Every year we hear about the next Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, or some form of Battlefield. Not that these games are bad, in fact, lately they have been fairly decent. The issue with these titles is that they are repetitive. Don't get me wrong, Battlefield 3 provided an incredibly rich visual and audio experience and the added destruction of the Frostbite 2 engine, with some hefty multiplayer, while Modern Warfare 3 and Black Ops 2 provided interesting, new stories, some multiplayer additions, and also new visuals. All of these games were definitely fun to play, it's just that there was nothing really "new" about them. Sure the new engine could be considered new and so could added weapons. However, the setting is always the same. After a while it starts to get extremely redundant. U.S. Marines this, M4A1 that, sure there are plenty of military forces and weapons to cover, along with the diverse theatres of combat existent in the current decade, but it once those are covered there is nothing left.
With the new technologies existent in current and next-gen gaming engines, there is much to be done when it comes to the first person shooter. Reminisce to Battlefield 1942. For its time, it was extremely innovative, bringing about enormous maps based on real battles that had occurred during World War II and a level of team based gameplay that was unheard of at the time. Never before in a game had the environments been so expensive, nor could you just hop in a jeep and ride off with your squadmates. Now think about World War II. It was the most gruesome of wars and with it came the largest amount of stories to tell. The combat was lengthy and intense, with entire villages being razed and hundreds of soldiers running across the battlefield where mortar after mortar pelted their formations. On the opposite side, there were quiet battles, though just as intense in their own right. With the Frostbite 3 engine having been released by DICE, the possibilities to make the WW II game of the decade being to arise. It could take players from the monotony of the current age battlefields and throw them into the expansive forests of France, the deadly waters of the English Channel, the lush islands in the Pacific, and the sweltering deserts of North Africa, bringing all experiences to life. With the lighting, destruction, and audio aspects of the engine, a living, breathing Argonne forest could be recreated, ready to host massive battles and be ripped apart by mortars, tanks, and artillery. The possibilities with the Frostbite engine are near limitless, with many battles to be covered such as the Invasion of Normandy (D-Day), Miday, Battle of the Bulge, Iwo Jima, Meuse-Argonne Offensive, Hurtgen, Berlin, Peleliu, and Wake Island among countless others. El Alamein and Halfaya are just two of the exotic North African battles. The bottom line is that not only are there myriad of battles to cover, but a World War II game on that grand of a scale would satisfy the adrenaline fueled, team based, sheer awesome gameplay that could revitalize the typical shooter and turn it away from modern combat. Battlefield 1943 seemed like a cheap attempt at doing this, but had it had some revision, say combining elements from Red Orchestra 2, which is currently the closest thing to WW II that you will ever get in a game, it could have been even better than already good.
World War II is not the only setting that can be explored in a video game thats main goal is to detour from 21st century combat. There have been many wars that have been overlooked or underplayed in big name titles, such as the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and World War I. Even the Revolutionary War and Civil War, though the gameplay might be more aggrivating than enjoyable. Expansion packs here and there have given nods to these major events, though haven't given as much justice as a full game would.
When it comes to creativity and originality, there is one concept that really takes the cake. Future warfare. I'm not talking about your average twenty years into the future schpeal either. Future means a great deal ahead, say one-hundred or more years past present day. Sure, Black Ops II is in the future. Is it truly futuristic though? Nothing really changes except that there are hovering vehicles, walkers, and the buildings look a bit different. Take for instance, Battlefield 2142, a game that first pitted intense, futuristic first person combat against the player. It takes place many years after present day, where tanks can fly, gigantic war ships called Titans rain lasers and artillery of all sorts from the sky, and weapon technology has truly changed from how it is presented in modern day. On top of this, the setting reflects a massive ice age where almost ninety percent of Europe has been frozen over and conflict drags on into the Middle East. An exact replication of this game may not be the best thing to suggest, but certainly companies can come up with something imaginative, after all creativity IS supposed to be the driving factor of a videogame. A war in space might be nice too.
Overall, the era of modern combat has been far overused in the past few years, reflecting in almost every first person shooter that is released on a yearly basis. It's time that the industry saw a change of pace for the better, revitalizing the military and war based first peson shooter. With a change of pace might even come a resurgence of customers that have been holding out on purchasing titles for their tendencies to be repetitive. As far as the rest of 2013 goes, the games being released are pretty much set in stone, with Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty Ghosts hitting the FPS shelves first. What the industry needs for a change of pace is time and drive, and hopefully both can be acquired.
For a demonstration of the Frostbite 3 Engine, the Battlefield 4 Gameplay video can be viewed below.