OK, hmmmmm, where do I start? I guess I should start at the beginning of my gaming life. I'm talking summers spent in Clacton arcades wasting 10p's on Championship Sprint, Double Dragon and Turtles. I'm on about California Games, Daley Thompson and Winter Olympics... Aaaaaah, the C64 days, when I was but 5 or 6 years old, seemed the sunniest. I swear it was either bright sunshine soaked summer or just plain snow in those heady times.
Nowadays, like the weather, gaming has gotten complex... So much choice and so little cash.
In a house with many consoles and far too much gaming testosterone, I devote most play time to my PS3. I don't have a preference for game type, although I'd say FPS's float my boat the most and RPGs haven't grabbed me by the balls once, yet.
Right now I'm playing Black Ops, FIFA 11, Enslaved and Fallout 3 (GOTY Edition)
Having beaten Modern Warfare 2 last week I was left with mixed feeling about a number of things. We've heard countless takes on the airport scene up to now and, quite frankly, I'm sick to the teeth about it. I am, however, rather intrigued as to the context that the stage - and others featuring innocent people - have been placed within the world of Modern Warfare 2.
After traversing through the streets of Brasil, hot on the heels of a geezer in Adidas tracksuit bottoms and half a spliff hanging out of his mouth, I was astounded as to the level of innocent civilians around in the game. "This is next-gen" I thought to myself as I crunched down a green, blue and yellow peanut M&M and thought about maybe leaving my room for a piss at some point.
Then I landed on American soil. Finger on the trigger, I passed through a suburban town with white picket fences, nice cars, swimming pools, dog houses, the lot...
Well, maybe not "the lot". Something wasn't sitting right with me, I wasn't feeling compelled to enjoy the mission or care about what I was doing at all. But why? I'll tell you why: because there wasn't a law-abiding American citizen in site, that's why. Dead or alive, there wasn't a single person other than those carrying guns. I can only assume we are supposed to believe that these people were evacuated and that the Russian soldiers were standing around porches and bathrooms wondering whether this was some kind of huge practical joke - a disused Hollywood movie set, probably last used by Tom Hanks in The 'Burbs.
Where was the sugar-sweet American blood that would be shed in order to avenge their brothers and sisters from the Moscow airport?
Did I miss something? Were all these people evacuated while the parachutes and bombs rained down? If so, I apologise. The US Army did a stellar job with that. But I doubt that was the case. I would have appreciated the site of people running for cover around these streets, scrambling out of their houses or lying dead in their doorways.
This wouldn't make me happy in a morally ambiguous way; far from it, in fact. I just feel that within the context of war brought on by an act of terrorism, it would have been far more enthralling, powerful and... well, correct to show that these atrocities can have repercussions that may be a little hard to swallow for the more patriotic among us.
Did Infinity Ward duck out of any plans to feature American civilians in order to avoid the risk of upsetting a post-9/11 public that would most likely jump down their throats? Were they told to leave them out by the powers that be? Or are they just a bunch of jocks who love USA (USA, USA) a little too much?