To the Day of the Airborne Forces. Paratroopers in Video Games / Games

To the Day of the Airborne Forces. Paratroopers in Video Games / Games


We, parachutists,

at ease in the clear sky.

Guys are easy to climb

We give advice to bully:

You shouldn’t joke with fire!

Song from the film “Leap at Dawn”, 1960

People of harsh professions and specialties often inspire figures of mass culture in general and creators of video games in particular. We saw a lot of games about military special forces, about brave police officers, about daredevil pilots. With a certain diligence, you can find a game about a fireman or a doctor – both quite serious and hilarious. And the paratroopers have appeared in many games – in honor of the holiday, we will remember the most worthy of these projects. They can be safely recommended to any person with an active lifestyle, regardless of the number of parachute jumps made.

And on the second of August, on the Day of the Airborne Forces, which has been celebrated since the distant 1930, it would be appropriate to launch any of the games of this material.

The first really popular game on a designated theme appeared in the late eighties. It was at this time that statements began to sound that computer games are not just fun for schoolchildren from primary grades, that games appear that are quite interesting to adult uncles and aunts. Thus, the cult magazine “Technics for Youth” in one of its issues gave a full spread for an article about “surprisingly serious computer games.” It mentioned things like Sid Meier’s Pirates, for example! Told in that memorable article and about Airborne Ranger

The game was released in 1987 by the giant of the gaming industry of those years – Microprose Software. The Airborne Ranger approached the airborne action with an unprecedented, unprecedented scrupulousness. We carefully selected equipment before departure, and when choosing, we had to take into account the specifics of the mission – for example, to destroy an armored bunker, it was necessary to take explosives. Missions are only for special types of troops: we carried out sabotage and sabotage left and right, stole documents and tainted the enemy air defense system. When landing with a parachute, we could be carried away almost anywhere on the map, and the operation began by dropping our equipment from a helicopter – we had to look for exactly where the valuable cargo landed, and only then take up the main business. Our paratrooper, finally, in many cases tried to avoid contact with the enemy, that is, we had in front of us, albeit superficial, but still elements of stealth. And this was in 1987, when most games offered fun jumping over all kinds of obstacles!

The paratrooper in the Airborne Ranger was able to run and crawl. Unprecedented options for the action game of that era!

The paratrooper in the Airborne Ranger was able to run and crawl. Unprecedented options for the action game of that era!

The Airborne Ranger was a success and was released on all current platforms. And if the action there took place in the conditional modernity, then later video games began to talk more and more often about the paratroopers of the Second World War.

The most detailed in the projects of recent years, the developers spoke about the WWII paratroopers in Medal of Honor: Airborne… Developers from Electronic Arts told about the American paratrooper Boyd Travers: the player with him visited Italy, France, the Netherlands and participated in the final stage of the war. A feature of the shooter was the parachute landing mode: we jumped out of the plane and descended onto the battlefield, controlling the lines and choosing a place for a soft landing. Unreal Engine 3 drew a nice open location below, and with a certain dexterity we could land even in the rear of the anti-aircraft batteries, even on the roof of a residential building. And although during the development of Medal of Honor: Airborne the parachute chip was presented as almost the main advantage of the project, there was no revolution in the genre. Nice, interesting feature, but no more …

The paratrooper in Medal of Honor: Airborne often jumped into the heat of battle

The paratrooper in Medal of Honor: Airborne often jumped into the heat of battle

Many critics kicked Medal of Honor: Airborne for unfulfilled hopes, calling it “average.” But the fall of 2007 turned out to be poor for fans of shooters, and soon the same critics wrote something like “more of such middle peasants”.

When in 2003 the first deafening “shot” Call of Duty, the airborne assault was dedicated, which is typical, two of the three single-player campaigns. We played for the US Army on behalf of Private Martin of the 506th Parachute Regiment. Martin and his platoon were dropped into the German rear. The parachutists scattered around the area managed to regroup and successfully terrorize the Nazi anti-aircraft gunners, and then perform many more feats. Sergeant Evans took the rap for the British. Evans’ airborne division landed deep in enemy territory, and a sergeant with a detachment of fighters had to recapture and hold a bridge of strategic importance. The battle turned out to be hot: the paratroopers used the captured artillery, and when the orchestral soundtrack by Michael Giacchino was played at a turning point, the players received an avalanche of emotions – a worthy climax! Well, Sergeant Evans after this battle ended up in the ranks of the SAS, the British Army Special Forces.

Captain Price has already appeared in the first CoD. And he served in the British landing

Captain Price has already appeared in the first CoD. And he served in the British landing

Soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division of the US Army act in three parts of the series Brothers in Arms… It all starts with the story of the young paratrooper Matt Baker. In Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30, Sergeant Baker will parachute into Occupied Normandy, and the start of the game effectively repeats a similar scene from Steven Spielberg’s TV series Band of Brothers. Landing planes fall under heavy anti-aircraft fire, and we literally fall out of the burning car to fly through flames and bullets, lose equipment and land in an unknown place without support and weapons. In the sequel, we played for Joe “Red” Hartsock from the same division, and in the third part, Baker returned to take part in the Dutch operation (1944) – the largest and most unsuccessful airborne assault operation at that time of World War II. The series gained considerable popularity, with players and critics alike appreciating the character work and tactical elements.

Brothers in Arms. 1944 airborne assault

Brothers in Arms. 1944 airborne assault

It’s no secret that game developers are people with a restless imagination; within the real story, they sometimes feel cramped. And then igrodely turn to the vast expanses of fantasy. And there was a place for paratroopers in fantastic video games.

Shooter released in 2009 Halo 3: ODST, a somewhat unexpected offshoot of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers (ODST stands for Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, or “Rapid Response Orbital Troopers”). Such troops were dropped from low orbit in single capsules. We played as a fighter nicknamed the Newbie, who wandered around the metropolis of the future in an attempt to find his colleagues (or what was left of them). Users liked the game; Halo 3: ODST has been praised for its fresh approach to the script and a darker atmosphere when compared to the games about the exploits of the Master Chief. And perhaps the main advantage of the game was the tangible contrast between the orbital paratroopers and the miraculous Spartans from the main Halo series. The landing force did not have the fancy Mjolnir armor and relied mainly on personal skills and fortitude. It was more difficult to play and often more interesting.

The paratroopers from ODST are well equipped, but the Master Chief is still cooler

The paratroopers from ODST are well equipped, but the Master Chief is still cooler

In 2006, the Rebellion Developments team (including Aliens vs. Predator 2010 and the Sniper Elite series) developed a third-person action game Rogue Trooper… The story there was about genetically improved paratroopers: they quickly grew and learned, they could breathe earthly air, which in the distant future became poisonous after long wars. The fighters turned out to be quite fearful, with blue skin and white eyes without pupils. But they showed all the qualities of a good paratrooper in this game many times. After being dropped from the carrier ships hanging in the stratosphere, the main character Rogue’s squad was ambushed due to treachery. And now Rogue will take revenge and complete a tactical task at the same time. The game became the basis for the popular English comics of the 2000 AD series – this is where, for reference, the gloomy Judge Dredd came. Therefore, the elaboration of the entourage and its elements in Rogue Trooper was very good. The paratrooper slashed enemies with magnetic grenades and micromines, knocked them down in hand-to-hand combat, pulling out the breathing valves of gas masks, and cruelly deceived them with holographic bait. A couple of years ago, the game received a remaster, and rumors about the second part have been floating around for several years.

The enemy is landing his troops against ours. His chances are slim

The enemy is landing his troops against ours. His chances are slim

According to American developers from the TimeGate Studios team, the war of the distant future will also not be complete without landing. True, parachutes will be replaced by exoskeletons, which is clearly shown in the shooter Section 8 (2009). Paratroopers are dropped from a great height, from an airless space, and the player in the first person view chooses a landing point on a really large map. And Section 8 is the American military slang for inadequate soldiers; this is how the paratrooper unit is called in the game. As you probably already understood, this is about reckless courage, and not about the habit of running naked through the city streets.

Section 8 paratroopers are more like combat robots

Section 8 paratroopers are more like combat robots

Science fiction classic Robert Heinlein published his novel Starship Troopers in 1959. In 1997, the classic of cinema, director Paul Verhoeven, who earned a monument during his lifetime for the first “Robocop” and for “Total Recall” with young Arnie, reached the novel. The film adaptation was very different from the book: Verhoeven showed spectacular battles, the mores of society and the power of propaganda. But the very essence of the landing in the cinema has changed a lot – if the writer talked in detail about automated combat suits, then on the screen we saw practically a landing in Normandy with beetles instead of the Nazis.

However, it was the movie version that got into the world of video games, not the book. We will not recall the helpless shooter Starship Troopers of 2005 in this festive article. But the earlier version of the game based on the film Verhoeven deserves attention. Starship Troopers: Terran Ascendancy came out in 2000 and was a solid hardcore tactic. Our paratroopers dived across different God-forgotten planets in order to bring the victory of mankind closer with pinpoint strikes. The game was in many ways similar to the popular Myth series: we with small forces resisted hordes of enemies, and the specifics of movements and battles required careful and verified actions. At the time of release, Terran Ascendancy sported a cool three-dimensional picture, each fighter was a personality with his own characteristics, and the gameplay was fascinated by the complexity and dynamics. The entourage, recognizable from the film, added attractiveness. So if you are a fan of the genre and stay up at night worrying about a strategy crisis, look for this game about a squad of space marines.

Well, on Steam you can find a page so far only moving towards the release of the game Starship Troopers: Terran Command… It’s a strategy that revisits the Starship Troopers movie. Judging by the videos and screenshots, a beautiful and large-scale game about battles on alien planets awaits us. Only we will no longer command dozens of paratroopers, as in Terran Ascendancy, but hundreds. Alien beetles, however, are expected in the thousands.

The bug army rushes to the showdown with the landing

The bug army rushes to the showdown with the landing

Well, the most famous fantasy paratroopers in the world of video games are, of course, the Space Marines from Warhammer 40,000.

The Emperor’s Space Marine is assembled into legions, and a select few warriors serve in it. Such paratroopers are improved through biological and chemical effects, and numerous surgical interventions and artificial genetic superiority make them real war machines. The moral qualities of the Space Marines are hypertrophied to the limit, as is customary in the harsh world of eternal war. Their loyalty to the Emperor knows no bounds – that is why they consider the Chaos Space Marines, their former brothers-in-arms, corrupted by demonic forces, as their worst enemies. The main motto of the Space Marine: “Burn the heretic. Kill the xenos. Pursue evil spirits. ” For the sake of protecting the human species, they are ready to wipe cities from the faces of the planets and eradicate entire races.

Space marines are parachuted from orbit, in platoons, seated in heavy capsules. Moreover, there are no braking parachutes or directional explosions to extinguish the speed: the capsule crashes into the mortal earth at full speed, destroying all living things at the landing site, and space marines blazing with righteous anger immediately jump out. Airborne weapons combine various barrels and melee units; the canon set is a heavy bolter and chainsword, although there are a lot of options.

Sword and heavy bolter. Space Marine Common Gear

Sword and heavy bolter. Space Marine Common Gear

Warhammer Space Marines have appeared in a variety of decent games across a wide range of genres. You can remember Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate (1998), harsh turn-based tactics in the best traditions of the then X-COM, or brutal thematic chess Warhammer 40,000: Regicide… A series of strategies written in the history of gamedev in golden letters Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War… And lovers of slashers can appreciate Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine… There you can climb into the armor of a paratrooper of the Ultramyrin order and hack the orcs with a chainsword from the third person. This action game also gives you the opportunity to personally test the favorite technique of the Space Marines: soar higher on a rocket pack, then to fall into the midst of the enemy with all its genetically modified mass.

The Emperor's Marines supported by Heavy Vehicles - Unstoppable Force

The Emperor’s Marines supported by Heavy Vehicles – Unstoppable Force

It is easy to see that the paratroopers in the world of games feel comfortable both in the genre of action and in strategies.

The first – and in the opinion of many connoisseurs of the genre the best – is the game of the Ukrainian strategy series “Behind Enemy Lines” proposed four campaigns for different sides of the conflict. According to the plot, the Americans were represented by a detachment of paratroopers who fought back from the main forces during the aforementioned Operation Vegetable Garden. A whole brigade of Germans hunts for paratroopers, but the paratroopers break out of the encirclement and give the Nazis a good thrashing. We could use massive use of troops in World War II in a beautiful RTS with a claim to be epic Order of War – Belarusian developers from Wargaming.net have already tried their best here. IN Company of Heroes from the Canadian studio Relic, the creators of the aforementioned Dawn of War, American paratroopers are driving the Nazis away from French towns. The fighters in this game are good at being able to quickly land on parachutes anywhere on the map, in addition, they can arm themselves with powerful anti-tank grenade launchers.

Competently landed troops change any battle in your favor

Competently landed troops change any battle in your favor

In space strategy ORBOffWorld Resource Base (2002, developer of Strategy First) Paratroopers are worth their weight in gold. A single space warrior can get close to an enemy starship, cut a neat hole in it, releasing air to the trouble of the crew, and take the board almost intact.

Strict, uncompromising wargames also rarely do without airborne assault. For example, take the dilogy Panzer Corps, the second part came out this spring. When the number of moves is limited, when each hex is important, just such troops become very valuable. After all, the paratroopers may appear in a completely unexpected place for the enemy. And if the enemy has pulled his regiments to a particularly important river crossing, nothing will prevent the landing party from rampaging in the enemy’s rear.

Many video games, without involving the paratroopers directly, in one way or another refer to the topic of airborne assault. Take at least a parachute. After all, the parachute is a symbol of the Airborne Forces, and if you are in doubt, go up to any paratrooper in the recreation park on August 2 and ask them to show tattoos on their forearms. You will most likely see a parachute canopy and lines there.

Many heroes of the games served, apparently, urgently in the Airborne Forces

Many heroes of the games served, apparently, urgently in the Airborne Forces

Parachute tricks brought popularity to Agent Rico from the series Just Cause… The parachute fits perfectly into the later parts Far Cry… Sam Fisher and Snake handle him deftly. Without parachute training, the Ghosts on the Auroa archipelago would have had a hard time. Ghost Recon Breakpoint… Epic and classic of the FPS genre – Agent Keith Archer’s plane jump in No. One Lives Forever: Kate jumped without a parachute at all and was able to take the rescue backpack from one of the villains who jumped out of the same plane.

And in the popular tank action game World of Tanks you can sit on the levers of the airborne assault tank. The French light tank AMX ELC bis has a crew of only two people, has a small size and an understated hull. In reality, such a tank was built only as a prototype, but in the game you can go on it for awards and glory.

Speed, agility and compactness. This is the airborne assault tank

Скорость, маневренность и компактность. Таков танк воздушного десанта

Что же, будем считать, что разработчики игр готовы ко Дню ВДВ, а десантникам не стоит жаловаться на недостаток внимания со стороны игровой индустрии. Поздравляем всех бывших и действующих бойцов воздушного десанта и желаем им играть только в хорошие видеоигры! Всех причастных к празднику читателей просьба отписаться в комментариях, с удовольствием почитаем!

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