At $57 million, this new software has the kind of big bucks budget associated with best-selling shooters. And it’s using the best tech around – Crytek’s CryEngine 3 engine, as seen in the visually stunning Crysis 2. That said, it does lack the flashy names of its gaming cousins – ‘Dismounted Soldier Training System’ (DSTS) doesn’t roll off the tongue.
Nor is DSTS played on a PC or console – instead, soldiers wear special head-mounted displays on their helmets, and the virtual world is piped straight to their eyeballs. Troops are given a 10-by-10 foot training area to operate within, and can move or look in any direction. There’s a dedicated joystick for firing weapons, while voice comms with their colleagues are carried out in-game.
With accurately recreated locales such as Afghanistan and Iraq, this means soldiers can essentially practice missions with their colleagues until they get it right. Troops previously depended on aerial photography, schematics, or ‘word of mouth’ before they set off to face the enemy – now, they’ll be able to perfect their performance beforehand.
If you fancy giving this ultimate military sim a go, the Army will have 102 systems in place globally in January 2012. Now there’s just the small issue of, err, enlisting. Here’s a trailer showing off the tech: