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Can Battlefield 4's narrative be relevant after Spec Ops? photo
Can Battlefield 4's narrative be relevant after Spec Ops?
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

In lieu of partying or whatever it is college kids are supposed to be doing, I decided that my number one priority this spring break would be to to replay Spec Ops: The Line. I joined the Spec Ops party a bit late, but the narrative really struck me in a way that few videogame stories have, and I have been slightly obsessed with it ever since.

So, with Brendan Keogh's 50,000 word analysis Killing is Harmless by my side, I went through it again. And it's even more interesting the second time, with its critique of the player, videogames, and military shooters in particular. If you haven't done that, I highly recommend it.

Ever since I first played Spec Ops, I've wondered whether or not it would influence future games and how it would do so. But since Spec Ops's release, there really haven't been any notable modern military games (Warfighter doesn't count). It turns out that Battlefield 4 will be the first. When I first saw that gameplay had been revealed, I was intrigued. When I read that DICE wanted "players to have a very emotional connection with the story and setting they're presenting," I was ecstatic. In my mind, this meant that the team had played Spec Ops, analyzed Spec Ops, and learned from Spec Ops. The game wouldn't be as soul-crushingly pessimistic (not a bad thing), but it would be a step ahead of the general military game narrative. So I went into the 17-minute long demo of Battlefield 4 excited, with Spec Ops's lessons fresh in my mind. 

Meh.

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7:15 PM on 03.01.2013

Storm the Heroes & Generals open beta now

Square Enix has just opened up the beta for their free-to-play warfare game, Heroes & Generals, meaning that you can go sign up and play right now if you felt so inclined. Here we bear witness to a trailer announcing thi...

Conrad Zimmerman

7:30 PM on 02.21.2013

Arma 3 is going Steam-exclusive to make its 2013 release

Last year, much of the news surrounding Arma 3 had to do with two members of its development team getting charged with espionage and arrested in Greece, not with the game itself. Bohemia Interactive is "on the verge of reveal...

Jordan Devore

5:30 PM on 01.17.2013

Arma devs freed on bail after 130 days in prison

After spending 130 in a Greek prison, Bohemia Interactive developers Martin Pezlar and Ivan Buchta have been released on a €5000/$6,672/£4160 bail. The charges against artist Pezlar and creative director Buchta sti...

Alasdair Duncan

1:00 PM on 12.13.2012

Arma 3 delayed to 'reach its full potential'

Given what Bohemia Interactive has called an "eventful year," it's not entirely unexpected to see that military sim Arma 3 has been pushed back to an all-encompassing 2013 release window. "The additional development time enab...

Jordan Devore

11:00 PM on 11.16.2012

ArmA 3 devs to remain in jail after being denied bail

Bohemia Interactive's Martin Pezlar and Ivan Buchta have been locked up for some 70 days now, having been arrested while on holiday on the Greek island of Lemnos. The two are accused by the Greek government of espionage ...

Harry Monogenis

11:30 AM on 09.17.2012

Bohemia gives an update on Arma 3 devs detained in Greece

While vacationing on the Greek island of Lemnos, two Bohemia Interactive employees -- Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar -- were arrested after taking photographs and video. There's been a lot of speculation since this news first ...

Jordan Devore





7:30 PM on 08.10.2012

Wargame: AirLand Battle announced with a nice teaser

Eugen Systems is back with Wargame: AirLand Battle, a follow-up to its real-time strategy game European Escalation. This sequel retains the 1975-85 Cold War setting, in addition to the eight nations featured by its predecess...

Jordan Devore

3:00 PM on 02.16.2012

Much-welcomed RTS Facebook action with War Commander

Friggin' Words With Friends! I wish my so-called "friends" would stop telling me it's my move when I don't recall ever agreeing to play the damn thing with them in the first place. Let's forget about that and other similar F...

Tony Ponce

4:30 PM on 12.23.2011

Look at the US Army's Dismounted Soldier Training System

Did you know that the United States Army is turning to RealTime Immersive Inc. and CryEngine 3 for its training needs? The figure being thrown around for this project is $57 million, which sounds all too believable. Two trai...

Jordan Devore



Calling on the Dtoid Army: Operation Supply Drop photo
Calling on the Dtoid Army: Operation Supply Drop
by Daniel Starkey

So ... November 11th is Veteran's Day. Why should you care? Well, we still have quite a few active military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan and a fair portion of those people are gamers.

Enter Operation Supply Drop. They send care packages of donated games and accessories to soldiers who really just want to relax and have a bit of fun. They are an official not-for-profit charity that has gathered over $20,000 worth of games and gadgets to send over. They have received support from EA, Bethesda, Rockstar, and Activision, so they have some pretty big friends.

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12:30 PM on 10.24.2011

Some things are just better in Japanese

When I saw the above trailer crop up in my feeds this morning, the title was entirely in Japanese. Since I am barely capable of reading English with proficiency, I just went ahead and clicked anyway. And while I couldn't qui...

Conrad Zimmerman



Interview: Six Days in Fallujah photo
Interview: Six Days in Fallujah
by Daniel Starkey

If you haven't heard, the United States began the invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq in March, 2003. In late 2004 there was a joint offensive in the city of Fallujah, an insurgent stronghold. What followed was some of the bloodiest and most intense battles of the Iraqi occupation.

Controversy and games share a long, sordid history. We are no stranger to the sensational, unscrupulous and the ill-informed. Most of the time, the incessant bleating of fools fades into the background rather quickly; lost in the collective short-term memory of modern society. It is unfortunate then, that the one time a project was cancelled to legitimate and reasonable fear, an opportunity to do real good was lost.

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Arma 2: Free is now ready for download photo
Arma 2: Free is now ready for download
by Jordan Devore

I spoke briefly about Arma 2: Free -- Bohemia Interactive's less-featured offering for those on a tight gaming budget -- during the E3 rush. That was a simple announcement post; the real news today is that the military sim is now ready for public consumption.

You can grab it for yourself by using this link and signing into Google, Steam, Facebook, OpenID, or Windows Live ID for activation purposes. I'm tempted to download it just so I can re-experience the pain of not being able to properly pilot the game's vehicles.

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7:00 PM on 05.19.2011

Arma 3 to get a summer 2012 release, here's how it looks

Next summer, Bohemia Interactive is giving us a break from last-action-hero modern warfare with another one of its frighteningly realistic (but still totally heroic) military sims. Yep, it's none other than Arma 3. This one i...

Jordan Devore

4:20 PM on 05.03.2011

New U.S. Military billing options for Xbox Live members

Microsoft has heard the requests of gamers in our military and now has made changes in their system to accept their addresses in Military States in their billing system. This will come as great news to our men and women stati...

Dale North