Uniformity: Where Do Video Games Get Those Uniforms?
Tripwire Interactive scored big points with its Red Orchestra title, a game that was originally the winner of the Make Something Unreal mod contest in 2004. The team used the money to found a company and produced a commercial version of the game. It has garnered rave reviews for its gritty action, and attention to detail. While it features nice examples of period weapons and settings few mainstream developers would tackle – such as a showdown on the Eastern Front with not a single American hero to be seen – it also features some of the best uniforms in any game we’ve seen. The details are about as good as they get, which is seen in this authentic-looking German soldier, who is wearing the correct A-frame belt over a mid-war combat tunic. And ironically, Tripwire never hired any expensive military consultants to help with the details.
Red Orchestra: Carpathian Crosses
Fans of the original Red Orchestra created this mod. Carpathian Crosses focused on the Romanian army in World War II, a topic never covered by a major publisher to date. The upcoming add-on even manages to improve on the original uniforms. This Romanian infantryman even has the correct Romanian helmet with the King Carol insignia. While few gamers might not know a Romanian uniform (or even that Romania fielded the fourth-largest Axis army), kudos to the creators for getting it so right.
Day of Defeat
Even before the release of Medal of Honor for the PC, the battle to liberate Europe had begun with this multiplayer-only mod for Half-Life. The game featured excellent maps, multiple classes of troop types and action that made you want to play again and again. The game got a refresh when Half-Life 2 came out, and while the uniform modeling is a tad on the plain side, the details are still quite good. This soldier looks as we’d expect a German soldier to really look in the latter half of the war.
Most of the time, the Allied uniforms look a bit better than the Germans, but not nearly as good as these uniforms in Day of Defeat. This American G.I., armed with a BAR, looks ready to storm the beaches at D-Day. A little drab and plain, the American uniforms really look the part.
Call of Duty
This series is generally seen as the successor to what Medal of Honor started, and in many ways it corrected the flaws with uniforms and equipment details. Call of Duty is still a bit too linear in gameplay for my taste, but it looks very nice. Kudos too to the diversity with the settings and even more with the uniforms. Yes, the British uniforms in North Africa did look a bit dorky, and it is nice to see that the game got it right.
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