Time two zero.
Everyone loves a paradox. I consider myself a lazy-hyperactive for instance: I’d be bouncing off the walls if I could be bothered. It's a paradox then that whilst I consider myself a peace making pacifist I'd also quite like to have been in the army. Not that I've ever been close to signing up, the closest being a brush with the Boys Brigade that I gave up after three awkward weeks spent not liking the idea of getting changed in front of other boys. Or the bugle master. He didn't seem to mind getting changed in front of us though.
I digress. War. It just looks great. It sounds great. In fact, just say the word now go on, out loud, "WAR!" Raise your fists. Punch the air. What is it good for? How about a nice little tactical third person shooter for starters!
Womack and Womack – they knows it. I should imagine so anyway.
I've got a theory about video games. Really great video games, the one's that score 10 out of 10 in Edge or 167% in the Official Playstation magazine. Really great video games, they're a bit shit really. They make great little toys and are full of brilliant invention but there's something, well, a bit disappointing about brilliance. Brilliance just doesn't occupy time very well - it's all over so quickly. Turgid, repetitive, averageness gets you through the night. No alarms. And none of them surprises while you're at it. For those of us who aren't brilliant there's nothing wrong with being occupied. The way The Antiques Roadshow occupies a Sunday evening or Big Brother whiles away another summer that we'd planned to spend at the beach with all the friends we haven't go round to making yet. Occupation, it's the name of the game, not Life, you tit Forsyth.
Ignore the bollocks that the US Army used Full Spectrum Warrior to train their troops with. If that were the case our chums from across the pond would have a taskforce as useless as the Daleks, unable to climb stairs or open doors (damn you revisionist BBC drama dept – Ed). Ignore the fact that there's barely a smidgen of game in here at all. Turn a blind eye if you can to the idiotic truth that once you've completed the first mission you're really not going to encounter anything different for the rest of the game.
Train ‘em hard, mother fuckers.
Give yourself a week. Treat yourself to a Battenburg. Close the curtains and put aside your troubles for a bit. Soak up the atmosphere. The graphical portrayal or urban warfare is breath taking. It's aurally perfect, from the eerie wafts of Arabic loudspeaker announcements to thunderous booming explosions and that really lovely sound that a gun makes when slung over a shoulder.
This is two games in one really. There's the panic of the first encounter with the unknown: snipers on the roof, a tank, or a raging gun battle where you pinned down from all angles. You'll die and gain some appreciation for the idiots that actually put themselves in these situations. You'll play again, the scene will play itself out in exactly the same fashion and this time you know what to do. This is game two. It's a bit like Tetris. Order your troops: 2 blocks of four, into the cover of alleyways, behind a car, behind a bin, just find cover from somewhere. Cover, and then move. Flank, and then kill. Just occasionally you'll get it right first time and then you might just come over all American and say something like, "Fuck Yeah!" And then you'll apologise to your personal sense of dignity and move on.
Whooop, whoop and indeed whoop again.
You'll complete it and feel absolutely no desire to play through it again. You might, however, stretch, slump back into the sofa and say something like, "well, that occupied the time." You've only yourself to blame, however, if you start shuffling along walls, leaning round corners and saying things like, "two tangos". Unless you're in the drinks section of the local Spar shop.