AH Video Games

What are some good or bad alternate history video games? What are somethings that you would like to see that you haven't seen yet?
 
The alternate history in the game play is minimal (although all but one of the endings results in major changes to world history by 1942), but I have a soft spot for Titanic: Adventure Out of Time.
 
-Command & Conquer: Red Alert

The original by Westwood is a classic. Albert Einstein tries to prevent WW2 by inventing a time machine and going back and eliminating Hitler before his rise to power. But this inadvertently only leads to a different Second World War, as Stalin's Soviet Union seized the opportunity to try to conquer Europe, facing off against the Western European Allies led by Britain, France, and Germany.

Yeah, plausibility goes out the window and the tech is sci-fi. But the subject matter is taken seriously, and the game is just plain fun. A classic RTS game.

Once EA got their hands on the series, it took a campy, silly turn which I don't like. Red Alert 2 (depicting a Soviet invasion of America) is okay, but something's missing. Red Alert 3 (depicting a three-way war between the Allies, Soviets, and Japan) is the 60s Adam West Batman series of AH games. It's pretty stupid, even though it does have Tim Curry and George Takei lending themselves to fun-to-watch performances.
 
Red Alert series. 1 would make a decent, if ASB (by virtue of time travel) TL, its sequels... well, you know. Fun games, hilariously campy, off-base history. Like an RTS version of Dynasty Warriors, though with original characters instead of actual real-life people (except Einstein, and Stalin in the first game, naturally).

EDIT: Gods damn it, ninja'd.
 
-Freedom Fighters

Red Dawn: The Video Game, basically. The Soviets developing the A-bomb first causes the post-war balance of power to tip decisevely in their favor. All of Europe submits to communist rule by the end of the 50s, they successfully install nuclear missile bases in Cuba, and communism takes power all throughout the world until an encircled America is the last non-communist power standing. Finally, the Reds invade the US. You play a Brooklyn plumber who joins the American rebellion, waging urban guerrilla warfare in Soviet-occupied New York City, with the hopes of bringing FREEDOM!!!111 back to America.

America, Fuck Yeah!!! But plausibility issues and loud, post-9/11 era super-patriotism aside, this is a fun little game. The squad-based battle mechanics are well-handled, it has a good atmosphere, great music, and solid gameplay. The ending's a little abrupt and dissapointing, but overall, a worthwhile game.
 
Resistance: Fall of Man and its sequels.

Point of divergence began when the Spanish-American War was avoided with Cuba peacefully gaining independence from Spain, which lead to the US being isolationist from world affairs. World War I still wins in an Allied victory, but Germany was treated fairly in the peacemaking. Imperial Russia crushed the red revolution and became highly suspicious and paranoid of the Western world and isolated itself from the world. America and a newly founded European economic bloc prevented the Great Depression and the rise of the Nazi Party.

But the real tragedy is a hostile alien race known as the Chimera first appear and overrun Russia before taking on the world in 1949.

Overall, it is an interesting concept but story wise it was lacking in any character depths and developments that often have to rely on in-universe intel documents that explores the world of Resistance. Even worse is that some growing story arcs like a race of human-Chimera mutants and ancient alien races were immediately rejected in the third game, which suddenly hand wave the abrupt end for the Resistance franchise.

There were two spin-off books written by Sci-fi hack William Dietz, who was infamously known for writing "Mass Effect: Deception" for his utter lack of MS lore and implication for writing for money over lore. These books are really lackluster and its characters so banal. It should be noted that Dietz penned the last Resistance game, "Burning Skies" which became the jumping the shark death knell for Resistance.
 
-Interstate 76

Set in an alternate 1970s where the 1973 oil crisis is not resolved, but instead drags on, further damaging the US economy and driving America into a depression. This leads to growing social chaos and lawlessness, as gangs of outlaws start to take control of the streets and highways, paying off the police along the way. The only real hope for the people are bands of auto vigilantes who take justice into their own hands, riding souped-up, weaponized vehicles of their own to fight back against the outlaws.

The protagonist has joined a band of vigilantes in order to avenge the death of his sister, a vigilante herself who had uncovered the signs of a plot by a particularly enterprising gang boss/mercenary. Riding and fighting through the desert highways of Texas and New Mexico, you work to stop this plot and avenge her death.

This game had a lot of potential. Original premise, fantastic 70s atmosphere, good acting and dialogue. But the game itself is a mixed bag. Some elements of the vehicular combat provide for some very fun moments, but there are also some frustrating missions and difficult-to-beat obstacles. Mixed and flawed, but interesting.
 
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Anything by Paradox from CK up to HOI. Also, Kaiserreich: Legacy of the Weltkrieg, the HOI2/Darkest Hour mod essential to any player's experience in that game.
 
Turning Point: Fall of Liberty

The POD occurred when Winston Churchill was killed in a car accident in 1931. The result had Nazi Germany successfully conquering Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. The United States remained isolationist.

The story opens in 1953 New York City as Nazi military forces invade the American east coast. You play as Dan Carson, a construction worker, quickly becoming a resistance fighter as he takes on the Third Reich from killing the Nazis' puppet president to stopping their attempt from nuking NYC.

Gameplay wise is a rather simple and lite FPS and fit for a "casual audience."
 
There's an old point and click game called Timequest that I've wanted to actually play all the way through at some point but haven't yet. You're a member of a time patrol chasing a rogue member through the eras, and he's set events to change at strategic points in history that you have to make sure happen right. The neat part about this is you can visit the same cities in different time periods, so f.e. you can go to Rome in 44 BC (Julius Caesar), 800 (Charlemagne being crowned), 1798 (Napoleon preparing to invade Egypt), and 1940 (Hitler and Mussolini).

Looks like it's on Internet Archive
 
There's an old point and click game called Timequest that I've wanted to actually play all the way through at some point but haven't yet. You're a member of a time patrol chasing a rogue member through the eras, and he's set events to change at strategic points in history that you have to make sure happen right. The neat part about this is you can visit the same cities in different time periods, so f.e. you can go to Rome in 44 BC (Julius Caesar), 800 (Charlemagne being crowned), 1798 (Napoleon preparing to invade Egypt), and 1940 (Hitler and Mussolini).

Looks like it's on Internet Archive
Oo! I've wanted to try that too, thanks for the link.
 
Crusader Kings 2.

Europa Universalis 3 & 4

Victoria 2

Hearts of Iron 3 & to be released 4
look no further for alternate history gaming than the above list.
I have every game in the paradox series that's on steam and there really is no immediate competition as far as I am concerned. the re-play ability is un-like anything I have played before and I am a veteran strategy gamer.


if you want to look at first person shooters or RPG alternate history games where you are more bothered about been immersed in a setting rather than creating it (like the above quoted games) you need not look any further than the fallout series. Saying that you do need to delve into the lore a little to get a good idea of what happened/ is happening.
 
Here's one that I don't see mentioned very often:

-The WarGame series

A series of RTS military conflict games with multiple alternate history scenarios as their premise, allowing you to take control of either NATO or Warsaw Pact powers. They focus on the Cold War, looking at numerous points during that period where tensions between west and east could have escalated into conventional warfare. Each game has a campaign mode which explores these premises. The games are:

1. European Escalation (focusing on, obviously, Europe)

1975: East Germany aggressively demands that West Germany turn over defecting soldier Werner Weinhold. When the west refuses, East Germany invades the west, prompting NATO to intervene to defend West Germany, which turn prompts Soviet involvement in the German border skirmish

1981: When Wojciech Jaruzelski orders martial law in Poland as a response to the growing popularity of Lech Walesa's Solidarity, miners at the Wujek mines respond by going on strike. Jaruzelski sends in the army to break up the strike. The Polish army is backed by the rest of the Warsaw Pact, while the strikers get support from NATO. Eventually, Czechoslovakia follows Poland's example and defects to NATO, prompting a further escalation of the conflict.

1983: The Soviets misinterpret Able Archer as a genuine attempt by NATO to invade the USSR, and launch a preemptive strike, triggering WW3 when the Warsaw Pact invades West Germany.

1984: Following a nuclear war that has destroyed major cities in both NATO and Warsaw Pact powers, the political leaders of both sides call for peace. But a rogue Soviet commander who blames the politicians for starting the war begins leading an army to attack the peace conference

1979: When a NORAD technician runs an exercise on Soviet missile strike capabilities without leaving the computer in simulation mode, the USA mistakenly comes to believe that the Russians have launched an all-out nuclear strike. They order retaliation, only later realizing that the missiles haven't actually been launched. They abort their missile launches, but are too late to recall their conventional military strikes.

2. AirLand Battle

-The entire game focuses on a NATO/Warsaw Pact war breaking out in Europe in 1985. The main focus is on the conflict in Scandinavia, as both sides try to gain the upper hand.

3. Red Dragon (focusing on Asia)

1979: When Vietnam invades Cambodia in order to contain Chinese influence, China responds by breaking their alliance with the Soviets and invading Vietnam. The Soviets respond by building up their forces along the Chinese border and putting the pressure on the PRC to withdraw from Vietnam. Beijing concludes that they need to strike at the Soviet forces before they fully amass.

1984: Riding off the wave of victory in the Falklands, Margaret Thatcher, during a diplomatic visit to China, decides to say that Britain wants to keep Hong Kong, and calls for the renewal of the British lease over it. Deng Xiaoping refuses, and warns that China is willing to get the island back by force if necessary. Neither side backs down over this, both staking claim to Hong Kong. Finally, China launches an invasion of the island, with the local British garrison needing to hold its own while rallying the support of other Commonwealth forces.

1984: With relations between Japan and the Soviet Union at an all-time low due to the ongoing dispute over the Kuril Islands, Japan makes moves toward re-militarization, engaging in military exercises with the USA. When these exercises get too close to Vladivostok for Moscow's comfort, they decide that this is a precursor to an attack, and preemptively launch an invasion of Japan.

1987: South Korea is in turmoil as student protests against the Chun Doo-Hwan dictatorship turn violent. With the South Korean military distracted by domestic tensions and US troops ordered to stay in their barracks, North Korea decides that the time is ripe to invade the south and reunite the peninsula, pushing US and South Korean forces down to Busan.

1992: When the August 1991 coup in the Soviet Union is successful, the communists retain power in Russia. With their communist allies in Eastern Europe gone, the USSR turns to their Asian allies for support. They send military aid to China and North Korea, raising the concern of the UN and NATO forces and causing an escalated buildup of tensions in Asia. When the USS Enterprise is seemingly attacked in the Sea of Japan, it prompts a Second Korean War between all of the capitalist powers and communist powers.

Summary: These are some pretty intriguing and well-made games. But they have quite a learning curve. This is NOT Command & Conquer, and you have to relearn the rules of RTS games. Expect some frustrations when you first start playing and find yourself routed. But if you can get the hang of it, they're pretty good.
 
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The Bioshock series! ASB AH, to be sure, and the first two I guess are more secret history than outright alternate history, but Bioshock Infinite's setting (a floating city built for the World's Columbian Exposition goes rogue and off the rails with its ideology of American exceptionalism, racism, and xenophobia on steroids) is firmly alternate history, and in addition alternate timelines and universe-hopping and such are one of the major themes of the game (hence the name Infinite). On top of that they have excellent gameplay, excellent stories (if controversial in the case of Infinite; you have to at least admire its ambition), and are worth looking at for the unique settings if nothing else.
 
I suppose the Civilization series could count.

In one game of Civ 3, I was playing as the U.S., and it was the late 21st century. The Celts had conquered every other country in the world and was poised to invade me next. Alas, they invaded me. I used nukes against their forces on my soil, but they had an endless supply of troops, since they had controlled basically the entire world. My troops and navy were destroyed and I was defeated; the U.S. was annexed into the Celtic empire. :(

Not to fear, the U.S. shall rise again! Take that, Celts!
 
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The Japanese Campaign in Battlestations: Pacific, while not at all realistic, is a pretty good way to kill some time. Invading Hawaii at the end is cool - specifically the final part of the engagement where Yamato goes toe-to-toe with Iowa. Like I said, not at all realistic, but the game's a lot of fun and I'd highly recommend it!

Some of the German campaigns in IL2 Sturmovik: 1946 are also pretty good.
 
Turning Point: Fall of Liberty

The POD occurred when Winston Churchill was killed in a car accident in 1931. The result had Nazi Germany successfully conquering Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. The United States remained isolationist.

The story opens in 1953 New York City as Nazi military forces invade the American east coast. You play as Dan Carson, a construction worker, quickly becoming a resistance fighter as he takes on the Third Reich from killing the Nazis' puppet president to stopping their attempt from nuking NYC.

Gameplay wise is a rather simple and lite FPS and fit for a "casual audience."
I've always thought that that was an underrated game, it wasn't exceptional, but it was a fun game.
 
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