Relive a famous moment from World War II with a PC beach war game.
The D-Day landing at Normandy was a decisive moment in World War II, the moment at which the United States threw its military might into the fight to stop Hitler. Because this event was such an iconic moment in United States military history, there are several PC games that allow players to re-create the battle, either explicitly casting the player as a soldier at Normandy or providing a fictionalized beach warfare scenario.
Medal of Honor: Allied Assault
“Medal of Honor: Allied Assault” was created by Steven Spielberg, the director of “Saving Private Ryan.” That movie famously brought the beach warfare of the D-Day landing to movie screens in a vivid cinematic depiction, and “Allied Assault” seeks to do the same in an interactive context. The game’s first level is a harrowing re-creation of the Normandy landing in which players must dodge explosive mortars and negotiate barbed-wire mazes to fight their way up the beach and liberate the German gun nests. Like the movie, this is a bloody affair in which death, for the player and their allies, is a gunshot away.
The “Beach Head” series of games–“Beach Head,” “Beach Head 2002,” and “Beach Head: Desert War”–take place in a fictionalized conflict clearly inspired by the Normandy beach warfare. In “Beach Head” games, players take on the role of a lone sniper with only a turret-mounted heavy machine gun to defend them against the oncoming waves of enemy soldiers. Later levels pit planes and attack tanks against the player, whose firepower is augmented with grenades.
Call of Duty 2
While the first “Call of Duty” game distanced itself from the earlier “Medal of Honor” by avoiding the Normandy landing, the sequel attempts to one-up Spielberg’s game. The “Call of Duty” games place a premium on smooth, fair game-play over the “Medal of Honor” series’ cinematic excess, and as such the beach war level in “Call of Duty 2” is a more arcade-style test of reflexes and the player’s skill with a rifle. However, without a fast trigger finger and a little luck, the beach warfare in “Call of Duty 2” is still hectic and hard to survive.
Close Combat: Invasion Normandy
Offering a more tactical, considered approach than the fast-action gun-play of other titles, “Invasion Normandy” continues the long-running “Close Combat” series with an installment set in the beach fighting of D-Day. Players assume the role of an all-seeing commander who must deliver his men safely through a series of missions centered around the Normandy landings… but if the choice is between saving a man or winning the round, the mission always comes first.