While first person shooters - where the player usually runs around with a huge arsenal, defeating an army all by themselves - are very popular, there aren't many periods of European history which can be adopted. The main one is World War 2. This is my selection of the very best PC First Person Shooters.
Set during World War 2, this entry in the Call of Duty series sees you alternating between a Russian soldier on the Eastern front and a US soldier in the Pacific. There have been complaints that the game is too similar to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and it is based on that engine, but as MW was great why worry? Multiplayer is excellent and the game manages to spice up a setting which has, in all honesty, probably been done to death the last few years.
All a friend of mine could say about his first go on this was intense. He loved it and he normally hates the Second World War (within which this is set), so that gives you some idea of how good the frantic action and genuinely stunning graphics are in this sequel to arguably the best WW2 FPS of all. Unfortunately, even with four storylines including the Eastern front the game is short if you cant go online. Call of Duty 3 was only available on the consoles and 4 is modern.
EA have breathed new life into the WW2 FPS genre by making you an airborne soldier, letting you literally jump into numerous countries on the western front. Linearity is also greatly reduced: steer your parachute to select your landing site and complete your objectives in your order of preference. As a US soldier you take part in some of the iconic battles, including D-Day and Operation Market Garden. Graphics are good and multiplayer is also available.
The BIA series brings more depth to the First Person Shooter genre by allowing you to make tactical decisions, deciding where to place your comrades and planning assaults. This edition is set during Operation Market Garden, an attempt to shorten WW2 by parachuting forces in to capture bridges and then link up; I won’t tell you how it ends! The game builds upon its predecessor’s successes, but lacks the intensity of Call of Duty.
By abandoning the pretence of total realism and constructing a battlefield designed for multiplayer gaming capture reinforcement points to dominate sectors, capture them all or wipe the opposition out to win - Battlefield 1942 created a superb online experience skinned largely in WW2 graphics. Log in, pick a side and find yourself in a pitched battle between two teams with total freedom of movement and some harsh vehicles. (Can be played solo, WW2 realism mods available.)
Road to hill 30 and Earned in Blood both came out the same year, attempting to bring greater accuracy both in tactics and locations to a saturated WW2 FPS market. They only partially succeeded, leading to an experience that was sometimes frustrating, especially as you struggle with squad A; graphics fiends may also be disappointed, but thats their problem!
8. Call of Duty
A game to invigorate the most jaded of pallets, Call of Duty brought new intensity to the World War 2 FPS experience. It wasnt just the good graphics (looking a bit dated now), attention to detail or atmospheric design, but the chance to play soldiers from three different theatres, including a put-upon Russian who starts the battle without any means to fire back Historical accuracy is good for an FPS and an expansion has been released enabling online play.
A first person shooter set during the Second World War, Medal of Honour: Allied Assault casts you as an American Agent working to derail the Nazi war machine, with missions involving fictional subterfuge and sabotage, as well as factual battles. The opening D-Day Omaha beach level is by far the best (borrow the game to play that, even if nothing else), but solid graphics, nice gameplay and a modicum of historical detail make the rest of Medal of Honor good, but not exceptional.