GamesRadar E3 2011 Special Award: Most Tasteless New Game

Our mouths literally dropped open when we saw the announcement of the Blackwater game during E3. We couldn’t believe a game company (505 Games) would have the audacity to take the most notorious mercenary army in the world and build a rail-shooter around it, seemingly utterly dismissive, or perhaps intentionally controversy-baiting, about the implications of such a product. We’re proponents of games as a medium to tackle difficult subject matter – the cancelation of Six Days in Fallujah left us ambivalent because we wondered if it could have approached the subject with respect and allowed players to digest a real-life event in a way that other art forms could not provide. Of course, that game could have also been a crass game-ification of sensitive subject matter, but there’s no way it could have been as blatantly oblivious as Blackwater is.

Above: But look how cool their glasses are!

We’re talking about a game that loudly glorifies a company (now under the light and feathery moniker of Xe Services) accused of massacring seventeen unarmed civilians and injuring dozens more in Iraq’s Nissour square. We’re talking about a company who had forces spark a sniping incident that Iraqi police have called an unprovoked act of terrorism. We’re talking about a company that has been involved in at least 195 shooting incidents and whose top officials have been indicted on weapons violations and making false statements in court. The former head of Blackwater, Erik Prince, recently resigned and fled to the United Arab Emirates, which incidentally has no extradition treaty with the US.

Above: In any other game this would be a random boring screenshot, but with Blackwater, the potentially imagined implications are chilling 

The question becomes: at what point is it not okay to make a game out of something? Our inner defenders of free speech say “never!” but our inner sparks of consciousness – otherwise known as the soul – say “maybe now.” Of course, there could have been a much more interesting way to make this game – tackle the controversy head-on instead of the devs holding their hands over their ears and singing “La la la, can’t hear your complaints, Blackwater kicks asssssss!” Instead, we have as clear an indication of the cluelessness behind this game as we can get: in the Kinect-based controls. We shit you not – the way you shoot in this game is that you point your finger at an enemy, and as long as your gun is trained on them long enough, the gun fires automatically. We really couldn’t get a more perfect metaphorical representation of Blackwater’s collective itchy trigger finger when it comes to the lives of innocent civilians.

And no, we’re not advocating censorship, but goddamn is this game tasteless.

Jun 23, 2011

Most graphics | Coolest character reinvention
Best response to fan feedback 
Best trailer | Most satisfying gore | Guiltiest pleasure
Most shameless rip-off 
Best new game we know nothing about
Worst first impression | Best game for masochists 
Most likely to consume our lives | Artsiest-fartsiest
Most tasteless 
Might not actually suck | Proof that 2D isn't dead | BEST OF SHOW 



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  • insertdisk - June 26, 2011 8:38 a.m.

    I think less tasteless and more just plain shit.
  • mothbanquet - June 25, 2011 1:31 p.m.

    @Potocon Actually my ancient grandfather, who fought in Africa and France in WWII, was pleasantly surprised by the events portrayed in CoD 1/2 and BIA, praising them for the realistic . He was far more pissed off by the war movies of the 50's/60's that showed war without blood or foul language. I myself, having served in Iraq & Afghanistan, would have loved to see a game like 6 Days in Fallujah show everyone how truly nasty the battle for the city was and give some appreciation of how real wars (i.e without respawns, regenerative health and Captain Price's fucking moustache). @ wraith509 If you think most soldiers enjoy killing then you really have your head in the clouds. Armies of a nation do a job that, unfortunately, has to be done for poor pay and little recognition. More people join the army for a shot at a career and qualifications, not just to kill people as you seem to think. Mercs exist purely for profit and THAT is the difference between them and common soldiers. It has always been and always will be a dubious thing and this game is a crass glorification of that.
  • MySistersMenstruationTastesFunny - June 25, 2011 3:08 a.m.

    Damn, that chick has a nice set of tits.
  • ChickenFillet5140 - June 24, 2011 9:26 a.m.

    I totally agree, this simply doesn't need to be made. Videogames give you the opportuntity to build amzing new worlds the likes of which earth has never seen and you decide to make a game based on real-life war criminals? I'd just like to say go fuck yourselves.
  • LewisR - June 24, 2011 8:12 a.m.

    I feel mislead. I thought this was a game about Bono from U2 going to iraq. Damn cover picture.
  • Ultima - June 24, 2011 6:14 a.m.

    This is beyond sick, I hope 505 Games fails and folds as quickly as possible
  • iAmARealSuperTurrican - June 24, 2011 5:43 a.m.

    This seems like a joke game from a movie, but unfortunately it's actually happening...
  • quincytheodore - June 24, 2011 5:41 a.m.

    Gordon Freeman much...
  • NanoElite666 - June 24, 2011 5:16 a.m.

    What is this I don't even.
  • shawksta - June 24, 2011 4:26 a.m.

    I gotta agree with you with this one! Also, how come there isnt a "Best New game shown at E3" Section? How is Sly 4 and Weegee's Mansion 2 gonna be mentioned?
  • Pocotron - June 24, 2011 3:30 a.m.

    Well years from now expect to see more games like this. I doubt people in the 40's could imagine WWII games from nearly every perspective coming out the wazoo.
  • Lurkero - June 24, 2011 2:29 a.m.

    Sure, people get upset about Falleujah without seeing the game, but this has little to no attention on it.
  • rhubarbdoom - June 24, 2011 1:43 a.m.

    Bravo! Thanks for calling it like it is.
  • GringoStar - June 24, 2011 1:10 a.m.

    Why haven't I heard of this game?
  • TheHungryLemur - June 27, 2011 4:54 p.m.

    Not cool. I'm fine with playing as Black Ops even though they did the things they did but this is like... A game where you play as the Joker in Gotham City :P
  • TitanofRock21 - June 26, 2011 12:33 p.m.

    doesn't matter. humans have been killing each other for less logical reasons than money for milenia. we're beasts, and no matter how advanced we like to think we are, we're not. besides who's to say that the story won't show the horror of such organizations through the eyes of a member of the team who starts to come to grips with the reality of what blackwater is and turns on the company? probably should have info like that before you start blasting it, besides you all loved "no russian". same difference. hate me for my opinion if you must, i'm just stating that which should be obvious. if the game ends up being about mercelessly killing innocent peeps for profit, then by all means it deserves the title of tasteless, but i'd rather reserve my opinion on it until i see where the story and subject matter goes, and @ mothbanquet, thanks for your service to our country, but your description between a soldier and a merc seems to be the same thing. getting paid to kill, maim, and destroy other peoples, mercs just seem to be better funded. that and soldiers often have a bit more moral credibility because they fight to protect they're homes, not some one elses wallet. anyway thats my rant.
  • Inthedistrict - June 26, 2011 2:19 a.m.

    Come on....does anyone remember a game called Postal? That game came out not long after the term was coined. That's right, after a guy went into a post office and shot the place up...these games come out. If you really want to put it to the burner, don't buy it.
  • wraith509 - June 25, 2011 4:42 a.m.

    why is it when a civilian is killed by a soldier he just goes to jail and no one remembers after a week, but when a soldier does it under a corporation suddenly the whole company is like that? the only difference between a soldier and a mercenary is that a mercenary is willing to admit that he likes to kill. still not a good move to make a game about blackwater though
  • batouyukinawa - June 24, 2011 10:38 a.m.

    This reminds me of that one game years back on PS2 where you basically hunt down terrorist and blow the shit out of them (namely people who have darker skin) all the while singing "America, fuck ya" theme song from "Team America".It too was a low budget bargain bin sort. However, the clear distinction between the two directly comes from the pure blatant disregard for anything remotely decent. It's fine to make a fantastical type game borrowing from real-life outside influences. It is not O.K. to make a game where the protagonist are these war criminals.
  • silentflame666 - June 24, 2011 4:57 a.m.

    Utterly disgusting. Only if you would be so kind to comment on the jingoism in the "Call of Duty"series too.