There have been many militaristic shooters over the years and sussing out the best one’s can be a challenge. With that in mind, we thought we would look at the classic all-time great military-themed shooters that were able to separate themselves from the pack. Do keep in mind that we tried selecting the best/most iconic representative from a franchise as we did want to keep it balanced. You can be rest assured that all of the titles included below deserve gaming medals of honor.
What's your favorite military shooter? Let us know in the comments below.
Gray. Dingy darkness as far as the eye can see. The sky is gray. The mountains are gray. Even the snow looks as though Mick Jagger tried painting it black and got bored half-way through. A gruff voice struggles to be heard through a radio, practically clawing its way out of the speakers. “I'm in position! I won't be able to hold it for long!” Helicopters swoop in as orchestral music swells in the background. This should be big. This should be epic. But it isn't, because you're a gamer, and you've been here a million times before. Oh, and here's the kicker: the thing I just described? It's the sequel to a colorful, over-the-top snowboarding game.
Announced during last weekend's Spike TV's Videogame Awards (a whole other can filled with equal parts worms and disgrace), SSX: Deadly Descents is pretty much everything that's wrong with big-name, triple-A game development these days. It's gray! It's edgy! It's realistic! It's... so damn boring that I'm going to stop describing it for fear of falling asleep mid-sentence. Most depressing, however, is the fact that it's certainly not alone. The grand majority of big-budget mega-games – almost regardless of genre – seem to be pandering exclusively to the testosterone-fueled manly man who thinks Michael Bay's filmography is the height of human achievement.
Creativity may not be dead, but it's whistling an all-too-merry tune while digging its own grave. Call of Duty: Black Ops, Medal of Honor, Killzone, Gears of War, Resistance, Halo: Reach -- what do they all have in common? They're the same stinkin' game! But their wide variety of three whole character stereotypes, two level patterns, and one color palette is where the money's at, and when budgets are this over-inflated, one wrong move will make the bubble burst. The bottom line? Caution. No unnecessary risks. Applying the same old formulas to new products over and over and over and over and, well, you get the point.
But hey, there's a silver lining here – and a big one at that. Find out what it is after the break!
The Medal of Honor series has finally made the leap to modernity, but the latest installment of the game has done exactly the opposite for PS3 pirates, consigning them to their frustrating past, when the console simply rejected backups. It is the first PS3 game that requires the 3.42 firmware to run.
The firmware, which nips hacks like PSJailbreak in the bud, is also included on the game disc, making Medal of Honor immune to all such hacks. However, the PS3 hacking community isn’t expected to remain quiet. As they always do with the PSP, they could come up with a workaround and include it in future hacks or even a custom firmware.
I wish I could say this was unexpected, but, well, let’s be honest here: My reaction to EA’s last-minute act of self-censorship was less of a “WHAT” moment and more of a dejected sigh followed by the shocking realization that, holy moly, the sky is blue today. And the grass! It’s green! When did that happen? The pieces were in place, after all. There was a controversy, subsequent knee-jerk reactions on all sides, and an unfortunate precedent left festering on the shelf for years. Sad to say, it was only a matter of time before this happened:
“We have also received feedback from friends and families of fallen soldiers who have expressed concern over the inclusion of the Taliban in the multiplayer portion of our game,” said EA producer Greg Goodrich. “This is a very important voice to the Medal of Honor team. This is a voice that has earned the right to be listened to. It is a voice that we care deeply about. Because of this, and because the heartbeat of Medal of Honor has always resided in the reverence for American and Allied soldiers, we have decided to rename the opposing team in Medal of Honor multiplayer from Taliban to Opposing Force.”
GameStop’s military base locations – which formerly refused to sell the game -- are now engaged in a “thorough review to fully understand the extent of the modifications."
Which means everything’s peachy, right? Well, no. Not at all, actually.
What do we mean when we say “big-budget” videogame? This. Put simply, if EA’s latest revival of its long-running military shooter franchise doesn’t move at least three million copies from shelves, Medal of Honor’s getting shelved again.
“I’m not going to be able to do another one,” executive producer Greg Goodrich told the New York Times in reference to the three million sales figure.
For obvious reasons, then, game publishers have begun to seek out supplementary revenue streams in order to make up for the fact that major titles cost so many arms and legs to develop that the end result is an entire nation of stump people. DLC’s an especially popular example, although subscription fees, in-game ads, and tons of tiny microtransactions also help to level the playing field.
Medal of Honor’s success notwithstanding, however, the question arises: Is this business model sustainable? Games aren’t getting any cheaper to create, and as technology improves, even deeper pockets will be needed to fund top-of-the-line videogames. In the words of one of the brightest minds of our time: “Ruh-roh, Raggy!”
If you've somehow managed to avoid the avalanche of controversy pouring down on Medal of Honor, here's the gist: you can play as Taliban in the game's multiplayer. Not “the insurgents.” Not “the guys who look suspiciously like Taliban but totally aren't, no really.” Nope. This time around, Medal of Honor's ripping its inspiration straight from the headlines. That, however, didn't fly with GameStop's stores in military bases.
According to a memo received by Kotaku, the decision to pull the game was made “out of respect for our past and present men and women in uniform.”
“As such, GameStop agreed to have all marketing material pulled by noon today and to stop taking reservations. Customers who enter our AAFES stores and wish to reserve Medal of Honor can and should be directed to the nearest GameStop location off base,” it read.
“GameStop fully supports AAFES in this endeavor and is sensitive to the fact that in multiplayer mode one side will assume the role of Taliban fighter.”
Usually, this is where we make some kind of opinionated and – we like to think – well-informed comment. However, seeing as we haven't served, we'd like to ask the following question: Men and women in the military, what are your thoughts on this? Is it as touchy of a subject as GameStop makes it out to be? Or is this just another example of political correctness gone too far?
Hell, it's about time. Wait, wrong game. Still though, Battlefield 2 came out before Twitter or Facebook hit it big, the iPhone became the tech toy everyone loves to hate but still owns anyway, and even before this snazzy, updated-on-a-regular-basis version of MPC.com came to be. So, for obvious reasons, it feels like we've torn an eternity's worth of pages from our media-centric calendars while waiting to catch a glimpse of DICE's next non-spinoff Battlefield sequel. Fortunately, the finish line's finally in sight.
Via an announcement about Medal of Honor's Limited Edition, EA gave its first official confirmation of Battlefield 3 – and with it, the Battlefield 3 beta. So, how does one nab a spot in the highly anticipated test? Yes – you, in the back. With the shirt that has “Captain Obvious” written all over it. Buy the Medal of Honor Limited Edition, you say? Why yes, you are correct!
Oddly, the Limited Edition will make the same attack on your warchest – $60 – that the standard edition will, and as a result, seems to be the only version listed by many retailers. Aside from the Battlefield 3 beta key, it also packs a little extra heat in the form of a few bonus weapons.
Really though, if a slightly shinier virtual pistol is a deal-breaker for you over Battlefield 3 beta access, you need to take a long, hard look in the mirror, because you do not exist.
E3’s been put to bed and tucked in tight, and we’ve given you a pretty good taste of what we saw while we were there. Here’s the thing, though: we only previewed games. Handy, sure, but isn’t there, like, an entire industry surrounding this stuff? So consider this your preview of everything else. Trends, technologies, when we’ll finally catch a glimpse of Half-Life 3 (answer: the day after Duke Nukem Forever comes out), and more!
1. Modern Warfare – I never thought I’d say this, but I sort of miss World War II. Actually, no I don’t, but after realizing that, by now, the number of fictional Middle Eastern countries invented to house fictional videogame terrorist groups probably outnumbers the actual Middle East, I’ve definitely started feeling some fatigue from constantly playing as the boys in fatigues. That, however, didn’t stop E3 from proudly displaying Call of Duty: Black Ops, Spec Ops: The Line, Medal of Honor, and plenty of others cut from the same cloth as Infinity Ward’s opus.
The Forecast: Modern Warfare’s influence has already spread to the most disparate corners of the gaming universe and will continue to do so. Some games won’t even try to dress up their influences (Medal of Honor, I’m looking at you. Oh, wait, is that you Modern Warfare 2? Sorry. Easy Mistake). Others, meanwhile, might try putting a personal spin on the proceedings – like Spec Ops with its choice-based storyline. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Every multiplayer game under the sun – war-based or not – is taking cues from Modern Warfare’s addictive level-up system. Don’t believe me? Try the latest Transformers game. Yeah.
There’s an old saying that goes, “If you want anything done, you have to do it yourself.”
Well, it’s a lie. Doing stuff is hard. Don’t believe us? Then here’s an object lesson: E3 happened last week. Now, you have two choices. You could turn the Internet upside-down, scouring hundreds of blogs, RSS feeds, and tweets for every last crumb of the information you so crave, or you could just let us do it for you.
Huh? Oh, hey. Would you look at that? We already did it. And you didn’t even have to lift a finger. Well, okay, you’ll have to lift one, actually, in order to click past the break. That’s still a pretty good deal, though, we think. And hopefully, we’ll have Maximum PC’s brand new telepathy-based “read more” link tech up and running in time for next year’s E3. Fingers crossed. Unless you don’t want to lift them.
EA recently released its Q3 fiscal statement, and it’s a magnitude seven doozy. Not to be a downer, though, but first on the release schedule is The Waiting Game, as most of these titles won’t be out until the second half of 2010.
First up, Crysis 2’s positioned itself deep within the overgrown jungles of 2010’s holiday season with an October-December 2010 release window. Medal of Honor and massively multiplayer cops ‘n’ robbers sim All Points Bulletin, meanwhile, are both dropping between the months of July and September. As if three whole games weren’t enough, EA also announced a new Dragon Age title for early 2011.
It’s not all good news, however. For some mystifying reason, the mega-publisher’s decided to release Dead Space 2 on every platform under the sun – even handhelds! – except the PC. Well, whatever. We don’t need the pants scared off us. We’ll take off our own pants. That’ll show ‘em.