Thursday, March 27, 2003

Operation Piss Off The Planet

God bless The Onion.

Sheryl Crow Unsuccessful; War On Iraq Begins

WASHINGTON, DC—In spite of recording artist Sheryl Crow's strong protestations, including the wearing of a "No War" guitar strap, the U.S. went to war with Iraq last week. "Making the decision to go to war is never easy, but it's that much harder when you know Sheryl Crow disapproves," White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said at a press conference Monday. "It is this administration's sincerest hope that it can one day regain the support and trust of the woman behind such hits as 'All I Wanna Do' and 'Soak Up The Sun.'" Fleischer issued similar apologies to Martin Sheen, Janeane Garofalo, and Nelly.

I'm resisting the temptation to Warblog today, as I'm simply too disgusted and depressed to write anything about it without lapsing into catatonic emotional withdrawl.

So I'm going to write about games instead.

I've finally gotten past the Get Priboi level on Project IGI, after about 20 attempts. IGI is a superb game, but fuck, it's hard. It's not without it's fair share of flaws either, respawning enemies, die-learn enemy placement-retry gameplay and cut 'n' paste internal architecture the chief culprits amongst them. Fortunately, the balance of the weapons is great, the graphics still aren't too shabby and the AI is fairly good, despite the way Russian guards shout "HEY!" in english at you to tip you off you've been spotted before trying to riddle your carcass with hot lead. The expansiveness of the level design is a joy too, and there's only really the Border Crossing level I'm (stuck on) now that could only really be described as linear, which is only thanks to the judicious use of a minefield. So despite the flaws and the high difficulty level, IGI keeps drawing me back. It's got real character and soul, and that I'll fucking beat you next time compulsiveness. Well worth a tenner of anyone's money.

In keeping with the spirit of current events and my mood gaming, I reinstalled Operation Flashpoint this week.

Playing this for about four hours on Tuesday night really makes you feel for the guys over in the Gulf. I must have been shot, grenaded or blown up by tanks about a dozen times. Much in the same way directors say you don't make war films, you make anti-war films, Flashpoint is the videogame analogy of that. It's not just a soldier sim or wargame, it's perhaps the singlemost potent anti-war game ever made.

War is hell, says the cliché, but this makes you realise it's true. War is brutal, bloody, ruthless and unforgiving - and so is this. War's the worst thing a man can do to his fellow man. Naturally, Flashpoint is utterly captivating stuff. If you've never played it, go out and buy the Game Of The Year edition, and get a taster of what "Our Boys" are experiencing in the Gulf, and remember that they don't have the advantage of external cameras, variable sensitivity mouselooks, save games and reloads.

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