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Military Games and Their Gross Underdevelopment

In one of my last blogs I wrote about how Battlefield 3’s expert sound design pointed out I had the mental disorder, PTSD.

I’ve been on a quest to seek out a good military sim that encapsulates dismounted Infantry operations.

The only thing we really got is Arma, and that isn’t good enough. It’s a shame Arma 3 is severely underdeveloped. It’s a real stretch to call it a “sim”, it’s more like a traditional shooter with less flair and complicated mechanics for the sake of being so.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sitting in a profession and criticizing games for not completely emulating it.

Playing Madden probably doesn’t nail what it’s like to play American Football (although I’m terrible at both) and mastering a kick-flip in Skate takes less time than mastering a real kick-flip. Yet both those games capture the atmosphere and more nuanced elements of their source material.

What would it take to make a good military sim?

The bulk of actual combat is just throwing bullets in the general direction of the enemy. Or sometimes silhouettes. Soldiers aren’t killing someone with literally every bullet fired, like in some modern shooters.

The key to a military sim is nailing suppressing fire and AI that acts like a team.

Most bad guys in game just act alone and have no awareness of their buddies. If your squad is doing all sorts of fancy maneuvering and executing proper security, the enemy needs to be doing the same thing.

Real combat is about maneuvering. It’s about communication and moving slowly. I challenge developers to making shooting at a hillside for 45 minutes fun in the context of a game.

If the amount of people you actually kill in an entire military game that holds on to being accuracy is in the triple digits, it’s likely too bombastic.

Full Spectrum Warrior provided the puzzle that's applicable to real life warfare. I want that but with the visual and audio fidelity of Battlefield.

Imagine a shooter like Dark Souls. A game that's punishing, but fair. You can'y go storming in like Call of Duty and fight everyone at once. You movements would have to be deliberate.