The Big Question: World War 1 Or World War 2?

The Big Question: World War 1 Or World War 2?

Video games like covering the time of war. That’s not much of a surprise. For about a decade it felt like that was the only time period shooters wanted to cover.

But which is more interesting to cover? The Great War or World War 2?

I think the Nazi element has made World War 2 far more popular for video game developers. There’s all of the secret projects that result in time-bending stories about alternate realities, as well as the historical and military aspect for strategy games.

The geopolitical environment around The Great War, however, has plenty of material to mine in its own right. You have games like Hearts of Iron that take that approach, and then there’s the opportunity to explore more of the technology (as Battlefield 1 is trying to do).

What do you prefer? Which period would you prefer to see video games cover if they had to pick one?


  • I feel like the Great War is kind of underrepresented in most media, especially video games, because WW2 was further reaching with a lot more in terms of political and scientific machinations, not to mention that the Nazis were an extremely easy enemy to hate which de-complicated the storytelling process.

    WW2 is without a doubt the more interesting. But I’m looking forward to seeing what the new Battlefield game does with WW1. I do kind of wish the game was being handled by a studio that put in a bit more effort than racing to churn out another instalment in this year’s multiplayer twitch-shooter franchise (so I don’t particularly want to see a Call of Duty WW1 despite their storytelling generally being slightly better) but I’ll take what I can get.

    So in brief, WW2 far more interesting and compelling but also done to death. Intrigued by a WW1 game because it’ll be something different.

    • Dice is a pretty big developer, they’d implement the same structure like cods annual game release ie. Infinity ward, sledgehammer raven and treyarch, taking turns in development duties. I think Dice have offices in Stockholm and the office in LA formed for Battlefront and of course Visceral who put out Hardline. Labour wise they’ve got this. Looking forward to this time period…bring on October, having said that 2018 will be Battlefield 2 (WW2) just my thoughts

      • Yeah, DICE is a big dev, but the Battlefield games are usually lacking story-wise whereas I thought games like Modern Warfare 1 and 2 (not to mention the original Call of duty) had pretty good stories. Even World at War was a pretty good take on WW2 that covered some theatres that haven’t had a lot of attention in games before.

        Admittedly I haven’t played a Call of Duty since MW3 and I really didn’t think the Black Ops story was that great, but they try.

        • Ohhh you’ve nailed it mate, cod, cod 2, MW, MW2 & WAW have the strongest stories/pacing compared to Battlefield. Yeah newer cods didn’t quite hit the same notes like the older iterations, I know not to get my hopes up but would be nice to see a ww1 campaign done justice and not just slowmo button press sequences

        • As I fan of BF since BF:1942, I can comfortably say that I have never purchased a BF game for its story. Nor will I.

          • As someone who doesn’t really like multiplayer anymore (my interest peaked around Halo 3 and MW2 then dropped off sharply around the time of Black Ops/MW3/Halo 4) I only buy games if they have an interesting story. So far I’ve given Bad Company 2 a try since it seemed popular, and got BF4 I think as an Xbox One launch title? I didn’t stick with either story very long. I recently bought Hardline on sale for $29 since I figure at that price I can’t really lose.

          • Don’t get me wrong, I love a good story, but I don’t see them in the BF franchise, a franchise built solely on multiplayer. However, I will admit that I enjoyed the BF3 novel tie in to the game of the same name.

  • I think WW2 has been done to death. There’s not many elements left that haven’t been considered.

    Now, I’m no historian, but WW1 seems to me to be the first really “modern” war too. It was a war in which technology was getting ahead of the rules of war and tactics failed to catch up. The trenches, for instance; less a tactical decision and more of a reaction to both sides not knowing what to do with each-other in the face of new weapons and ways of warring. That’s far more interesting than WW2.

  • WWII has more material and has more theaters than WWI. I find WWI politically interesting, but it really has nothing on the rise of Hitler.

  • I don’t think game designer’s thinking is sophisticated enough to capture WWI adequately. I’d have to go with WWII instead which is more suited to generic gameplay.

    • Basically, yeah.

      The medium is sloooooowly maturing enough to tackle mature topics but not when it’s about scoring points in online multiplayer matches.

      It’s my issue with GTA. There’s nothing clever or satirical in those games.

    • Because a lot of what happened in WW1 didn’t make much sense, running infront of machine guns, running back and forth between trenches, ace pilot dog fights where the airfields were within 20km of each other yet never seemed to get raided. adequately showing that would just confuse people..

  • I want to see more games that tackle WWI. WWII is an easy target as there’s a lot to work with and apply to existing game formulas. WWI is a lot more challenging though as it’s less about the action and more about the socio-political climate. Shadow Hearts, one of my favourite JRPG series, was set in and around WWI and it made for a fascinating setting.

  • WW2 had more theaters of war but in the gaming sense it has been played out to death (especially the European theater)…I’ve always said they (Activision or EA) should make a game based on WW1. I’m too looking with intrigue with BF 1 as I would like to see how it’s going to work

  • Neither – not a fan of historical war games. But if I was forced, I’d go with WWII just because I really like the music from that era. I do think that all forms of popular media based in WWII has become a bit clichéd, though.

  • On its own, World War 2 still fascinates me a lot more. The Eastern Front, Western Front, the Pacific, it was definitely more global with a lot more battles and events happening.

    From a gaming perspective though. I’m absolutely sick of it(although maybe not since we haven’t had a decent AAA World War 2 game come out for awhile now). World War 1 is something that I would love to see more of, but at the same time, I do want a battlefield style trench warfare game. Problem is… it just won’t work… hence why Battlefield 1 has chosen to avoid this. 🙁

    Would have loved to see 40 players from one side go “over the top” in battlefield fashion. The gameplay would suck pretty bad though as you would just keep dying to a hail of machine gun fire, artillery and gas. But hell, i’d play it and probably enjoy it anyway.

  • Where is the American civil war love. Would it be considered too racially charged. How about a Napoleonic wars fps where we could have quick time events to reload the musket.

  • Not sure. The ironic thing is that despite the oversaturation of war shooters in the past, none of them scratched the surface of what can be truly done in those settings.
    Give us a war game with more depth and focuses on value of life and allies, memorable characters and the horrors of war.
    I’m sick of the arcade shooters where Nazi’s ran blindly towards the players crosshairs….seriously, they were a lot smarter than that.
    If we could get a Spec-Ops type game with far better, more varied gameplay, that would be amazing. Don’t need another Murica CoD or BF game.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!