Same as it never was

When World War II titles play it straight, the US gets a grueling but triumphant ride - but when developers try a little alternate history, things get pretty bleak for the nation. Previously, Freedom Fighters saw America invaded by the Soviet Union, and now upcoming PC and next-gen console shooter Fall of Liberty sees New York falling to the Nazi war machine.

Prompted by a little history-tinkering - what if the taxi accident that hobbled Winston Churchill was fatal instead, and without him there was never a Normandy landing? - you'll join events as a resistance fighter in the occupied US. The overwhelmingly powerful Nazi occupation is planning to stamp out the rebellion with a nuclear strike, so simply holding out isn't going to be an option.

It's a chance for developer Spark Unlimited- ex-Medal of Honor developer and creator of Call of Duty: Finest Hour on consoles - to blend its historical obsession with a few surprises. Fall of Liberty isn't due until late next year, which should put some further distance between it and the combined shellshock of next-gen MOH, COD and Brothers in Arms.

We're looking forward to seeing how Fall of Liberty plays up the jarring imagery of an American capital under Third Reich rule - and hoping the shake-up isn't just atmosphere-deep.

August 31, 2006