Since this is the week of the Fourth of July, America’s Independence Day, I thought I would discuss a topic with a patriotic theme. It also goes along with my current project—Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway. As we celebrate the birth of the United States, we can remember those brave men and women who made our freedom and liberty possible.
There are many games out there that let players take the part of an American fighting man in a variety of conflicts. However, the most common is World War II. In addition to having a good time, players can actually learn some military history as they play titles such as the Medal of Honor or Call of Duty series. Battlefield 1942, while not a historically accurate, let players re-enact major battles from WWII using not only infantry and tanks, but also planes and even battleships! From the naval point of view, while Battlestations: Midway provided an opportunity to command fleets of ships and squadrons of aircraft, a decade earlier, the Great Naval Battles series by SSI did the same but with more strategic and simulative gameplay. Then of course there are the air games such as Blazing Angels of recent release. However, veterans of computer games will remember Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe by Lucasarts and Microprose’s Aces of the Pacific. Finally, there are the RTS games such as Company of Heroes and the older but more tactical Close Combat series.
While all of these games are great, none is more immersive than the Brothers in Arms series. It is like playing through the HBO series Band of Brothers. While I was writing the strategy guide for Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood, I had the opportunity to travel to the Gearbox offices in Plano, Texas. I was impressed by the amount of detail and history that went into their games. As you are in the game walking down a street, that is what that street looked like in 1944. You are not just playing a game, you are experiencing history from the point of view of those who made it. Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway follows this same pattern. While some new features have been added to make it even better than the previous releases, the game still pulls you into the storyline and gives you a first person history lesson on what the 101st Airborne paratroopers went through during Operation Market-Garden in September of 1944 as they tried to secure the bridges over rivers in Holland.
Though Hell’s Highway won’t be out until later this summer, honor America by playing a patriotic game of your choice. Even if you have to wipe off the dust before you play it, pay tribute to the good ole USA by playing.
Have a happy and safe Fourth of July. (for our French readers, have a great Bastille Day later this month.)