Oh, to have a 360 for Reach. I fell foul of the franchise after Halo 2, but that was more to do with coming back from overseas into the frenzy of the admittedly-awesome multiplayer aspect my housemates had honed their skills within to a keen edge. “All in on Lockout” was the call that brought a frustrated tear to my eye. But, the games are solid, the original some magical, clean and polished affair that I’ll treasure forever.
Those unmistakable, subtle sound effects. The hum of shields, the quiet crunch of boots on the ground, the superb sound design. And everyone has a fondness for the announcer’s voice. “SLAY-er.” “KING of the hill.” “TAKen the LEEEad.”
Just off the main topic at hand, and perhaps an interesting aside towards the war and video games discussion, Battlefront.com displayed a number of videos from their upcoming Combat Mission: Afghanistan title. Thing is, our generation tends to forget the blood already spilled on the sands prior to the current engagement. Indeed, this new tactical simulator charts the Soviet invasion of the ‘Ghan in the 80s, not the current conflict. Here’s some food for thought:
Material losses of the Soviet Union:
433 artillery guns and mortars
1,138 radio sets and command vehicles
510 engineering vehicles
11,369 trucks and petrol tankers
Casualties and losses
14,553 killed, 53,753 wounded
Estimated over 1 million people
One would imagine those helicopter losses on the Soviet side would’ve increased dramatically once the CIA started delivering Stinger missiles on the backs of donkeys. But it does raise the point that games are incredible teaching tools – or at least can be – when it comes to warfare. We can all experience our own Waterloo, our own Market Garden, our own Thermopylae. Right now in the wonderful RUSE, I’m finding out in wonderful abstraction the incredible doggedness of the Allies at the Battle of Kasserine Pass. Does this extend to FPS games? Well, it very well could – and has in some small if we’re to go by the strange Kuma War game…
“Kuma War is a series of playable recreations of real events in the War on Terror. Nearly 100 playable missions bring our soldiers’ heroic stories to life, and you can get them all right now, for free. Stop watching the news and get in the game!” – http://www.kumawar.com/
…which lacks any sort of subtlety or nuance. It seems like it’s catering to a fairly low denominator, but who really knows the target audience. Six Days In Fallujah another one that I’d be afraid would have missed the mark, but if there’s any place to start, a big budget title like Medal of Honor might be the safest way to go in doing a little more to engage young minds or shed light on situations currently surrounding the armed forces.