Here at the GamesRadar "idea factory," we don't merely take holidays... we take them and churn them into wonderfully, ridiculously themed features with silly art and sillier jokes. In that truly proud tradition, we're honoring America's 232nd birthday with more than just fireworks, air shows, barbeques and a bare-chested flag-waving werewolf... we're also picking out the 20 most rabidly patriotic games of all time.
What do we mean by "rabid"? Besides the werewolf, of course? Well, these are the titles that take their (possibly genuine) love of country to almost embarrassing extremes. These are the titles that plaster red, white and blue all over their box art simply to make a few extra bucks. These are the titles about saving presidents, killing terrorists and going from rags to filthy, filthy riches. These are the titles that represent stereotypical American values... both good and bad.
And if you're not too fond of the USA these days, fear not! We've got five totally unpatriotic games as well. Let's begin.
US Army | 2002
Any game can add the word "America" to its title, but only one is actually owned, financed and distributed by the United States government. Any game can throw in a few dead terrorists to increase Wal-Mart sales, but only one is actually programmed and designed to transform geeky, gangly teenagers into freedom-fueled terrorist-slaughtering machines. Any game can trade patriotism for profit, but only one proved its true love of Lady Liberty by actually releasing on July 4, 2002... the first Independence Day after 9/11, when we needed the guidance and support of our first person shooters most!
Oh yeah, and unless you count $6-8 million in tax dollars, this baby's 100% free!
50 Cent: Blood on the Sand
Vivendi Games | 2008
This sequel is basically one gigantic middle finger to the rest of the world. Go ahead, rest of the world, build those armies. Test those nukes. Invade those neighboring countries. We're still so ridiculously sure of ourselves that - when the shiznit finally hits the fan - we're just gonna send in Fiddy. That's right, just Fiddy. The man's made of bullets and Vitamin Water, people - he can't be stopped.
2K Games | 2003
"It's time to explore and discover all the possibilities that can unfold in our proud nation," proclaims the back of the box for Patriotic Pinball.
Indeed! What could be prouder than bouncing a little silver ball off George Washington's head? What greater sacrifice could a citizen make than tilting the table to score an extra 100 points off the Statue of Liberty's majestic bosom? What deeper devotion to the nation could this game possibly show than replacing a couple bumpers and flippers with flags? American flags! Those image files didn't upload themselves, you know!
Frontlines: Fuel of War
THQ | 2008
Set in the midst of an energy crisis where natural gas is hard to come by (ya don’t say?), it’s up to a select few soldiers to fight for America’s God given right to control the world’s oil supply. In the sequel, we hear the US will use this war as leverage to drill in Alaska and bring down escalating barrel prices that Big Oil CEO’s “can’t” control.* How sweet - a game that’s indicative of America’s foreign policy.
Christian Founders 3D Computer Game
God | The 7th Day
Hey kids! Do you want to learn about the creation of the US government as it specifically pertains to Christianity? Playing as the national personification of the United States, Uncle Sam, uninformed sheep will “fly, slide, jump, bounce, dodge, search and solve puzzles” in this 3D Christian propaganda budget title. Thinly disguised religious text posing as a United States history lesson in videogame form? Whatever it takes to reach them kids, we suppose.
18 Wheels of Steel: American Long Haul
ValuSoft | 2007
Forget the stupid bald eagle. The real symbol of America is the semi truck. What better way to show off our disgusting abundance of wealth, land and naked lady mudflaps than with 18 wheels and 40 tons of road-hogging, gas-guzzling machinery driving 3,000 miles cross country? Possibly to deliver a shipment of bargain bin computer games about that very subject? The Founding Fathers would weep openly at the scene.