The Needles: The Russians Are Coming!

The Needles: The Russians Are Coming!

In these troubled times, when a decent videogame bad guy can be hard to find, there's one enemy you can always count on: the Russians.

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This may be a silly question but...

... Do the Russians buy the same games we do?
With games like Goldeneye, Op Flashpoint etc all being about killing Russians, do they enjoy it? Or, possibly even dafter, are the game reversed so they in fact blast away at Americans instead. That would make Jack Thompson so happy, an American Murder Simulator you say?

Then again, I can never see a game about mowing down hapless US Marines selling, not in the US at any rate...

As the article said, finally! Russia and Russians are so cool, and they've been completely boring since the Soviet Union collapsed. I looked up their government on wikipedia (because school won't teach me anything useful), and it barely deserves to be called a democracy. They should just call it, "What America has." Where's the pride and patriotism? The cool language and foreign edginess? I miss that Russia. The one that was eternally about to nuke us.

Maybe things will change now, maybe. I hope so, I'd like to see them do something worthy of being Russian.

And by the way, to any Russians: No offense, I was trying to complement you if anything saying how cool Russia is, they just need to get back that coolness. And I'm mostly of Russian descent (well it was Russia back then), so I can say what I want.

Thank God Palin is there to keep an eye on them.

ShadowKirby:
Thank God Palin is there to keep an eye on them.

Damn it, beat me to it.

I think the next big enemy should be the Welsh. I haven't seen one Welsh bad guy in all (two) years of shooting stuff, and it makes me wonder what I'm missing.

(I'm kidding, and no I'm not going to make a sheep joke, that's too easy)

ElephantGuts:
As the article said, finally! Russia and Russians are so cool, and they've been completely boring since the Soviet Union collapsed. I looked up their government on wikipedia (because school won't teach me anything useful), and it barely deserves to be called a democracy. They should just call it, "What America has." Where's the pride and patriotism? The cool language and foreign edginess? I miss that Russia. The one that was eternally about to nuke us.

Maybe things will change now, maybe. I hope so, I'd like to see them do something worthy of being Russian.

And by the way, to any Russians: No offense, I was trying to complement you if anything saying how cool Russia is, they just need to get back that coolness. And I'm mostly of Russian descent (well it was Russia back then), so I can say what I want.

True dat, comrade.

Actually, China was responsible for the nuclear war in Fallout. They invaded Alaska, forcing America to annex Canada, and leading to all-out nuclear war.

BobisOnlyBob:
Actually, China was responsible for the nuclear war in Fallout. They invaded Alaska, forcing America to annex Canada, and leading to all-out nuclear war.

I thought that was China? Or does China come in later?

Russians in World in Conflict are cool too. Their fuel-air bombs are the best part. I wanna get the 360 version so I can play the Soviet campaign.

It takes one to know one.

lijenstina:
It takes one to know one.

It certainly does.

Не потревожьтесь, жалкие американцы, мы сделает вас испугано снова, как раз как хорошие старые дни.

Водочка для всех камрадов!

stompy:
Не потревожьтесь, жалкие американцы, мы сделает вас испугано снова, как раз как хорошие старые дни.

Водочка для всех камрадов!

You have no idea how much I wish I could do that.

That seems pretty selfish don't you think? I mean, wanting a war for the sake of video games? Is it too much to ask that todays game designers use their imaginations? They seem to be doing a fine job with Far Cry 2 and Dead Space and such.

Meh Russians hate russians. At least some do...because everyone got f_cked over in the last few years. Or before that. Or for about the last 100 years since the last tzar(or king) lived.
I came from Russia, and yes we, or rather "they" now, play the same games as you... in most cases much cheaper because they are illegally copied =P

Americans scare me tho. With all their scary zombiefied patriotism.
Now if only i had russian letters on this keyboard...

Oh... it never gets old to see the cliches yet again. It's kind of 'some tribal people out there still think the the Earth is flat' funny. Some people's desire to show the extent of their ignorance to the public is astonishing.

Actually it's quite simple to imagine what do Russians feel about games like Operation Flashpoint and World in flames. Just substitute "Russians" for "Americans" and visa versa throughout the plot and try to catch your reaction. Would you really believe that you're blood-craving, barbaric and stupid? I suppose not. Would you still play it? It depends, I suppose. I don't mind killing ultra-nationalist freaks in CoD 4, they are a threat to the fictional Russia in that game just like they are for the rest of the world. WiF and OFP are another matter entirely, I don't play both games as they make the player shoot those who share nationality with me. It's a matter of personal preference, however, as some don't care about the plot in games - most of them have none to speak of anyway.

Oh, and one more thing. I know that this article is tongue-in-cheek, like the majority of other Escapist ones. At the same time, there's such thing as 'over the top'. How would YOU react if I call your countrymen evil and definitely worth shooting en masse, videogame or not? Please try to apply the stuff you plan to write to yourself first. It's what adults are expected to do, you know?

Personally speaking Russians will always be more stereotyped as Vodka Drinking indestructable Russian Mafia; Boris the bullet dodger, the Vlads (Mercenaries + Max Payne) and the whole GTA4 story. Rather than the Communist Vodka Drinking deviously cunning coldly remorseless killing machines.

You know, we've been playing games as the American uber-soldier for so long, it's really time we turned the tables. The most dangerous and warlike nation on this planet is currently America, why not just turn the tables.

Get me a game where America has launched a world conquering campaign and the rest of the world is banding together to stop them. I could live with a modern US civil war as well, I'm not picky.

I always love playing as the Russians in video games. They're usually one of the better options and you get added funny accents. I even do this in games where it doesn't matter one jot like Olympics or something or even where it's a disadvantage like soccer or basketball. "Ivan make basket."

corporate_gamer:
You held on to that avatar? Way cool.

aside:
Everybody should be reading Brian Wood's DMZ.

There are good reasons WHY Russians aren't depicted as the "evil empire"...

1) They weren't "evil" in a True nazi evil sense
2) They don't have AS strong a visual depicton and lastly...
3) They're still very sensitive about modern depictions of Russians in Pop Culture
Case and Point:
Many Russians complained about how they were depicted in Indiana Jones And The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

The Russians DO NOT want to be depicted as big bad evil empire villains unless it's as a Radical Offshoot (Metal Gear Solid 3) or as so obviously not real Russia that it doesn't matter (Red Alert)

Basically the Nazi's make great villains because they cannot defend themselves, and anyone who would defend the Nazi's doesn't have a valued opinion anyway, so they're great targets, unabashedly evil, visually striking and without a valid counter point in their philosophy (The Nazi's existed for 10 years, were stupidly evil, and did nothing but wage war)

Well it will go usually like this:

INTRO
- We must stop those pesky Ruskies, blah, blah, Reds, KGB, blah, blah, evil empire, blah, blah, democracy, blah, blah, invasion, freedom, A-bombs, blah, blah, the faith of the world....

--Skip---
--skip---
--skip---

*****Loading 1. level

For the record, Stalin made Hitler look like a Girl Scout. But come on, it's OK to have a sense of humor. The article just celebrates a fun old cliche, admittedly skewed though it may be.

The next big bad guys should be New Zealanders, for absolutely no reason at all.

AuntyEthel:
The next big bad guys should be New Zealanders, for absolutely no reason at all.

This.

Stalin was a Georgian so epic fail for those who mentioned Stalin.

AuntyEthel:
The next big bad guys should be New Zealanders, for absolutely no reason at all.

cough**sheep**cough... Excuse me, I've got a cold.

Gormourn:

Now if only i had russian letters on this keyboard...

ElephantGuts:

You have no idea how much I wish I could do that.

I'll let you guys in on a little secret...камрады.

I live in Russia and play same games as you do. Most gamers here just make fun of storylines with evil russians. The only thing I hate is terrible voice of nonrussian speaks russian. I cant really tell why russian gamers enjoy games that are all about killing their own countrymen. Maybe there is some good point in previous post that russians actually hate russians. Maybe because we are lazy.

I can tell a story that explains about how everything is done in Russia. Near my window there is a road. It was impossible to ride it because of its terrible condition. One day workers came and layed fresh and flat asphalt. Two days later they destroyed it and made a big hole to replace old water-pipes. After a week new and fresh asphalt was layed but 3 days later it was destroyed again to lay some cables or something like that. The road was again in previous terrible condition but nobody ever came to fix it... That is what I hate about my country and wanna live in civilized city like Tokyo or Hong Kong.

The great thing about Russians, the thing that makes them such eternally awesome bad guys, is that while we stereotype them, we do so because we're kind of awed and impressed by them, and a little bit scared of them. It's quite fair to say we respect them. There have been plenty of more topical foes that have made themselves available in recent years - Iran, Venezuela, North Korea - but they're really just pissant dictatorships, ruled by crazy dudes with noisy but outmoded armies. They don't have staying power. Take Libya as an example: Back in the 80s, Qadawadayadamafi was Public Enemy Number One, they were blowing up airliners and the US was bombing Tripoli, but ultimately, what happened? Well... nothing. It all kinda blew over, everything is essentially normalized and the only remarkable part is that the same crazy bastard who started all the trouble is still in power.

In gamer terms, Korea, Iran, etc., are expansion packs. They're add-ons. DLC. They're good, they have merit, but they don't last long and they require external software to run. Russia, on the other hand, they're the god-damned Collector's Edition.

As far as what games Russians play, you might be interested in reading what this guy has to say, and there's also some fun to be had here.

Malygris:
The great thing about Russians, the thing that makes them such eternally awesome bad guys, is that while we stereotype them, we do so because we're kind of awed and impressed by them, and a little bit scared of them.

I don't think I could have said it any better myself.

That's the thing about the Soviet Union, the fact that made them so terrifying, that made it seem that they were only a snap of their fingers away from destroying America: Because the Soviet Union got shi*t done.

It was the Soviet Union that took the full brunt of the seemingly undefeatable Nazis War machine, and then broke its spin in the city of Stalingrad and on the Fields of Kursk. The Great Patriotic War killed more people than all of the other fronts combined, and left a wake of economic and military destruction all across Russia and the Soviet Union; and yet, somehow, the people of the Soviet Union pushed back and toppled the greatest militarized Empire the world has ever seen.

The will of the Soviet Union was monlothic, immovable, and seemed to be forged from steel. They set these seemingly impossible military, economic, cultural, and military goals for themselves, and then they exceeded them. It was the Russians who sent the first unmanned and manned Satilets into space, the Russians who were seemnigly made up of an endless number of bright eyed young youths who had pledged themselves, heart and soul, to the continued existence and expansion of the Soviet Union.

Call Stalin and the Kremlin of 39-55 anything you want, corrupt, nepotistic, petulant, inefficient, insane even, but they knew how to get things done.

Not to mention that they made so d*mn catchy music. (The Sacred War still gets me, right here)

How about to make a game where the bad guys are americans?

stompy:

AuntyEthel:
The next big bad guys should be New Zealanders, for absolutely no reason at all.

cough**sheep**cough... Excuse me, I've got a cold.

Gormourn:

Now if only i had russian letters on this keyboard...

ElephantGuts:

You have no idea how much I wish I could do that.

I'll let you guys in on a little secret...камрады.

It's not as fun that way. I want to be able to do it myself. Or atleast read what the translator is giving me.

AuntyEthel:
The next big bad guys should be New Zealanders, for absolutely no reason at all.

Yeah, they must be up to something...

Problem is the accent is so hilarious everyone who played would keep cracking up and could never take the game seriously.

Very good article by the way Malygris, and I think you've hit the nail right on the head.

I'm a bit of a history student (read: 3 of my 5 senior school subjects are history courses) and I find it really fascinating that the Russians seem to be re-emerging. Being born post Cold-War, fighting Russians, in video games or otherwise, has this sense of getting you involved in a part of history you missed.

Maybe its also got something to do with the fact that despite getting very close and them being around for years no one really clashed with the Ruskies, and perhaps that could explain why, the Germans were real, but we actually fought them so they get boring fast. We never fought Stormtroopers, but they don't exist and therfore don't have the same vein of realism as the other two.

Russians on the other hand, have got the perfect balance of being realistic but not real enough to have to relate to actual battles or encounters.

Just my thoughts, but yes, very good article.

fix-the-spade:

Then again, I can never see a game about mowing down hapless US Marines selling, not in the US at any rate...

Umm... How about half life?

Such a good words I has read there... Thanks. I even don't want to nuke your homes anymore. For now. Maybe.
Russians are russians - we don't give a damn about all this "villain" stuff, we just know, we are great nation.
P.S. But even so - "Modern Warfare 2" had quite unpleasant moments... What happened with Infinity ward since CoD2? Russians were good there. Even if they had ridiculous accent. "Thisiz a potatoes, comrrrad comissarrr... Rrr..."
P.P.S. It reminds me one funny story with localization of "Cold Fear". Tom Hansen spokes english, russians spokes "russian" with all this laugable "rrr" and wrong graves. When this game was localized, Tom was revoised by russian actor, but "russian" sailors stays "russians". So, Tomas was more russian, than whole crew of the ship...

Xyu_Bam:
How about to make a game where the bad guys are americans?

Because it'll still have the same problem.

No matter what nation they're from, bad guys in games have no style, no coolness, no ability to pose a threat for the most part anymore.

To qoute Yahtzee "The root of almost every issue I have with triple-A release standards. The shadowy figure lurking behind Ivy's tits, War from Darksiders' stupid fucking armor, and the persistent nuking of major European cities in realistic war games. It's excess. That's the big problem. Excess, and the mindless pursuit of it."

You can have them speak in a shitty Russian accent, you can have speak perfect American accents, you can change the flag, but all that means FUCK ALL when it comes to making a good antagonist. This is the same problem I have with regenerating health, where with non-regen health you would only fight 5-10 enemies, and they would be a much bigger threat, I would be much more satisfied because of my badassery, in a regen health game, you could fight 40 soldiers, but they never pose any threat and fighting them becomes drawn out and tedious.

Well, that's one part of the problem anyway.

 

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