Videogames like military first-person shooters are, of course, not very realistic. If you’re shot in real life you’re not going to regenerate health, and I doubt you’ll be able to run around the battlefield as you instantly kill people with a one knife swing (very annoying, by the way). But out of all the games out there, which one has the most realistic combat? Is it Call of Duty? Battlefield? Medal of Honor with its “authenticity”?
Surprise, surprise it’s none of the above. Believe it or not, according to Sergeant Dave Mull, a 12-year veteran who specializes in enemy, area, and route reconnaissance, it’s actually a tie between sci-fi FPS Killzone 3 and post-apocalyptic RPG shooter Fallout 3, which, yes, lets you pause combat and select which body parts to shoot.
For Killzone, it “has the right, gritty feel for things — the crosstalk is right, and you feel like you are in a real infantry platoon,” Mull explained to VentureBeat in an interview. “Some of the weapon features make a helluva lot of sense, too — for example, the main rifle sounds a tone for the last five or so rounds in each magazine, and the grenades feature an LED bargraph to aid in cooking.”
As for Fallout 3, it’s “special because you don’t have any health regeneration — you need to eat. Weapons and equipment degrade over time and with use, so you need to salvage similar items and rebuild them, and you can largely go ‘off script’ whenever you want. I can’t tell you how many times I got tired of hearing some whiny NPC’s sob story and went on the rampage instead of helping them.”
Mull’s answers are based on just what he’s played and not necessarily every game in existence, but it’s still surprising to hear a soldier say that the games with the most realistic combat are a sci-fi title, in which you shoot masked, glowy-eyed soldiers, and a post-apocalyptic RPG, in which you can pause combat and kill green, hulking mutants.
In other interesting news, Mull isn’t too fond about the Army’s combat training simulation, the Engagement Skills Trainer 2000. When VentureBeat commented on how causal players would find completely realistic shooters too difficult, Mull replied: “Ugh, you should see that abomination the Army trains on [… the EST 2000] has a controller shaped like an M4 or M16 and graphics like a Dire Straights music video.” Mull then added that because the simulation was for training purposes, “you can never win [at it] … it’s very Kobayashi Maru.”