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Saturday, January 22, 2005

Game Review

Paul Ford reviews some computer games that you might've missed.
America's Army Special Ops: Abu Ghraib
The United States Army (PC)

Okay, the original America's Army required you to go through endless training missions, and while the online game play was good I never really got into it. But this game is totally different. In this one you're plucked from a rural community in America, separated from your family, and flown to a foreign country. When you land you're given an assignment to guard a prison, and told to make it up as you go along. That's it—the rest is up to you. This is a really open-ended game and the story totally depends on the decisions you make.

You and your teammates are given a group of "detainees" that you must discipline. The thing that makes this game different is that the detainees can't fight back, and they're in chains or locked in cells. At first it was a little confusing, and I killed a lot of detainees expecting them to fight back, but I got used to it and found it to be a refreshingly different approach from most RPGs.

The choice of weapons is really interesting, too. You start out with a crate, a cattle prod, and a Bible, and by using them in different ways you get more weapons to use. For instance, after you beat a detainee with a Bible, you get pork and bananas, which you can either (spoiler alert) feed to the detainees or insert into their rectums, or both. But it's not as easy as it sounds! The detainees will eat the bananas, but they'll get really angry if they have to eat pork. (more)

These new Army recruitment games help you 'be the best you can be' and I'm not kidding, really.