Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Duty Calls: The Calm Before The Storm

Electronic Arts marketing did it again. Last month EA unveiled their ad campaign for Dead Space 2 called Your Mom Hates Dead Space 2. To promote their new title, Bulletstorm, the people at People Can Fly and Epic Games released a free downloadable game titled, Duty Calls. The game is a parody of modern military shooters, particularly the Activision series Call of Duty, and pokes fun the various first-person-shooter tropes which in the past were received by fans as taking themselves too serious.

The game opens with a voice-over during the loading screen, saying the classic Fallout line, “War. War never changes.” The voice-over then spends the rest of the loading time debating with himself whether war actually does change or not. As soon as gameplay starts, you hear your commander giving out important instructions over the radio. “Here’s your objective, blah blah blah blah, secret base, blah blah blah blah, plan,” he says. As you make your down the linear map, enemies jump out and yell, “I am an enemy!” With each shot fired from your gun, a voice-over says in a depressed manner, “boring.” After about every one to two enemy kills, you rank up, starting at Master Sergeant Shooter Person, and working your way all the up to Sergeant of the Master Sergeants Most Important Person of Extreme Sergeants to the Max. When you are hit by enemy fire, another voice-over shouts, “Bloody screen! So real.” Along the way you’ll also pick up useless items such as a small meaningless stick, and 500 sheets of wide-ruled notebook paper.

After reaching the first checkpoint, an enemy appears and says something serious, who is then ran over by a jeep. The driver of the jeep exclaims that he cannot be stopped, unless the game goes into slow-motion. The game then goes into slow motion. If the enemy is shot in the head, the jeep will explode. When reaching the second checkpoint, an enemy will drop out of the sky a paratrooper (because that is a real-life war scenario) and says that you cannot shoot him because it is a cut-scene. At the end of the game, you confront the leader of the bad guys, who sports a gravelly voice, an accent, and an eye-patch. He says that he is possession of a nuclear missile bomb that he will never give to you. After you ask for the nuclear missile bomb, he gives it to you. You then put both thumbs-up, where fireworks and two American flags appear.

The game finishes with the line, putting the fun back in the gun, and shows a montage of footage from Bulletstorm. EA said there would be no demo of Bulletstorm for the PC, as opposed to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, which received their demo last week. I guess this free downloadable game could be considered the PC’s demo version of Bulletstorm. Bulletstorm is set to release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on February 22, 2011.

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