The UK’s Ministry Of Defense Wants Simulators As Good As Battlefield 3 Or Modern Warfare 3

The UK’s Ministry Of Defense Wants Simulators As Good As Battlefield 3 Or Modern Warfare 3

It’s no secret that today’s soldiers train on all manner of video game-style simulators. In the United Kingdom’s Ministry of defence, British servicemen use Virtual Battlepace 2 as part of their regimen. VBS2 is a product of Bohemia Interactive, who also make the ultra-realistic shooter sim Operation Flashpoint games for the consumer market. (The U.S. Secret Service use it, too.) However, unlike the OpFlash games, VBS2 hasn’t gotten an update since 2007. In the dog years of video game engine iteration, that’s a loooong time. With recruits already having experienced the better graphics and gameplay of Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3, British military are finding that VBS2’s hoary old experience no longer holds new trainees’ attention. Bored soldiers-in-training probably aren’t what you want to be sending all over the world.

So, the Ministry of defence now wants to use the tech of more modern war games to augment their current simulators. An article at Gamasutra quotes a Andrew Poulter — technical team leader at the Ministry of Defense’s defence Science and Technology Laboratory — as saying the following in a Guardian interview:

“Back in the 1980s and 1990s, defence was far out in front in terms of quality of simulation,” said Poulter. “Military-built simulators were state of the art.”

“But now, for £50 ($77), you can buy a commercial game that will be far more realistic than the sorts of tools we were using. The truth is, the total spending on games development across the industry will be greater than spending on defence.”

With regards to acquiring or licensing the engines of modern-day titles, Poulter says that such tech would have to be tuned more towards portraying realism, as opposed to the bigger-than-life entertainment experiences they currently portray:

“The weapons need to be credible. If they fire a rifle and the bullet travels three and a half miles, then that is not right. If they are steering a vehicle, then that has to be right too. Realism is more important than entertainment.”

So, if you think that BF3 or MW3 is too boring already, it’s probably a good thing that you won’t experience a more realistic version during military training.

UK Ministry of defence Adapting Recent Video Game Shooters Into Simulations [Gamasutra]


  • “With recruits already having experienced the better graphics and gameplay of Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3”

    “Better graphics of Modern Warfare 3”


    • Exactly what I thought when I saw the title, but in the mean time isn’t this what VBS 2 is meant to cater to?

  • You guys are missing the point, the article talks about how they would like to use an updated graphics engine for their training program similar to bf3 or mw3, it has nothing to do with mw3 not getting a graphics update. If you looked you would see that VB2 isn’t near the same level as mw3 or bf3. I feel like I’ve jumped in the delorean and am back at mid October….

  • The comments of the UK’s Ministry of Defense are a little uneducated.

    They’re asking for an engine that runs the graphics of the latest video games, without thinking about how much of the the computing power of their PC’s running VBS2 is being used for more than just the engine’s graphics!

    I took a look at the VBS2 website and there is a lot of shit going on in the background. The application has a complete after-action reporting suite for trainers to use after trainees have completed a mission.

    You can’t just grab the Frostbite 2 engine and whack it on top of all that stuff. The compatibility bugs would be horrendous!

    That said, I would squirt at the chance to play a government-contracted military simulation developed by DICE! haha

    • exactly, Frostbite or any other similar engine just can’t do what Virtual Battlespace 1+2 does. The only comparable product is the Real Virtuality engine series, of which VBS2 uses RV2, ArmA 2 uses RV3 and ArmA 3 uses RV4.

      While the engine has been improved for those titles they do not offer the same features that VBS does, it’s a package-type thing that has some tools and capabilities that the commercial RV games don’t. If the UK really wanted a more graphically and physx-ly up-to-date simulator Bohemia interactive could easily deliver.

  • Leave BF and CoD out of this these games have simply ruined the shooter genre every shooter that comes out these days is a generic clone of either one of them. That’s why ArmA is so good it’s the only game that has held to it’s name and stayed as a simulator even the flashpoint series went to CoD shit with Red River.

    Bring on ArmA3 has the graphics that are capable of murdering your computers! 😀 can’t wait

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!