Novel WWII FPS settings!

(I really debated whether this belonged better in CS or not. Ah well, Alea iacta est…)

As many of us know, first person shooter games set during WWII are an extremely popular and lucrative lot, practically a genre in and of themselves. Many of us also know, however, that there’s been increasing criticism by reviewers and players in recent years about the setting growing stale—I think it’s been claimed that more simulated Nazis have been killed in France than died in the actual war.

So that’s got me to thinking…what are some settings and theaters of World War II that have really gone underexposed, but that might translate pretty well into a game?

•What comes to mind immediately is the war in Asia, even outside of the Pacific. Such as the Soviet invasion of Manchuria, perhaps with some “prologue” levels about the earlier Soviet/Japanese border clashes. The culminating bit might be capturing Puyi as he attempts to flee.

•More of the Republic of China’s place in the war might be intriguing, especially battles like the defense of Sihang Warehouse.

•The Burma and India campaigns would be an interesting change of pace, especially if the Axis-alligned Indian National Army is involved.

•Considering how increasingly grim the Call of Duty series has been getting, maybe they’ll eventually feature the death of the Yamato. Featuring the playing in charge of air defense. Thrill as you race from position to position as your AAA gets knocked out! Witness the awesome majesty of the 18" guns firing the “Sanshiki” anti-aircraft rounds at the 100+ waves of planes as your escorts go to the bottom! Marvel at the volumetric smoke modeling! :eek:

Any other ideas?

Great ideas.

The Battle of Crete seems almost made for this, wide range of units, paratroopers, a battle that could have gone either way. One of the Combat Mission games (Afrika Corps) had a couple of Cretan scenarios but I don’t recall seeing it anywhere else.

For more island goodness how about the Battle of Madagascar?.

If folks don’t object to playing a “bad guy” (which, judging from other video games, doesn’t seem to be a problem), you could probably make a pretty good game in the old-school Doom style of one man against thousands from some of those Japanese commandos who kept fighting in the jungles even after the surrender order came.

Bletchly Park: basically a bunch of jumping puzzles as you move intercepted messages from hut to hut, gradually decrypting them at each step, avoiding the Nazi spies, and getting the power-ups to build a stronger decrypting computer (while trying not get outed as a homosexual).

How about Stalag Tycoon? You set up your prison camp, arranging barracks, fences, guard towers, and patrol routes so as to maximize the amount of prisoner space and minimize successful escapes.

How about an RPG set on the Bahamas, where the player takes the role of the Duke of Windsor as Governor? The duke must secure a supply of cigars and pretty frocks for Mrs Simpson (she is a heavy smoker), to last them until VE day.

You did ask for novel.

God, I remember that scenario ! Real nasty. Capturing a heavily defended AA gun on top of a hill, using really, really scattered infantry (I think half of them start out on the other side of the map from their command section, meaning they’ll spend most of the mission with extremely long delays on orders) and no mortars or arty whatsoever ? That’s… hard. Don’t think I ever won that one.

But then, this is something I’ve long been waiting for : a WW2 shooter where you play the German side, for once.

And apparently I’m too stupid to read “FPS” in the thread title. Oh well, the Bahamas would still make a pretty novel setting.

How about the Aleutian Islands campaign, known as the forgotten battle?

There’s that one (which I also never came close to winning) and the Maleme operation, where the New Zealanders can win fairly easily if they don’t abandon the hill overlooking the airfield. Combat Mission was great, I still fire it up from time to time…

Parochial I know, but I would like to see the New Guinea campaign. Particualrly the fighting withdrawal along the Kokoda trail. I think it would be a bit different from the standard fare thus far on a couple of fronts.

The player would be outnumbered, and rather than being in an attacking mode, the whole campaign was pretty much one big fighting withdrawal. I don’t know if something could be done to reflect the facts of the terrible terrain and conditions, plus the fact the Australian soldiers were reservists.

I think more could be done around the middleeast campaigns, especially Tobruk, I know there were a couple of levels in CoD 3(?), but they didn’t really play any differently, it was just different skins on the typical village setting IMO.

Unable to find a clean cite right now, but I once read something that implied that Queen Wilhelmina fled the Netherlands escorted by Dutch bicycle troops, and German motorcycle scout units were at least looking for them – I can’t recall if there was a running battle. But that would be a cool setting. :slight_smile:

The invasion of Poland, Battle of France, invasion of Greece, invasion of Yugoslavia.

Playing as various commando and special forces units:

Germans taking Fort Eben Emmanuel, Italian and British minisub operations, British Commando and SAS raids, US Ranger operations. There are a lot of real missions that fit the FPS genre perfectly, small groups going against lots of enemies with specific missions beyond the generic kill everything else and come back structure.

I’d love to play as a Gurkha- some of the British Empire best light troops- infiltrating and sabotaging Japanese camps in India and Burma.

Mussolini’s rescue.

Mount Cassino.

The Battle of Paris.


As someone said Eben Emael and the capture of the bridges.


It would certainly be cool, but, unfortunately, it has no basis in fact whatsoever.

You could have one based around escaping from a prison camp. It’d be one against many and once out of the camp itself you’d have to make your way back to friendly territory getting help from sympathetic Frenchmen along the way. It would be more of a stealth game than FPS.

Anything from when the First World War was more fluid in form, something like the Zeebrugee Raid, from the point of view of a Royal Marine going on shore or Australian troops raiding German lines near the end of the war.

EDIT: Yeah, sorry, I was just brainstorming there, WWI has potential too.

Back in the day, Avalon Hill did a great dice n’ hexes n’ counters game Air Assault on Crete. It was fun and notable for the random paratrooper dispersal which really screwed the starting units of the German side.

My very first thought was the Philippines campaign against the Japanese in 1944. I seem to remember that they sorta grazed it in Medal of Honor: Rising Sun, but there’s much more depth to be had.

What about the a “coast-watcher” campaign in occupied Indonesia or New Guinea? Spy on shipping and aircraft movements, rendevous with airdropped supplies and agents, occassional acts of sabotage.

Opportunities for great cinematics - supply drop aircraft racing up the valleys and taking small-arms fire from above, large formations flying overhead on the way to bomb Darwin.

You could keep it totally realistic, or add a little fiction by having them contribute to retaking the occupied territories, or add total fiction by stealing and relaying vital information for one of the WWII sea battles.

Heh. How about the Battle of Khalkhin-Gol? You can be a Japanese soldier – you step off confidently, armed with your lightweight 5-shot carbine using the underpowered pistol rounds, with another 40 rounds on your belt. You encounter an entire Soviet armored division with attached heavy artillery and rocket launchers.

You can call the scenario “Never get involved in a land war in Asia.”