01 November 2006

New WWII Video Game Allows for Non-Linear Play

The competition in the videogame industry for the dominant WWII-themed first-person shooter (FPS) is heating up. The two dominant players are Electronic Arts (EA) with their 'Medal of Honor' series and Activision's 'Call of Duty' series.

The latest move has been made by EA with Medal of Honor: Airborne. The game's new airdrop function allows players to start levels anywhere on the battlefield. This is a big change from the previously linear and scripted gameplay in earlier versions of both games.

Of course, if a videogame truly wants to simulate the experiences of airborne troops in WWII, the player might get choose the best place for a landing, but there would be no guarantee that the transports would get him anywhere near his intended DZ or with any of his requisitioned weapons.

More open-ended WWII video games are also available through multi-player online games like Aces High and WWII Online. But these aren't supported by the big game and console companies. It's an open question as tow which, if any of these games capture even part of what it must have felt like to be there. And should they even try?

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