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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Saving the World Makes Me Feel Guilty

But killing Americans in cold blood is a hoot.

Emphasis totally mine.
I’m often conflicted while playing games in Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy library. They’re fantastic fun—several entries in the Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon, and Splinter Cell franchises have provided some of the most memorable moments I’ve experienced in military-themed gaming—but I’ve always had a problem with Clancy’s politics. America’s forces typically act as world police in his games, conducting overt or clandestine operations in foreign lands with little regard for local governments and citizens and usually with impunity. It makes me feel a little guilty for enjoying myself so much while playing.

And that’s what makes Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction such a welcome change of pace. It delivers the sort of high quality and innovative action that players have come to expect from Clancy-branded games while giving us a hero who is actually rebelling against the American military industrial complex. It feels great.
So fighting terrorists and nations bent on destroying us makes this guy "feel a little guilty", but when the story involves a wayward PMC full of ex-American soldiers "[i]t feels great".

I'm a fan of Splinter Cell and Tom Clancy. I've read many of his books, Red Storm Rising being my favorite. He's had many Westerners as bad guys, and just like 24 these white male bad guys are bent on subverting the free world in some way. Yet, the only thing that gets this gamer off is killing Americans. You'd think that the video game world should be making Che games based on this idiot's preferences.

I've bought Splinter Cell: Conviction and I'll be commenting on the story once I finish the single-player campaign. It'll be interesting to see if SCC uses and intelligent evil PMC story, or if it'll go the way of 24 Season 7 and beyond ludicrous. I'm talking plaid-bad storytelling.

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