If you ever want a peek into future possibilities for the armed forces (and all the could-be high-tech gear, vehicles, and robots), all you need to do is turn your sights toward military video games. We’re not talking about ones that take place in the past, like Call of Duty: WWII – or almost any other Call of Duty title for that matter.
Looking at sci-fi, futuristic video games gives us a peek at how the gaming industry thinks the military will evolve 10, 20, 50, 100, and even 1,000 years from now. Veterans with unique real-life military experiences like you could add a lot to the conversation.
So, if you don’t feel like picking up a controller because you think your reflexes from your service days have dulled down too much, you can take a look into the future military as told by video games right here – no quick-time events required!
A Window Into Military Video Games & Their Portrayal of Future Military Practices
1. Future Military Armor
Tons of video games offer their unique take on military armor, but one of the most iconic armor sets is that of the Halo series’s Master Chief – a.k.a. Spartan 117. The entire Halo timeline takes place between 2498 and 2552, nearly 500 years away at minimum.
Master Chief is a genetically-altered soldier, somewhat akin to Captain America, and has a bad*ss battle suit to match his bad*ss physique. He wears what’s called the Mjolnir Powered Assault Armor, which is better than anything you’ll see in Marvel (and especially in real life).
This armor would be a game-changer for future military conflicts and personnel, and it gives Chief a massive advantage in his intergalactic battles against the evil Covenant. This armor, in particular, would make soldiers nigh unstoppable with the following features:
- Standard neural interface used to move the heavy armor more fluidly.
- Multilayered alloy shell.
- Reflective coating capable of dispersing and reflecting energy-powered attacks.
- Force-amplifying reactive crystalline metal, which allows the wearer to lift double the normal capacity and increases standard reaction time by a factor of five.
Future iterations of the battle suit added on shielding capabilities, a cloaking feature, and nanomachines for in-combat suit repair.
This future military armor would rely heavily on a quick advance of scientific military capabilities. If these were the military suits of the future, not even Russia’s military could stand a chance against even just a small squad of U.S. soldiers in these battle suits.
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2. Future U.S. Military Vehicles
Military video games that are closer to our current generation give us a less grandiose and more down-to-earth idea of the military’s future. Take Cyberpunk 2077, for instance. Though the in-game world itself is definitely more advanced than we will be in just 55 years, the Cyberpunk military world isn’t too far-fetched.
One of the most impressive aspects of this game is its various vehicles, which all received massive enhancements in a recent Cyberpunk 2077 next-gen update for PC and consoles, like the Xbox Series X/S. The military has also been rebranded in this game, and it’s called the New United States Armed Forces.
Their armored infantry vehicle is called the M-11 MBT, and its capabilities are similar to that of the U.S. Army’s M 1126 Infantry Carrier with a few awesome enhancements.
Cyberpunk’s revamp of the infantry carrier comes with a ton of upgrades that would give soldiers a leg-up in mechanized warfare.
- Anti-laser aerosol
- 12-hour life support systems
- Visual rangefinders
- Amphibious modification
- Smoke projectors
- Damage & environment control
- Four mounted gun types with six different artillery capabilities
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have the improved motorcycles from the Cyberpunk next-gen update. Motorcycles have been nearly phased out of the Army as of 2022, but Cyberpunk’s futuristic military has them making a comeback.
They utilize a motorcycle called the Darkwing Assault for recon missions. It’s great for sneaking around off-road, but that’s not the most impressive part of this possible future military vehicle.
The Darkwing Assault has two front-mounted LMGs and improved armor, making it a great option for quick roadside conflicts. Plus, the name is totally bad*ss.
3. Military Robots of the Future
Battlefield 2042 is an interesting case study among military video games, as parts of it might soon, literally, become reality. This makes sense, too, as this game is set only 20 years into the future.
In Battlefield 2042, war has broken out between the U.S. and Russia after a series of economic, natural, and man-made disasters. The game hasn’t been the most well-received of military video games, but one exciting (and not-so-far-fetched) aspect is its use of military robots.
Specifically, a lovable (and pettable) military robot dog is featured in the game, and it looks strikingly similar to a real-life robot dog: the SPUR robot dog. The SPUR (Special Use Unmanned Rifle) has recently been equipped with a sniper rifle, night vision, and stabilizing legs.
The robot pup in Battlefield sees a lot of action, but the SPUR may initially be used for simpler missions, like patrolling military bases through remote-control capabilities.
Battlefield 2042 also features a variety of robotics and electronics that are actually being explored by the military IRL, like VR headsets for military training, which are similar to the game’s use of tactical, high-tech visors and headsets.
The Future of the Military Could Be Limitless
While these military video games are focused more on the entertainment factor rather than actually predicting what the future military will look like, it’s still interesting to see the parallels between what actually exists and what military video games are depicting.
To the Veterans out there: What do you think about the future of the military as told by military video games? Do you wish you had any of these inventions or enhancements during your service?
Now that you know what the future holds, take a look into the past with this blog: 11 of the Best Military Movies in 2022 to Binge-Watch Now