat is simple, but very engaging and has a surprising amount of tactics to it when it comes to how you’ll carry out your attack or defense. Given the time period, it is of course focused on decisive battles.
I also like Crusader Kings II. I’m a bit less partial to Hearts of Iron IV, which I find boring in the opening phase before the war, where you carry out research and recruitment of your army; there should be more variety.

Finally, the RTS genre is worth a mention. It’s based on the Age of Empires formula and as such it’s quite unrealistic, but I’m a huge fan of Rise of Nations, which has a theme so strong it’s worth playing on that basis alone. The feeling of going through the ages is fantastic, and the graphics engine makes engagements very entertaining to watch (at the time it was maybe the first RTS to feature physics). Towards the end it gets crazy with endless bombardments, as it should.
I’ll also drop a recommendation for Company of Heroes, a very small scale RTS game where you control small squads in WW2 and really get a feel for the combined arms nature of war at that time.


#9

I put more than 500 hours in to Black Ops 3, but WW2 just really wasn’t fun to play in my opinion. I couldn’t even finish the campaign because it was so cliché and cringeworthily bad.

I wish I could enjoy strategy games, but I don’t have the patience for them ;D


#10

In terms of World War 2, Return to Castle Wolfenstein and it’s MP-only successor Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory are my favourites. I found their objective-based multiplayer to be far superior to then big Medal of Honour series (Call of Duty came slightly later but also there I found the MP not up to par). Battlefield 1942 also holds a special place in my parts, I still get the chills when watching the intro.

I think my favourite shooter is the original Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Rising, dealing with a fictional conflict between the US and the Soviet Union in a remote, fictional, island group. It’s a tactical shooter, so run and gun won’t work and it’s very frustrating to get shot while you spent five minutes crouching into a favourable attack position. Don’t confuse this with the later Operation Flashpoint titles, they were successors in name only as the original developer Bohemia and the publisher Codemasters had a falling out or something. Codemasters owned the name Operation Flashpoint and created OFP2: Dragon Rising. The developers of Operation Flashpoint went ahead with Armed Assault, the spiritual successor, which turned into the ArmA series (and I admit, I should play Arma 3 more). However the settings of Arma 1, 2 and 3 don’t capture the atmosphere I felt when playing OFP. They remade the original Operation Flashpoint campaigns (sans the Red Hammer campaign which was developed by a third party) and I want to give those a try once.


#11

I’m a fan of too many war games to list here, but really anything with good sound design and consistent gameplay is gonna get my vote.

For modern day stuff, if I’m wanting to go for realism, the modded version of Arma 3 I run is my go to, usually played with friends on a custom server that I game master with the Zeus function, CSGO if I want to have competitive action and my friends who play it are online.

Historical I tend to prefer older games, pre-Call of Duty Modern Warfare stuff for FPS (love a good game in Battlefield 1942, or Bad Company 2 Vietnam when that was a thing), both Company of Heroes games , Verdun’s up there too, but probably my favourite historical game is Call of Duty 2. The campaign is just so fun to play, but still challenging even on like the tenth playthrough. The GOAT of WW2 shooters


#12

All this talk of WW2 games makes me think: would it be possible for the WW2 channel to have special episodes dedicated to analysing how historically accurate WW2 games are? Not only could it bring in extra viewers but it can also expose people to awesome WW2 games that maybe people haven’t played.

What do you think, Spartacus?


#13

One of my friends is doing a research paper (70 pages) on historical accuracy in popular games, covering all eras from classical times to the cold war. It’ll take a year to finish, but I could send it in here when he’s finished.