Tell Us Dammit: Historical Period For Games

A vast majority of video games, I'd argue are either set in the present, a dystopian future, the near future, a fantasy world or during World War II. Why can't we get a bit more variety? What historical periods would you like to see re-enacted?

Seriously — what about World War I? What about the French Revolution? What about... well, anything really.

That's what made the Assassin's Creed series so great: accurate portrayals of pivotal moments in history. I'd love to see a bit more variety in the settings and historical periods of video games. What would you like to see?


    I'd like to see the dawn of man. I would love to play that game.

    Lionhead once had a game in development called BC. So bummed that was cancelled.

    Last edited 13/03/14 11:19 am

      What, see a big monolith and just whack a skull with some bones?

    The Inquisitions

    A graphical adventure set in the time of the Inquisitions would be awesome
    Even a survival based game of someone being hunted by the Inquisition would be cool

      Being hunted by the inquisition you say?

      Unsure why that reminded me of this :P

    aboriginal dreamtime

      That could be extremely cool, some of the dreamtime stories are amazing fodder for sci-fi/fantasy, maybe something Asura's Wrath or God of War-esque.

      I remembered seeing this a while ago. Apparently it's a game based on the dreamtime.

      That would probably work pretty well. Ancient, gargantuan creatures capable of shaping the world with their passage... And there were a lot of damn bogeymen in the Dreaming, too. All KINDS of shit to be terrified of.

    Anything really, I love anything history. Something to do with Egypt would be awesome, or even middle ages in England.

    Last edited 13/03/14 11:23 am Not quite England, but near enough.

    I'd love some more stuff in Ancient Greek, or maybe even Ancient Egypt. There's sort of elements to them in grand strategy games (Total War and the like), but the last Greek game I can think of was the thoroughly mediocre Jason and the Argonauts game (Wait, was there a tie in to clash of the titans? Probably that then), and before that, what Age of Mythology?

    Egypt's probably even more underutilised.

    I mean, I'm a huge fan of the mythological stuff, but even if you ignore the fantasy and play the game straight, both cultures were permeated with religion, so there'd be tidbits here and there.

      God of War was kind of in that setting but yeah, a game set in the Ancient World would be pretty great. Heck, even a tie in with the 300 movie would be nice.

      Funnily enough, Ryse didn't interest me at all because it was just so bland. Rome has so much more interesting stuff to use than a rather generic centurion in Britain for half of the game.

        Hahahaha. Oh wow, I can't believe I forgot God of War. That is... wow. That's really special of me.

      Children of not accepting the reality of the unpleasant fact altogether was a great Egyptian city building game.

        This reminds me, didn't Sierra's 'Ceasar' franchise end up getting some Egyptian-themed clone or spin-off? I can't for the life of me remember.

        Last edited 16/03/14 1:17 pm

          Was that Children of the Nile. It might have been they were very similar game play wise

    Sumeria, Classical Greek and Egypt for sure.

    But I'd like more games set *now* in more locations.

    Let me fight or drive on the streets of Sydney.

    Flood Brisbane with Zombies.

    I'm sick of LA and NYC look-alikes. I still get a kick out of Project Gotham and belting around Sydney roads.

      I can't wait for the day (if it exists) where it will be an almost instantaneous process to map out entire CBD's/areas and convert it straight in to a playable world.

        If someone could make a plugin for something like unity to pull satellite data from google earth and then build a very rough structural approximation of building shape and height, it'd cut down the work by a massive degree. Pull the area around say Wagga, get the position & approximate dimensions of every building and save those as separate objects that you can then use as a reference to create real models and you could plug the real models back in and have a very convincing city in a much smaller time

          They should just crowdsource it, get people to work on a 3D model of their town.

          Brisbane council already has a complete model of BrisVegas I think.

          Wouldn't it be pretty easy to get the satellite data from somewhere like that, convert it to a heightmap then export it to Unity?

            Haven't the foggiest idea, I know sod all about it. Just thinking it'd be an idea that'd be nice to have if possible.

      Mainland Australia has become a toxic wasteland and Tassie is the only safe harbor from which to start reclaiming the country :oP

        Or the other way around, it'd be feasible to make a 1:1 recreation of Tasmania in a modern game and that would be pretty fucking badass to explore...

    WWII used to be a big thing but there is still so much that they could explore with that. More of North Africa and Italy, a whole range of stuff in the Pacific. They just need to get away from the focus on the US and their and look at someone else for a change.

      oh man a game set in North Africa that pits you against General Rommel would be intense.

    GTA set in the future would be nice. Also, maybe Ice Age? Finally, I'd like a game version of The Bible in which Jesus, God and the disciples are all playable characters.

    I have thought long and hard about this topic...

    Anyone that's ever listened to an episode of Zeitgeist know's how into Māori culture I am. If I could will a game into existence it'd be a four player co-op game set in the early part of the New Zealand Wars*. The game would play like a stealth game (Metal Gear; Splinter Cell; Rainbow Six) where players would each pick a unique Māori character (traditional warrior, sapper, shaman, turncoat etc) with their own skill sets and use their wits to complete objectives against the overpowered colonial forces.

    You could perform different Haka's to scare your enemies and make them easier to overcome, and smoke various herbs as buffs. Also in close quarters the game could feature brutal combat using patus (clubs), taiahas (spears) and pois (blunt object tied to a rope).

    Yeah I've thought about this a lot...


    I'd like to see more Australian historical events and concepts such as the discovery and initial landing by the British (straight up Assassin's Creed material there), bushrangers (Ned Kelly is a prime candidate for a game), an Australian perspective of WWI and WWII, and other notable events. As CREAM alluded to, Aboriginal history and mythology is more or less overlooked save for stuff like Ty the Tasmanian Tiger and a few other Australian titles but is so rich with diverse and colourful (Rainbow Serpents!) creatures and people.

      The problem with developing games with Australian themes is that there is just not enough of a market to justify the level of investment needed to make a good product.

      Just look at any Australian Rules football game, or even any cricket game [which has a market in England too], to see that the quality just isn't there.
      And that's for sport! If there was an area with the biggest percentage of the public who would be interested, it would be sport.

      Anything Australian history related would simply not sell enough copies to warrant development costs [and yes, that totally blows!].

      Internationally, as far as Australia is concerned, the only thing which anyone is interested in revolves around Steve Irwin, Koala's and the Sydney Opera House. [Australian's severely underestimate how few fucks the rest of the world give about us here, lol].

      That being said, there is a lot which everyone could learn from Aboriginal culture which unfortunately most people simply automatically dismiss. Would be interesting to see if any game concepts would work.....

        This guy.

        Either Sydney or the Gold Coast would be credible setting for games dealing with criminal scenarios! In fact I've always thought a multiplayer GTA like game set on the coast would kick arse!

          GTA Griffith! Cruising around in a ute shooting at bogans...

          That was a joke but I think I'd play that

        As much as I would love a fleshed out game around Australian bushrangers I have to agree that the worldwide appeal would be nearly non-existent. However I'd settle for a game that focuses on prohibition in the US during the 20s/30s. as either the cops or bootleggers.

        I would also enjoy a stealth/espionage game featuring the Illuminati or Freemasons.

        Tell you what i'm SUPER sick of American history/stories/allegories. America is America if its in the future or not.

        I mean nothing against American or Americans, and i totally get that its the biggest market for (generally english speaking western games) but god damn and i sick of it.

        The Assassin's creed games which are a great example of 'new and interesting places and settings' pretty much completely lost me with the American revolution. I just didn't care AND i was sick of hearing about it. I mean i get its a big deal and american's probably love it but.. just kinda over it, y'know?

    Maybe a Byzantine setting?

    There's very little coverage of it, and when it is touched on, it's from a strongly Western perspective (which is logical). One of the few games that took it a bit deeper was Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader, which was a mediocre alternate history RPG, but had a slightly more progressive view of their empire than usual.

    I would like to see more of the following:
    vietnam era games (50's-70's)
    WW1 (1900-1920)
    Maybe something in mongol empire or China (1100's-1200's) that isn't dynasty warriors
    Crimean war (fitting with thats going on now haha)

      While all valid and interesting areas, it seems that there is a big focus in history only around areas of combat and conflict. These are important events, but I would like to see exploration around some more positive events in history.
      We need to rethink what games are, rather than just having more "shoot guns at people" in different settings.

        Well part of that is due to our teaching of history.
        Historical eras are taught based on the wars fought and the conquest made.
        But I really like the concept. What non violent era (or non violent game set in an era) would you like to see. Thinking about it and wondering which boardgames could be converted to video games as often they have non-violent settings.

        Lets see
        - Early explorer style game (Burke and Wills style. Exploring the Oregon, tramping through Peru)
        - Something Renaissance art based, maybe working for the grand master and ensuring they have all they need, making contacts within the church, etc
        - A realistic harvest moon style game set in a medieval village

      I have your first request covered here

    Assassin's Creed 1600's England. You've got royalty and really close buildings, you've got despair, lots of interesting elements there. Thief is pretty close, but Assassin's Creed could really do that era justice.

    I can see how on the surface it can look like just combat but I think you could do some really interesting spy/espinage, if you can think back to the game Spycraft (from 96), both the lead up to WW1 and things around vietnam/cold war era could pull off some really interesting games that aren't all FPS or RTS
    the other two I think could be really good back drops for assassins creed games

    It's the focus on the middle ages that makes me love Crusader Kings.

    I've said it before, but I'd love an Assassins Creed game focused on the Indian Rebellion.

    More so than historical perspectives, I would like more games from different cultural perspectives or drawing from different mythologies- the Zoroastrianism focus in the 2008 Prince of Persia was very cool.

    I'd love to see something in the Tzar times in Russia or Fuedal Japan or Mayans.

    there was always that rumor that AC would go down the samurai/mayan route (which to me would have been SO MUCH MORE INTERESTING THAN PIRATES) from the end of the first AC where you saw the code in the Abstergo offices after acquiring Eagle Vision outside the animus at the end of the game

      I don't think they'll do Japan, it's been done many times.

        Yeah, they've outright said that that's the one period they DON'T want to do because otherwise they're just doing Tenchu/Ninja Gaiden or something. They're not interested in remakes/better versions of the shit that's already out there.

    Victorian boarding school, but in the style of Bully.

    Medieval Briton, an Arthurian lore tale, Camelot and so on with Merlin and Excalibur etc. Though I would rather have it played from a You are Arthur but don't know it until events unfold in game.

    Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece, Ancient Persia. Anything Ancient with a good story and really well realized environments and characters.

    Late 40s Britain, an adventure game dealing with the aftermath of the second world war & the start of the cold war would be pretty sweet. Dealing with black marketeers & rooting out spies

    I'd actually like to see a brutally hard world war 2 dungeon crawler, think wolfenstein re-tooled to be dark souls with overtones of super metroid.

    Other than that I want a World War 1 shooter, so badly. It would need to be done well, considering there isn't much action in real events but even if they did Call of Duty-ize it (as much as I have come to dislike that series), that would be pretty fucking cool.

      There's a game out there called Verdun if I recall correctly. Basically it's team deathmatch set in WWI battlefields with trenches and single-shot rifles. It's rather basic but it captures the feeling of the war rather well (although none of the battles give you mass charges or machine guns though).

    australian settlement ie discovery and settlement setting up the colony etc, australian early years in particular like ned kelly or the eureka stockade, our bush rangers are so different to american cowboys etc would be cool

      Dammit I didn't see your comment before I posted mine! Great minds think alike I guess.

    A Total War game that spans human history (with the entire world map). I know I know, that would require way too much development, but seriously.
    While we're at it, re-introduce the lordship titles from the original MTW, add family crests, custom nation emblems/flags, custom unit uniforms (at least colours), custom naming of units/persons/territories/cities/nation/titles, custom territories (ability to draw the line and split existing ones). Hell, even a custom governmental structure (ie Emperor -> Kings -> etc). All while still playing the game, nothing's set in stone.
    Because in the end, it's not the historical setting that draws me (I love most history), it's immersion.

      So basically Civilization, but in the Total War format? Kinda like a Civ-mod for Total War, as opposed to the other way around... That'd be pretty boss. But yeah, I think there's a lot more dev work in it. Rendering individual units and balancing different epochs of technology. Even Europa Universalis 4 has to work pretty damn hard to keep technologies on a fair scale, and that's in a game spanning 400 years.

    I think my fondest memories in games were ones that transitioned time. Generally SNES RPGs did this for me.
    One of my all time favourite games was Terranigma (you basically play a "god like" character who has to resurrect the world starting from plants and finally resurrecting man kind).
    But others like Illusion of Time and (obviously) Chrono Trigger were all very fondly remembered.

    I guess REAL LIFE time periods dont matter too much to me (i play games to escape real life).
    The Age of Vikings (Cause Vikings were awesome),Vietnam, WW1 or something like Roman times but from the view of Gauls or Germanic Tribes would be cool. Even a SERIOUS (not Dynasty Warriors) look into Ancient China / Korea. The Cold War era itself is also really interesting if it doesn't get massacred like a Metal Gear horror show (that series got really dumb).
    EDIT: Just so peeps know, I really do like Metal Gear (the earlier the better), but it did get pretty silly

    Last edited 13/03/14 2:20 pm

    A friend and I are slooooowly working on an interactive comic based around the gold rush times centring on Peter Lalor and the uprising of the eureka stockade. One of the biggest inspirations is The Proposal, which is a pretty damn awesome film (which has a lot of Australian people involved), it's gritty, harsh, violent and the landscape is uniquely Australian.

    I guess a game centred around something like The Proposal would be very Red Dead Redemption-ish, but a lot of what makes RDR would have to be changed. Not just the accents, but the physical landscape, the tensions between the British, the Colonials and the new immigrants who have come over in search of gold, not to mention the Native Aboriginal people and how they are affected by colonisation.

      That sounds rather interesting, good luck with that

        Yes well I am the artist, so I am waiting on scripts but my friend is not very good at doing things he says he is going to do so... yea, we'll see.

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