View Full Version : Grognard Fantastic

22-06-2011, 04:40 PM
The last Heavily Engaged article by Tim reminded me a long held desire I have to see more sim-like games with fantastical elements and settings.

An interesting example of this type of game is the original Steel Battalion for XBox; the one with the infamous controller (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e7/Steel_Battalion_controllers.jpg). It took that theme of war mecha and gave it full on simulation treatment, though arguably much more accessible than the majority of sim games.

There are other more borderline examples - the 1998 Battlezone, the PC Crimson Skies - can the RPS community suggest any more?

22-06-2011, 05:10 PM
Particle Systems' Independence War and Independence War 2.

Space sims, if you've never heard of them. People clamor about Freespace 2, but having a "max speed" IN SPACE always made me scream at my monitor.

Well-realized universe, realistic and fun physics and handling, modeling of the energy systems in your ship... Great games.

22-06-2011, 09:35 PM
This also reminded of Shattered Horizon, being a great example of the type of game I'm describing.

Space games are an interesting example - they sort of inherited their groginess from PC flight sims, as they were an evolution of that genre (ironically this was in part an attempt to give them broader appeal).

The point you raise about "top speeds" in space is interesting. People groan about that as being unrealistic in space sims, but nobody moans that when you press the warp drive button and your ship breaks the speed of light - both are abuses of physics. Is this because people just accept faster-than-light travel as necessary for space based sci-fi to work? But what if 'top speeds' are necessary for accessible starfighter style space combat? An interesting tangent.

Regardless, it's illustrative of a strength of this type of game - namely that the systems they are simulating in detail are those fashioned by a game designer, and not those fashioned by the whims of historical technological development; this allows them to maintain those satisfying groggy bits (the boot up sequence from Steel Battalion, going silent in Shattered Horizon) without compromising the basics of good game design.