Over the long weekend I was looking for a little entertainment and was pleasantly surprised by the new release of one of my old favorite games. I would be remiss not to mention it here, for it is a tale of passion, music and intense geekery. If you’re one of those people who wants to ban shooter games, or watches hours of vapid television but think video games are for fools, we can still be pals.
(WWII bombshell, Marlene Dietrich)
The game is called Forgotten Hope, originally a mod* for the blockbuster EA title, Battlefield 1942, the game that changed the first person shooter landscape. BF ’42, as it’s fondly called, was beloved by gamers of all stripes – it doesn’t matter who you vote for, every guy, and indeed some girls, like WWII war games. BF communities sprung up all across the internet, in countries spanning the globe, bringing young and old together to shoot at one another online. I was seduced along with a group of friends in 2002 when it released. To this day, BF ’42’s theme song is the only one to get stuck in my head since Super Mario Bros in 1984 when I finally got a Nintendo a year after everyone else.
Music plays a similar role in the ever growing game industry as it does in the film industry, and as I’ve argued before, is best left minimal in war films – the same applies in war games. I’d rather hear the pop of my M1 Carbine, the crunch of my boots, and the lamentations of my vanquished foes loud and clear. However, when well employed, a bit of music can be the most powerful catalyst to draw you in and keep you there.
The beautiful thing about Forgotten Hope, aside from it’s finely crafted historical setting, is that along with epic theme music on obligatory loading screens, there are old radios and phonographs in homes and bunkers littered throughout the recreated 40’s era world playing classics from the time period. Classics like Vera Lynn’s “We’ll Meet Again” (which played at the end of “Dr. Strangelove”) and Marlene Dietrich’s “Lili Marlene,” a personal favorite (see below). Dietrich was of course a German national turned Hollywood star, who opposed her homeland country’s fascistic aims and devoted herself to rallying the morale of US troops with her music – and legs and things no doubt.
BF ’42 is ancient in computer gaming years and the franchise has moved on, with several titles since, Battlefield 2 being the current basis for most of today’s mods, including the current Forgotten Hope build. That old BF ’42 theme song still works it’s way into some of the load screens though.
Original Battlefield 1942 theme song and intro:
Play! orchestra covering the theme song… hilarious!
*A mod is a free game made by independent developers in their spare time. Mods use exiting games as their foundation, though they are often radically different and unparalleled in both detail and playability. The current version of Forgotten Hope is 2.2 and is actually based on EA games’ newer, Battlefield 2 which you must own to play Forgotten Hope 2.2. It was released September 5th and servers are running it worldwide. Download links.
The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.
But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)
It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.
A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.
This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.
The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.
It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.
Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com
Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.
Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.
Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk
Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.
Lane 33: Twins
You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.
Lane 27: Broken Windows
Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.
Lane 69: Filthy Cars
You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.
Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles
It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.
Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.