The French Create Realistic Trench Warfare Sim

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The French Create Realistic Trench Warfare Sim

Developer Gallicia will take you to the bloodiest carnage of the Western Front in The Trench: 1916.

The Great War isn't something that comes up often in gaming. Flight sims can make you a Knight of the Air, and occasionally Lovecraftian horror games use the setting to create gloomy tension, but actual trench combat is seldom simulated. French developer Gallicia hopes to change that with its first person shooter The Trench: 1916, and its trailer shows off the shell-blasted environment and some gameplay.

In The Trench you play as either a French or German soldier, three days before the siege of Verdun. The player gets a little time to prepare defences or assault plans, and then the attack begins in earnest. The developer promises deformable terrain, dynamic weather and day/night effects, stealth and vicious hand-to-hand combat, as well as traditional shooter-style game play.

Not for nothing was it called The Hell of Verdun; the Douaumont Ossuary contains the bodies of over 130,000 unidentified Verdun dead, killed on a battlefield less than 20 kilometers square. Verdun was the original mincing machine, into which generals flung their troops without much pause for thought. It's an interesting subject for a French developer to tackle; "on ne passe pas [they shall not pass]" - as General Nivelle told his troops - seems an unusual motto for a first person shooter.

No release date for this PC title as yet.

Sources: Kotaku The Trench

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I'm so tempted to simply write "It's funny cause it's being made by French people" but that might be going a bit far.

The idea sounds interesting and if done right would be good game to play. Let's just hope it doesn't end up like the ending to Blackadder Goes Forth or an extended version of World at War's beach landing each time an attack starts.

Interesting yet so dull. The life expectancy of you won't be very long, probably get trench foot before shooting the first frog/jerry. And that's if shell shock gets to you and then you put your hand above the trench to get it blown off by a frog/jerry sniper.

I have some very bad quarrels with the Torque engine...Still, I hope I can replicate the first of the Somme..From the English point of view.

Greeaaaaaaaat just what we need: Another brown, cover based, first person shooter.

DVS BSTrD:
Greeaaaaaaaat just what we need: Another brown, cover based, first person shooter.

Except for, you know:

Karloff:
The developer promises deformable terrain, dynamic weather and day/night effects, stealth and vicious hand-to-hand combat, as well as traditional shooter-style game play.

Nile McMorrow:
I'm so tempted to simply write "It's funny cause it's being made by French people" but that might be going a bit far.

Yes. Shut up.

(Fucking knew someone would say that)

Z of the Na'vi:

DVS BSTrD:
Greeaaaaaaaat just what we need: Another brown, cover based, first person shooter.

Except for, you know:

Karloff:
The developer promises deformable terrain, dynamic weather and day/night effects, stealth and vicious hand-to-hand combat, as well as traditional shooter-style game play.

I'm really starting to get sick of this realism trend in gaming.

Captcha: No way
See? Captcha gets it.

good to see someone trying something different in the FPS genre

Uh.

Maybe there's a good reason we haven't seen many WWI shooters? Something to do with the whole 'get out of the trenchs, walk across No Man's Land, get massacred' aspect of the war. A truly realistic Trench Warfare game would include one minute of gameplay before a German sniper of machine gunner or just another German soldier shot you (or a French/British/American shot you if you played as Germany)

Not that I don't think it's admirable, I just don't see how it can represent WWI honestly. If you do any more than make it to another trench and kill maybe two people then it's basically immediately unrealistic.

It's a very interesting concept to make a game about. I hope they manage to turn it into something nice.

MelasZepheos:
Maybe there's a good reason we haven't seen many WWI shooters? Something to do with the whole 'get out of the trenchs, walk across No Man's Land, get massacred' aspect of the war. A truly realistic Trench Warfare game would include one minute of gameplay before a German sniper of machine gunner or just another German soldier shot you (or a French/British/American shot you if you played as Germany)

Wasn't that what people said about the first Call of Duty game too? Look how that series ended up.

well i am exited, not to many ww 1 games i can think of, i do wonder if they're gonna cover both sides instead of just the French.

Ideally, to recreate the feel of trench warfare you shouldn't be able to respawn when killed. At all. Not even on another server.

DVS BSTrD:
Greeaaaaaaaat just what we need: Another brown, cover based, first person shooter.

I see what you did there.

DVS BSTrD:
I'm really starting to get sick of this realism trend in gaming.

I for one only care for realism when it's supposed to be a sim. Since this game claims to be a sim, I'm ok with it. Similarly how I'm ok with the extreme realism in Red Orchestra since it was supposed to be accurate to WWII.

Love the concept of a WWI trench warfare game, will keep my eye on that!
The animations and that muzzle flash don't look great to be honest, but I hope that's only because its pre-alpha. If the game play is solid its a must buy for me.

Andrew_C:
Ideally, to recreate the feel of trench warfare you shouldn't be able to respawn when killed. At all. Not even on another server.

DVS BSTrD:
Greeaaaaaaaat just what we need: Another brown, cover based, first person shooter.

I see what you did there.

THANK YOU! Seems like you're the only one who did.

I remember trying out the Half-Life mod The Trenches, but I honestly can't remember what opinion I had of it.

Anybody else ever play it?

Has anyone ever really wondered why trench warfare is often ignored... it was boring as hell in terms of war related stuff. Two sides shooting at each other hiding in the ground until one said built up enough balls or got drunk enough to run into No Man's Land and rush the other side. That is all there was too it (until Germany started using chemicals). Might be an interesting game though.

Looks like a really interesting idea for a game. Hopefully they can turn it into a compelling and informative experience.

'Meat grinder' is a particularly apt description if you've read about some of the major battles on the Western and Eastern fronts.

MelasZepheos:
Uh.

Maybe there's a good reason we haven't seen many WWI shooters? Something to do with the whole 'get out of the trenchs, walk across No Man's Land, get massacred' aspect of the war. A truly realistic Trench Warfare game would include one minute of gameplay before a German sniper of machine gunner or just another German soldier shot you (or a French/British/American shot you if you played as Germany)

Not that I don't think it's admirable, I just don't see how it can represent WWI honestly. If you do any more than make it to another trench and kill maybe two people then it's basically immediately unrealistic.

by centering the game on the battles of course. Also, WWI was not solely a trench based war. You would have gameplay in forests, towns, & so on. But lets explore trench combat.-Fight starts in the trenches, the smart ones keep their heads down, the retards charge over the top and get gunned down. One side would be on defense the other offense, offensive team charges across the field to reach the best points they can survive from. They work through the trenches of the defenders until they reach the objective. All the while it is going to be a brutal fight. Little to no cover in the charge & sharp corners ripe for ambushes once in the trenches. Major body count but still massive potential for a fun game. Niche to be sure, but Napoleonic wars proves that niche is profitable.
Best i can think of to simulate the trench combat is(i think) fort Lyon in NW. Offense starts in a trench & has to charge the field, get in the fort, & cap the flag. In a packed server that charge is a death trap. Sharpshooters with an officer can take your head off as you try 7 load the cannon, the volley fire from muskets can mow down people in droves, the cluster of people at the ladders make fort cannons extra deadly. Its a bitch of a fight but capturing that fort is a satisfying moment. Simply surviving the field approach to the nearest cover is a win. Any solid step forward is still a win. But thats only trench warfare, we still have air combat, river crossings, street fighting, cavalry raids, tanks to factor into the mix, & we have not even touched on other theaters of war.

You can present it honestly but limits need to be remembered. Particularly with how far you go. Trench combat is one thing but life in the trenches is another. Think of it as honesty, & brutal honest realism. In one you play the game like a shooter with the limitations of its era. The other? You force the players to play the game like they live in the trenches for a week before they see any action other than the guy next to them dying from a sniper shot.

I might be okay with the 2nd but i know i would like the 1st.

I'll say what I say every time someone suggests a WWI shooter, pathetic though I may be to keep screaming when no one can hear me:

There was a lot more going on in WWI than sitting in trenches and suicide charges over no-man's-land. There were proper battles, tank battles, air battles, infantry battles, street battles, river crossings, beach landings, cavalry raids, and so on and so forth. And you are forgetting that Western Europe was only one theater of operations. There is more great material than you could possibly shove into a single WWI video game however epic in scope.

The real problem that actually exists with making a WWI game is the weapons. Personally I could do without assault rifles and be very sparing with the semi-autos. It wouldn't bother me that those weapons did not exist or were practically experimental. But I can't imagine Activision is about to make a AAA title where the player has to wait a quarter of a second between shots to work the bolt.

This trench sim looks very exciting. I will definitely keep an eye out for it.

Rooster Cogburn:
I'll say what I say every time someone suggests a WWI shooter, pathetic though I may be to keep screaming when no one can hear me:

There was a lot more going on in WWI than sitting in trenches and suicide charges over no-man's-land. There were proper battles, tank battles, air battles, infantry battles, street battles, river crossings, beach landings, cavalry raids, and so on and so forth. And you are forgetting that Western Europe was only one theater of operations. There is more great material than you could possibly shove into a single WWI video game however epic in scope.

The real problem that actually exists with making a WWI game is the weapons. Personally I could do without assault rifles and be very sparing with the semi-autos. It wouldn't bother me that those weapons did not exist or were practically experimental. But I can't imagine Activision is about to make a AAA title where the player has to wait a quarter of a second between shots to work the bolt.

This trench sim looks very exciting. I will definitely keep an eye out for it.

The Germans did develop submachine guns towards the end of the war, so it wouldn't be unfeasible to have those in a WWI game. Although not this one, since it's set before they were completed.

STOP THE PRESS!
A game in which the main characters are not American? Is this allowed? I'm pretty sure there is a law against such a thing happening.

I'm guessing there will be DLC which fixes that. Because as we all know (according to the big devs) Americans wont play games unless it's about an American fighting for FREEDOM!

(I know this isn't true, but it's what devs seem to think, otherwise why would 90% of FPS games be about Americans, despite them making up only a small percentage of the worlds population and also the worlds gamers.)

Hmm, could be interesting. Too bad (for me) they set it at Verdun rather than the Somme, I know much (but still relatively little) more about the Somme.

Anyway, could be interesting. From the little I do know about Verdun, I know the French were on the defensive and eventually won in the end, so they may be the easier side to play on.

I wonder if we could have other in-depth WW1 sims, "U-Boat: 1916" (Commit war crimes against civilians, or, maintain the British blockade and do the exact same thing!), or "Tunnels: 1916" (If the Germans don't get you, the gas will!) or "Tanks: 1916!" (It's like a horse, but metal, horrifying and deadly! Plus, if it's not French, it'll probably sink!).

Edit: Oooh, ooh, I got more

"Generals: 1916" (Throw your men to their deaths, become an Earl!)

"Home Front: 1916" (Realistic starvation action! Unless your German, in which case, MORE STARVATION!)

"Cavalry: Earlier than 1916 because we eventually figured out what the Hell we were doing" (Don't worry, horses are bullet-proof, your commanders wouldn't send you to pointless deaths because they don't know how machine-guns work!)

"Recruiting Sergeant: 1914" (For the British, lie to get in physically inadequate men and boys! For the Germans, conscription!)

"Flamethrower Operator: 1916" (Y'know how everyone says in WW2 games that shooting flamethrower tanks so they blow up is unrealistic? Well, that's totally realistic in WW1!"

"Shell Shock Victim: 1916" (Experience the retro cure for PTSD, execution! Do not pass Go, do not collect a war memorial inscription!)

The speed he is acting on the bolt is just... slow.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mad_minute

This war saw a lot of machine gun use. Suppression by individual soldiers was as important as by machine gun crews (and today it still is, which justifies the full auto/burst modes of fire found in many battle rifles and assault rifles).

I understand they are trying to prevent the "360 quickscope" style of playing, but... even the Trench Gun had no disconnector, which allowed it to slam fire.

Now you know why the Germans complained about scatter-guns being inhumane.

Rooster Cogburn:
There was a lot more going on in WWI than sitting in trenches and suicide charges over no-man's-land. There were proper battles, tank battles, air battles, infantry battles, street battles, river crossings, beach landings, cavalry raids, and so on and so forth.

This.

ElPatron:
The speed he is acting on the bolt is just... slow

Yeah, but the speed in those videos wouldn't really have been achieved in WW1 either. Veterans reached about 10 shots a minute, recruits could manage about 5.

I hope they continue to press this as a sim rather than a 'pew-pew' shooty FPS. I mean think about it - if they do this historic focus right, surely they'll turn people off playing it for 'fun-shooty-times' and the only way we'll be able to stomach 'playing' this is as a faithful recreation of the horrific circumstances the soldiers faced.

RT-Medic-with-shotgun:
by centering the game on the battles of course. Also, WWI was not solely a trench based war. You would have gameplay in forests, towns, & so on. But lets explore trench combat.-Fight starts in the trenches, the smart ones keep their heads down, the retards charge over the top and get gunned down. One side would be on defense the other offense, offensive team charges across the field to reach the best points they can survive from. They work through the trenches of the defenders until they reach the objective. All the while it is going to be a brutal fight. Little to no cover in the charge & sharp corners ripe for ambushes once in the trenches. Major body count but still massive potential for a fun game....

You can present it honestly but limits need to be remembered. Particularly with how far you go. Trench combat is one thing but life in the trenches is another. Think of it as honesty, & brutal honest realism. In one you play the game like a shooter with the limitations of its era. The other? You force the players to play the game like they live in the trenches for a week before they see any action other than the guy next to them dying from a sniper shot.

I might be okay with the 2nd but i know i would like the 1st.

I'm not sure if you re-read over your bit here, chum, but you appear to give a very 'clean and tidy' impression of what trench-fighting involves - nice, neat bullet wounds and all that.

As Karloff mentions in the article, 130,000 unidentified bodies in one burial site alone (God only know how much was left of them to 'identify'). Lengthy barrages churning the ground into mud, leaving German concrete fortifications largely unscathed, men drowning in the mud, wounded men screaming and sobbing through the night out in no-man's land, men shooting comrades by accident..sometimes not by accident, the 'souvenir hunting' that went on. Heck, the video on The Trenches own site doesn't pull its punches.

I'm not coming down on you RT, I'm just questioning whether this is best described as "massive potentional for a fun game".

orangeban:

ElPatron:
The speed he is acting on the bolt is just... slow

Yeah, but the speed in those videos wouldn't really have been achieved in WW1 either. Veterans reached about 10 shots a minute, recruits could manage about 5.

At what distance? There is a difference between "open sights, bench rest, 700m, static targets on open field" and "open sights, off-hand, 200m, fast moving targets using concealment"

Besides, the speed at which you are shooting is not the speed you work the bolt. I like beating the shit out of rifle bolt handles unless I am trying not to damage brass for reloads. In the gameplay the character pulls the bolt ever slower than me trying to save casings.

Again, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mad_minute

Those speeds were achieved in WWI. They knew the benefits of lubricant on their guns back then. They knew the benefits of firing fast for suppressive fire.

IndianaJonny:
snip

My impression was far from clean & tidy. I used a specific map from NW as an example of the idea on a lighter mode. It makes a difference just how far you go. If you twist the realism dial up to 11 you basically have a survival horror game. But if you strike a balance between realism & gameplay, you can make a fun game. Similar to how a balance is almost struck with NW, but its still fun. You never see a guy get his arm torn off by a cannon ball, or a man crushed beneath his horse, but you still have a fun game using a more realistic model for weaponry.

And the fun would be coming from succeeding in a hard fight. As i said, in NW a large server population turns the game into a death trap of projectiles that may or may not have been fired without aiming. Still a fun game(ONLY fun in medium-large battles) even with friendly fire on & the server maxed on people. In 'The Trenches' the fun would be fro ma hard fight as well. Its just going the extra mile & making sure you know this is a psychological scarring environment. But maybe fun is the wrong word to use, maybe entertaining, or gripping would be better. The point is, the end result would be a good game. With death literally less than an inch away, the win would be outstanding.

Edit: Fun in the same vein as Amnesia is fun. Fun by self torture. Putting yourself through that would be a terrifying experience, but the outcome would be you feeling like you had fun. Glad you went in.

Despite being barely a blip in the radar for most of the big players in the Great War, WWI was such a defining moment for Australia, it's a shame you can only play as German and French. I mean, it's a French game, so fair enough that the focus would be on the French soldiers, but still, a bit sad I guess.

Also, I agree with others like RT above that the trenches weren't the only aspect of WWI, but it certainly seems to be the part the game is pushing (the hint is in the title), and it's very difficult to make trench warfare fun for a game, especially one focusing on simulating the actual feel of trench warfare, rather than jazzing it up for the CoD crowd. That doesn't necessarily mean I don't think it couldn't be (or shouldn't be) made, I just think it would be extremely hard to find it's audience.

Seems interesting. I will have to keep an eye on this.

ElPatron:

orangeban:

ElPatron:
The speed he is acting on the bolt is just... slow

Yeah, but the speed in those videos wouldn't really have been achieved in WW1 either. Veterans reached about 10 shots a minute, recruits could manage about 5.

At what distance? There is a difference between "open sights, bench rest, 700m, static targets on open field" and "open sights, off-hand, 200m, fast moving targets using concealment"

Besides, the speed at which you are shooting is not the speed you work the bolt. I like beating the shit out of rifle bolt handles unless I am trying not to damage brass for reloads. In the gameplay the character pulls the bolt ever slower than me trying to save casings.

Again, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mad_minute

Those speeds were achieved in WWI. They knew the benefits of lubricant on their guns back then. They knew the benefits of firing fast for suppressive fire.

Professional soldiers, maybe, but fresh recruits, and by 1916 the British army was nothing but recruits, the veterans having pretty much all died, wouldn't have been able to reach such speeds.

orangeban:
Professional soldiers, maybe, but fresh recruits, and by 1916 the British army was nothing but recruits, the veterans having pretty much all died, wouldn't have been able to reach such speeds.

Yes, I understand that. With such high recoiling cartridges and low capacity internal magazines, the "average" shooting in the conflict this game is set on would involve so many soldiers there would be no point in firing that fast. The speed shown in the video would be probably suitable for most combat in the game (estimated 15 seconds for 6 shots + 10 seconds for reload is more or less equal to 18 shots/minute).

But when everything goes into a "oh shit" situation everyone is able to work the bolt fast even if they aren't being proficient. The Mad Minute was a compromise between speed and precision, but during certain times a line of soldiers firing really fast will make advancing troops keep their heads down.

And what about when enemies enter tranches? The speed suitable for "normal" situations might be a little too slow for when seconds matter.

ElPatron:

orangeban:
Professional soldiers, maybe, but fresh recruits, and by 1916 the British army was nothing but recruits, the veterans having pretty much all died, wouldn't have been able to reach such speeds.

Yes, I understand that. With such high recoiling cartridges and low capacity internal magazines, the "average" shooting in the conflict this game is set on would involve so many soldiers there would be no point in firing that fast. The speed shown in the video would be probably suitable for most combat in the game (estimated 15 seconds for 6 shots + 10 seconds for reload is more or less equal to 18 shots/minute).

But when everything goes into a "oh shit" situation everyone is able to work the bolt fast even if they aren't being proficient. The Mad Minute was a compromise between speed and precision, but during certain times a line of soldiers firing really fast will make advancing troops keep their heads down.

And what about when enemies enter tranches? The speed suitable for "normal" situations might be a little too slow for when seconds matter.

It's not a matter of soldiers not having to shoot fast, it's that they didn't shoot fast because they were rookies. Many of whom hadn't actually thought they'd reach the front line, they thought the war would be over before they'd finished training.

Suppressive fire was handled by the machine guns, that was the entire point of having the weapon.

As for in-trench fighting, well, most of that was actually hand-to-hand. Trenches were built in a zig-zag, precisely so that rifles were useless inside.

Ohh, I will have to keep an eye on this game, hopefully they have enough funds to make English translated versions. Props to them for tackling an FPS set in World War 1, especially since this seems to be their first game.

ElPatron:

And what about when enemies enter tranches? The speed suitable for "normal" situations might be a little too slow for when seconds matter.

That's what the bayonet is for *Evil grin*

But seriously I would say it would even itself out if your enemies also have slow firing rifles, you will all spend a longer time being exposed reloading, and in that situation different tactics are needed than the 'twitch shooting' CoD style.
Positioning yourself is key, finding useful cover, waiting for the right moment to make your shots, making every shot count, and of course when it all goes belly up there's always that delicious tactic of circle strafing your opponent, trying to keep out of his crosshairs while keeping him in your crosshairs, as you bash his face in with your rifle butt. CoD's insta-knife-kill be damned, those frantic close quarter balls ups were some of the funnest moments of any multiplayer FPS.

Li Mu:
STOP THE PRESS!
A game in which the main characters are not American? Is this allowed? I'm pretty sure there is a law against such a thing happening.

I'm guessing there will be DLC which fixes that. Because as we all know (according to the big devs) Americans wont play games unless it's about an American fighting for FREEDOM!

(I know this isn't true, but it's what devs seem to think, otherwise why would 90% of FPS games be about Americans, despite them making up only a small percentage of the worlds population and also the worlds gamers.)

I'm sure there's an inexplicable scene where American volunteers show up to save the day at the end to make up for this French blasphemy.

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