The first person shooter genre has been around for almost as long as gaming has existed. Doom and Wolfenstein were standard-bearers which forever changed the landscape of video games and paved the way for innovations that would eventually lead to titles such as Counter-Strike, Medal of Honor and Halo. From single player campaigns, first person shooters, especially those played on a PC, exploded with the advent of the internet giving people the opportunity to battle each other via online servers hosted by companies like 1&1. The premise of the genre – looking through the eyes of a character wielding a weapon – has seen the development of many different graphic engines as well as gameplay styles. From Unreal Tournament through to GoldenEye, the first person shooter has materialized in many different ways. And of course, the genre has tried to emulate conflict – that is, modern warfare – in a number of games. Call of Duty, Battlefield, Sniper, these are just some of the titles based on current warfare, but which are the most realistic?
The third title in the ARMA series (not counting any modded content like DayZ), Arma 3 is a continued and improved military sandbox simulator that takes place on the Aegean islands of Altis and the Stratis of Greece. It’s a hyper-real experience of what being in the military is like, with one shot kills common, and a massive playable area – an expanse of over 270 kilometers. It places a huge demand on CPUs and graphics cards alike, sporting some of the best graphics around, not to mention the size of the maps generated. The game encourages teamwork, allowing players to tactically cooperate as they use weapons and vehicles modeled on ordnance found within today’s military.
Focusing on urban warfare, Insurgency is a team-based multiplayer shooter that strips back the player experience to give a more realistic fighting simulation. Unlike other FPS, Insurgency does not have a crosshair to aim with and players have to use the iron sights of their rifle to hone in on their targets. Likewise, firing from the hip is extremely difficult and the weapons are generally more deadly, with rifles generally eliminating enemies with no more than one or two shots.
Not only accurate in terms of gameplay mechanics, Battlefield One is especially notable for its accurate portrayal of World War I. It describes in horrifying detail the effects of the newest weaponry of the period – tanks as well as chemical warfare in the form of mustard gas – and gives players a hands-on and personal sense of what war was really like. Players fight in the smoldering ruins of towns, with spades and clubs in trenches, on horseback and train. They also take on the roles of some of the belligerents of the time, namely the Ottoman Empire, the German Empire as well as the United Kingdom.