Soldier Says Killzone and Fallout Portray Combat the Most Realistically

November 26, 2012Written by Jesse Meikle

GamesBeat sat down to interview sergeant Dave Mull about his perspective on modern firearm-focused video games, and how they correlate to his real world experience as a veteran who has served the United States military for 12 years.

As you probably suspect – video games aren’t particularly accurate in their portrayal of war, weapons and the realities of combat. But, there are some titles that depict certain aspects of war better and worse than others.

Call of Duty is referenced several times throughout the interview, and Dave Mull’s general thoughts are that it’s a fun, but ridiculously over-explosive series that plays more like a Michael Bay film than any realistic depiction of war. This perception is similar to Mull’s thoughts on Halo 2 and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six:

It’s like a cartoon version of reality — it lets you work out aggression and build hand-eye coordination at the same time.

But, being more realistic doesn’t necessarily mean a title is more enjoyable. Dave Mull both appreciates, and holds some resentment towards Fallout 3 because of this:

Fallout is special because you don’t have any health regeneration — you need to eat. Weapons and equipment degrade over time and with use, so you need to salvage similar items and rebuild them, and you can largely go “off script” whenever you want. I can’t tell you how many times I got tired of hearing some whiny NPC’s sob story and went on the rampage instead of helping them.

Aside from Fallout 3, Dave Mull feels that Killzone 3 “simulates the realities of combat the best” chiefly due to the atmosphere, and attention to details:

Killzone has the right, gritty feel for things — the crosstalk is right, and you feel like you are in a real infantry platoon. Some of the weapon features make a helluva lot of sense, too — for example, the main rifle sounds a tone for the last five or so rounds in each magazine, and the grenades feature an LED bargraph to aid in cooking.


The Killzone 2 trailer/opening drop was just about perfect. Clueless privates are screwing around; Sarge is chewing new assholes and generally being angry.

Does any of this surprise you? What shooters have you assumed to be the most realistic, and do you prefer these over the arcade-like offerings of other franchises?