Kotaku are reporting that the US Army are on the hunt for a new military shooter. Me too but, while I just struggle to connect to Battlelog and cry silently, they're offering $44.5 million to any company that fulfils a grueling list of criteria.
The order is a replacement for Virtual Battlespace 2, a military training game made by Bohemia Interactive, and part of the reason their commercial shooter, Arma 2, is so frighteningly realistic. Bohemia are likely to bid again for this one, as are other commercial game developers, so leafing through the specification gives us a glimpse of what we might see in the future.
It's intriguing stuff. The Army certainly demands a broader remit from it's shooters than we do, and an insanely detailed one. The full request comes with a daunting 243 page list of technical specifications, as well as a 13 page checklist on what they expect to see.
The list of weapons and military vehicles reads spookily like any number of recent modern shooters, including Battlefield staples like M1 tanks, Apache Helicopters and Predator Drones. Less likely to turn up in the next Call of Duty is the demand for the game to model "cultural awareness, language, combat lifesaver skills, Improvised Explosive Device (IED) recognition and defeat". I can't be the only one who'd love to see a 'cultural awareness' minigame in the next Medal of Honor.
Interestingly, a section towards the end of the request speculates about future training games the army might be interested in developing, which includes an RTS game, a turn based strategy game, and MMO and a 'Construction and Management Simulation game'. Someone call Notch! I can see it now, we'll make a version of Minecraft for the Army. We'll call it War-Craft!
Those curious to see what a real soldier's wargame looks like can read the proposal here .