The tale of this event has taken several forms over the years. The first testimonies are those of the famous photographer Robert Capa, who was present in the first person during the landing and ready to immortalize the desolating spectacle that was seen
in front of the allied soldier’s eyes as soon as the ship’s doors dropped. The images of floating corpses, the smoke that blurs the beach background, and survivors who run certain and terrified to the mainland become almost real, tangible.
But it is with the cinema that the soldiers’ courage takes on strength: D-Day is the protagonist of many films, including the Ryan soldier’s rescueby Steven Spielberg. The film is able to tell the crudity of war, with its unrealistic, sudden, v
iolent times, and with sounds of screams, bullets of bullets and explosions. In fact, once landing began, the soldiers were catapulted into a devastating chaos: because of bad weather conditions, amphibious means of transport were huddled in the sand, risking being swallowed by the high tide. The military then had to jump down as soon
as possible, praying not to remain victim to enemy bullets. The Allies, in fact, did not expect such a strong response from the Germans, who had organized armies of artillery rifles and mortars to defend the beach from enemy incursions. Whoever was able to reach the i
ndented land, he could steal one of the antique mines hidden in the vicinity of German artillery. In a nutshell, he had never been safe from death.
However, if there is a medium that can throw you into the horror of war, that’s the video game. In particular, landing in Normandy is one of the most present in World War Two titles – alongside the Pacific Ocean conflict between the United States and J
apan – precisely because of its symbolic value of reverence that fits into the vision dualist of Freedom against the Nazi-fascist dictatorship. Among the first examples are Medal of Honor: Allied Assault , chapter of 2002 belonging to the iconic series published by Electronic Arts.
From cutting even more cinematic and impacting we find Call of Duty 2 , 2005 title that tells the Second World War through the Russian, English and American point of view. The latter is centered on the D-Day in Normandy, and emulates the landing sequences that were already seen in the movie Salvation of Soldier Ryan : the comrades who vomited for the swirling sea, the explosion just after the landing with t
he living aristocrats from the flames, the protagonist broke down by the bursts a few meters away. Each of these elements goes back to Spielberg’s directi
on, but this is not surprising, since linking to film narrative is a feature of the Call of Duty series. There is, however, a substantial difference: the icon
ic landing image in Normandy is that of arrival at Omaha Beach, code name of one of the port areas – along with Utah, Gold, Juno and Sword. Call of Duty 2 avoids the immense Omaha beach, and brings the player into the Battle of Pointe du Hoc, during which Americ
an Ranger conquered the cliffs under the control of Germany. In this way the hectic pace of play alternates in closed spaces and open spaces, under constant enemy fire and the massive presence of Nazis. What awaits what is outlined is the historical premise – also typi
cal of the series – made through repertoire images and the real voices of the major protagonists of the time. In the case of Call of Duty 2, we can hear General Dwight Eisenhower (future president of the United States), who in patriotic and solemn tones underlines the courage of young American soldiers willing to sacrifice themselves for the sake of freedom and democracy.
The Second World War is not an exclusive theme of the first-person shooter (FPS), so it is not difficult to find landing representations in Normandy as strategic titles. The case of Company of Heroes brushstrokes: Made by Relic Enterteinment and published by T
HQ in 2006, this real-time strategy title opens on June 6, 1944 in Omaha Beach. Although the third person’s view is less submerged than the first one, the dramatic nature of the war is still legible from the outset. Here too the references to Spielberg’s film are quite obvious, but what is intrigued is fragmented narrative.
The game does not open with the protagonist thrown into the hell of the war, but uses a descriptive sequence to emphasize the difficulties encountered by the soldiers. It is only after a succession of deaths and explosions, under the German view on the beach, which reaches our unity and the player takes the reins of the mission. The appreciable aspect of Company of Heroes
, beyond its playability, is the ability to alternate between game and narrative, precisely because mission is not a continuous stream of gameplay, but is interspersed with footage so as to confer epic and engagement. An aspect that brings the title of Relic to distance itself from classical strategies such as Empire Earth II , where he again dances the D-Day.