So how does one make a successful video game? You take the most recent tragic event, and plot your game around it! Well, at least that's what the guys at Incorrigable Games probably thought. 9/11 was a tragic date for most if not all of us - except for Incorrigable Games of course, as they thought that they might even make a buck or two off it! So they've decided to come up with their 'masterpiece' - Al Qaeda Hunting 3D. I'm not sure how long it took them to come up with it, but I could probably come up with something better than this in less than two weeks while still working in GH full-time. And I'm not joking here! Upon visiting the game's website (where the 'masterpiece' in question can be bought online), I was greeted with a disclaimer approximately saying that this game shows what is happening right now in Afghanistan and that if you have anything against it, you must be one of Al Qaeda terrorists.
Oh my, said I to myself (I like talking to myself... As no one else wants to talk to me really...), I can see what is happening in Afghanistan! It's some sort of a flying device I tell ya! And the page even said that it's a "100% Anti-terrorist and PRO-American game."! I've decided to overlook the 'few' spelling and stylistic mistakes in the text. Mostly because I didn't want to make myself connected to Al Qaeda and be anti-American, or whatever the author meant by his claims (note that I've said the word "author", as I can't imagine that more than one person had something to do with this monstrosity.). I even overlooked the game's screenshots, but that was because I either didn't have my lenses on or was so drunk that I forgot to look at them. Can't remember which one it was, as I'm afraid I've suffered massive brain damage after playing this game. So what was I talking about?
As the game advertisement said that I'll have the chance to put a few AK rounds into OBL, and the company motto stated that they "make games" we "want to play" (TM). I immediately bought the game through SWREG while shelling out 20 smackers that would otherwise serve for booze, and 20 minutes later I had the game on my hard disk and was generally preparing myself to be a happy camper. After installing and attempting to run it through the shortcuts placed in my start menu, I was presented with a nice "Can't find file" message, so I had to go to the installed game directory and run it from there. After starting the game I've discovered that no such silly things as main menus are needed in games we want to play (TM) (is that a real registered trademark by the way? I can bet my own underwear that it's not!), so I was presented with the first level.
To my astonishment I was standing in some place that reminded me of hell - although after five minutes of pondering about I've discovered that it's actually supposed to be a cave. A really ugly one. In front of me I saw two genetic mutations, who probably were human beings before someone turned them into zombies because of which they have an undead look on their faces (that were probably made from 10 pixels by a twelve year old partially blind and very retarded boy named Billy that stuffs crayons up his nose), made one of their legs shorter than the other, dressed them in paranjas, put some holes between some parts of the bodies and made them generally so ugly that they had to agree to euthanasia - and invited me to do the job. Upon exploration of this weird place I've found lights that would probably look good in Wolfenstein 3D, some sort of an hellish machine standing outside this place (certain people have suggested that it might be a helicopter but I'm still not convinced - why does it look so red and ugly and blocky?), wooden tables and seats, some beds, some plutonium "crates" and lots of boxes with Iraqi flag on them... Hmm... I wonder what that means - did Saddam sponsor the game and request his flag to appear there? Otherwise what in the world does his flag do on boxes located in Bin Laden's hideout in Afghanistan? After some more exploration I've discovered that my shadow is acting really weird in general, and is holding the same gun I'm holding with two hands with only one hand. I've also discovered a 1995'ish looking bookshelf with a book next to it reading "Death To America - Jihad!". I wondered for a few minutes what a book in English proclaiming "Death To America" is doing in Bin Laden's hideout, but decided not to, as I've started developing a serious headache from the graphics alone. At that point I still didn't know it would be brain damage in the end, so I've continued playing the game. The weapons in the game looked like they were made out of plastic or something of that sort. Or like drawings of that same 12 years old retarded boy Billy. Although as far as I know Billy, he would never do something as monstrous as this game on purpose, so it probably wasn't him. Also he would not put plastic guns into a game on purpose. Even Billy's not that dumb to do that.
As I've started sending those poor mutated creatures I've met on my way back to where they came from - hell, that is, I've heard only one word coming out of their mouth: "Americany!". Strangely they all had the same voice, that sounded kind of like that guy that just lost his hand in a car crash and keeps yelling from all that pain he's having, if only he was punched in the groin for a few good hours before that. No matter that, it was quite nice of them to remind me who I was in the game, as with all that headache I was already starting to forget things. The next thing that added to my migrain was that all the shots from BOTH of the weapons available in the game sounded absolutely the same. Add to that the fact that enemies' gunshots all sound exactly the same, and the Nazi WW2 "music box" torture seems like a trip to the park comparing to this. At the same time the music kept playing the same melody that wanted me to weep and scream and yell and cry all at the same time, over and over again. And conveniently there was no option to turn it off - once again, who needs main game menus in first person shooter games? Let the wusses at id and Digital Extremes care about that, Incorrigable Games doesn't spend its valuable time on such unimportant details.
To my surprise the poor mutated creatures to whom I was offering euthanasia for free started shooting back at me! Not only that, but they managed to get me every time. While at the same time my bullets often seemed to fly right through them without causing any damage ot missing them from 10 meters and cursor aimed directly at them. I thought they might be ghosts of such people like John Romero that can't properly define clipping in their games (Anyone still remembers those "John Romero Will Make You His Bitch" Daikatana ads in PC Gamer? Well, he ended up doing "Hyperspace Delivery Boy" for GBA, probably in preparations for his next job as a Pizza Delivery Boy in a few years). It's good that they had to stop for good 5 seconds between every shot, no matter if they were firing from an AK or a hand pistol. And they of course shot only single shots at me, obviously trying to preserve ammunition. Which for some reason disappeared together with them into the thin air after I managed to get a good shot at them. It's aliens' work, I tell ya! They also could only either stand at one place, walk towards me at a pace that would make any turtle look like an Olympics marathon winner, or crouch at my direction. Well, combined with the excellent shooting of course. That combined with their impressive marksmanship skills made me start appreciate mentally challenged people even more than I've appreciated them before - who knows what they'll do to ya if they find a gun! Speaking about the shooting, I've soon discovered that boxes and walls don't necessarily stop bullets - at best they do it sometimes, which is only around 10% of the times. So instead of risking getting myself killed I've started shooting through every box and wall in order to try and kill every last one of those creatures, who were probably bad people damned by god, John Carmack or whoever, as a punishment for buying Daikatana to be placed into this game as sprites after death. Soon enough I've also discovered that I can either see or walk through most of the objects if I just move close to them. I think it's some new and secret device that the US army is using and Incorrigable Games has seen. Or maybe it's the game, that doesn't have clipping logic at all.
After 15 minutes of gameplay I've reached the end of the first mission and "found" the "dirty bomb plans" which were conveniently located around 4 hallways and 1 super-secret switch away from me. At which point I was congratulated on "saving countless lives" and was told that it's time to eliminate Osama at his "secret cave complex". Even though the thought how I knew of existence of his 'secret' cave complex eluded me then and still eludes me now, I emerged myself into the next level. The "secret complex" consisted out of exactly 5 rooms and 2 hallways, swarming with boxes, nuclear and biochemical crates, lights, bookshelves, medical kits fused with boxes and more of those debilitated and infected with some strange disease creatures. After successfully going through those 5 rooms and 2 hallways I've reached the end of the compound, mission 2, and the game in general (oh yes, and I AM talking about the full version, not the demo). In the end I was given the honor to kill something that looked like a hybrid of a monkey with a wild boar. But seeing that the game ended after I killed it, I feel confident that it was Osama himself. And even though he looks like hell in real life, I'm afraid that even his own mother wouldn't be able to recognize him in the game. After that I was given a magnificent looking text on my monitor. It basically said that I won and the game is over, except with a fake-Arabic looking font. On top of that it said "Excellent job soldier. Airlift out of here anytime now.". Being as naive as I am, I've decided to wait and see what will happen. After a minute of no activity whatsoever in the game, I've decided to leave the computer at that stage, and go and get myself a happy meal at McDonald's, since I've already started feeling suicidal after playing the game. As I came back home 30 minutes later, the game was still at the same point, with me awaiting airlift. And no, strangely it wasn't frozen at all. So I've wondered around the completed level for a few seconds, but after seeing the ugly and distorted game textures and almost "giving back" the happy meal I just ate because of terrible refresh rates that caused me nausea, I've pressed the ESC key and got back to Windows.
After playing the game for twenty five minutes and completing it at that time, I can honestly say that it was the most traumatizing experience of my adult life - even counting that little incident with me getting my head stuck in the doors of an overcrowded bus and the driver not noticing me and driving for another 10 minutes before stopping the bus. If you thought that Daikatana is bad and Romero sucks, after playing this game you will truly appreciate both Daikatana, and Romero's genius. Its only good features are that it's short and is really easy to uninstall. Which didn't help me however, as after playing it and falling into a deep depression while blabbering incoherently about the extinction of the once great race of game programmers' , I was diagnosed with a massive brain damage by my resident psychiatrist. Right now the Psychiatric Association of America is planning a huge advertisement campaign featuring the photo of my face drooling, picking my nose and sobbing uncontrollably at the same time, and a huge writing saying "DO YOU WANT TO END UP LIKE THIS MAN? STAY AWAY FROM VIDEO GAMES MADE BY INCORRIGIABLE GAMES!" (For people like the owner of Incorrigable Games: I was just joking, but I really wish they did that!). Please follow that advice, if you don't want to end up like me. And now, where's my Prozac again? I think I'm about to have more flashbacks of Al Qaeda Hunting 3D... :(