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Author Topic: German for an FPS Protagonist  (Read 973 times)

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Online Inkidu

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Re: German for an FPS Protagonist
« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2015, 06:14:36 AM »
There's a title called Spec Ops: The Line, where the main Antagonists are actually a U.S. Army Infantry Battalion, and you're a Special Forces operative in a team of three that's sent in to find out what happened to them, only to be pitted against them. I played it and heard it got quite the positive reaction, many critics praised it for actually showing the U.S. Army as the "bad guy" for once. Of course though this wasn't historical, it was fiction.

Still it would actually be pretty amazing to be in the perspective of a German soldier on the Eastern Front or at the Normandy Coast.
No no no, the main antagonistis not the US Army battalion.

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide
That'd be you, you're a villain protagonist and as such antagonist to everyone else in Dubai

So yeah, you're not going to sell a mainstream company on that twist. Even though it's probably the best shot.

I would so be down for this. Play through the life and training of a generally good person who just happened to be made into a doubting cog in the German war machine. There's more potential for shooter gameplay then you'd think, aside from the obvious 'Shoot ze Americans' stuff. I mean, what happens when Berlin falls? Plenty of soldiers must have scattered, right? I remember playing Call of Jaurez: Bound in Blood, where the scenario was very similar. You deserted the civil war in the final days of it and a crazed General spent the whole game hunting you down with what was left of his army.
It think the zeitgeist of Nazi Germany still looms over the world (no more than modern Germany). I'm not saying that this couldn't be explored at some point, but no matter what your playing a German in WW2 game is about (even defection) the second the media gets it it becomes video games letting kids become Nazis. :|

The most accurate portrayal I've seen of the Nazi regime and philosophy in a modern game is Wolfenstein: The New Order, and that still uses a lot of Stupid Jetpack Hitler.

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Re: German for an FPS Protagonist
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2015, 11:54:43 AM »
There's a title called Spec Ops: The Line, where the main Antagonists are actually a U.S. Army Infantry Battalion, and you're a Special Forces operative in a team of three that's sent in to find out what happened to them, only to be pitted against them. I played it and heard it got quite the positive reaction, many critics praised it for actually showing the U.S. Army as the "bad guy" for once. Of course though this wasn't historical, it was fiction.

Still it would actually be pretty amazing to be in the perspective of a German soldier on the Eastern Front or at the Normandy Coast.

I loved Spec Ops: The Line and I'd argue it remains the single best example of both video games as art and of a video game truly pushing the medium forward. But I'm not sure it's the best example to use here:

1) As Inkidu says the question as to who is actually the bad guys over the course of the game is very, very, very nuanced.

2) Despite decent critical reviews (generally praising the plot and setting but far less positive about the mechanics) it barely sold; its failure was put forward as one of the main reasons Take-Two Interactive posted poor results in the quarter it came out. As my point was that a game where you played a German soldier fighting the Americans in WW2 wouldn't sell well citing another game which didn't sell well as a counter doesn't really work.

3) While SO:TL was set in a vaguely real world (although originally designed as more of a sci-fi game) it's a game set in a fictional conflict and there are quite a few examples of games where the US (or at least the US Government) plays the role of antagonists; from Half Life to GTA to Prototype to Deus Ex to the DLC for Assasin's Creed 3 etc etc. But in this case it wouldn't be some fictional conflict, it would be a historical one with you fighting for a side which have become shorthand for evil against a group presented as the heroes. That might make for an incredibly nuanced game but I doubt it sells well. At all.

Offline MikemTopic starter

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Re: German for an FPS Protagonist
« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2015, 05:12:06 PM »
And here I am forced to live in a world that cares more about profits than storytelling. And also a world where the premise of developing a game with the perspective of a German in World War 2 has less support than a game that forces the player into the shoes of a mass murderer who's sole gameplay is killing and executing men and women begging for their lives. (Hatred)

I'd like to hope that as we get closer to a full century after the second World War more people (who give a crap about history) will see the major differences between the German Army, and the German Nazi Party. They were two distinctly different groups, the Army having been just a means to an end for the party. I've heard many accounts that regular servicemen throughout the Wehrmacht didn't fully support the Nazi's, but still were forced to follow orders, just like any other military in the world. I don't view the Germans as Evil, I view their leaders at the time as such as so should everyone else. And really a game detailing the story of a German soldier could be educational in that regard!

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Re: German for an FPS Protagonist
« Reply #28 on: October 26, 2015, 07:49:45 PM »
I'm going to say, Mikem, that you have hit on something that probably goes beyond this conversation to a whole host of issues, some of which would be--I think--insensitive to deal with because there are Germans on this site, and they have a unique relationship with this subject, so I refuse to partake in that discussion because I don't want to accidentally belittle it, but that brings me to the crux of the issue with a German player character in a FPS game.

You run a great risk of doing the subject matter a terrible disservice. There are subjects within that period of German history that would--again I think--be grossly diluted by the mechanics of such a game. Spec Ops gets its brilliance because it calls in the very nature of action-hero games and outright and unfairly shames the player, but that's the point.

However, turning Nazi-era Germany into a power fantasy is just way too easy. I think the interactive experience required to do justice to that time period would have to be without flaw. Any flaw in the game is possibly a point where it'd be destroyed.

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Re: German for an FPS Protagonist
« Reply #29 on: November 05, 2015, 04:42:03 PM »
I think this could actually be solved by perhaps fiddling with history a little bit. Having a story perhaps where Wermacth soldiers hunt down remnants of the SS and them lamenting being thought of as the same kind of monsters that made the Deathcamps when they never even knew they existed

Or something inspired by the battle o Castle Itter perhaps.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_for_Castle_Itter

Which is sort of what I just said. US Army and German soldiers fighting to hold a castle against an SS assault.

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Re: German for an FPS Protagonist
« Reply #30 on: November 06, 2015, 02:32:54 PM »
Jumping into this thread without really having read any posts.

I realise it's not a Triple-A game but there is actually a game in which you play as either German or Soviet soldiers (arguably the "bad guys" of the war and the "bad guys" after the way). Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad (and by extension the original Red Orchestra is set on the Eastern Front with the attempted German blitzkrieg which failed to reach Stalingrad.

Admittedly the game doesn't have much depth, nor is the singleplayer particularly good as it is just the multiplayer maps set in a specific order. But it IS a game in which Germans are the primary protagonists (there are two campaigns and the German campaign is first).

As someone who is half German I have to say I would quite like to play a game in which you play as a German soldier. But I actually think there might be another aspect to the fact that they haven't made a German protagonist in a Second World War game other than the fact that the "Nazis were all bad guys" and the consumer's simple mind wouldn't be able to handle anything to contrary... It's because they lost. In my opinion it would be pretty difficult to make any game where you have to connect with your character when you know you are still going to lose.