Six Days in Fallujah: A Documentary Wargame

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Six Days in Fallujah: A Documentary Wargame

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Konami has announced Six Days in Fallujah, a game based on the November 2004 battle between the U.S. military and insurgents in the Iraqi city that promises a more realistic insight into the nature of war than other videogames.

The idea, according to the Los Angeles Times, came from U.S. Marines who returned home from Iraq with videos, photos and diaries of the war in Iraq. Rather than turning their experiences into books or movies, a number of them decided to turn to a medium they felt more familiar with: videogames. They approached Atomic Games, a studio known primarily for its work in wargames like the Close Combat series. "The soldiers wanted to tell their stories through a game because that's what they grew up playing," said Konami Senior Brand Manager John Choon.

The game will be a "traditional third-person tactical shooter" but Atomic describes the game as survival-horror because of the way it will realistically model the lethal and frightening tactics of insurgents in the Fallujah operation. Players will step into a four-man Marine fire team charged with clearing the city and while realistic environments and weapons will feature strongly, Atomic says Six Days in Fallujah will stand out from the crowd by offering "insight" into the reality of modern warfare.

"For us, the challenge was how do you present the horrors of war in a game that is also entertaining, but also gives people insight into a historical situation in a way that only a video game can provide?" Atomic Games President Peter Tamte said in an interview. "Our goal is to give people that insight, of what it's like to be a Marine during that event, what it's like to be a civilian in the city and what it's like to be an insurgent."

The game will feature over a dozen real-life Marines in documentary-style interviews spread throughout the game; those same Marines will also appear in the game itself, performing tasks similar to those they carried out in the actual war. "What interested us were the soldiers' stories," said Anthony Crouts, vice president of marketing at Konami. "Some of these soldiers came right out of high school. They went from boys to men in the span of two weeks."

Players will be confronted with many of the same tough decisions soldiers in the war had to make, quickly and under fire, and in both real life and the game those choices and their consequences aren't always clear. "Our opportunity for giving people insight goes up dramatically when we can present people with the dilemmas and the choices that faced these soldiers," Tamte said. "It's a chance to really give them a better understanding and empathy."

Six Days in Fallujah is currently in development for the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and is scheduled for release in 2010.

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THIS is bold and awesome. Plus the fact it was thought up by the soldiers itself, makes it doubly awesome. This is even more awesome then my idea for a Mujahideen videogame.

I wonder how many gamers will use the "if it moves, shoot it" approach to telling hostiles apart from civilians... and how many soldiers did.

Yes! Buying this when it comes out. The only thing I can gripe on is how it will be a 3rd person game, I rather have deep immersion and see how it was like through their eyes.

TsunamiWombat:
THIS is bold and awesome. Plus the fact it was thought up by the soldiers itself, makes it doubly awesome. This is even more awesome then my idea for a Mujahideen videogame.

Indeed. I'm quite surprised to see that soldiers want to make a game out of what couldn't have been a fun experience for them. Still, provided they keep involved with the development, this could be awesome.

Atomic was an excellent choice for this. They excel at the war games they make. I've yet to see them present a game that offers any real narrative, but I have no doubt that they will succeed admirably here as well.

Wow,I hope they can pull this off and finally prove to the world that gaming is a legitimate way of sharing these experiences, you not need a book or a documentary. What better way to show the relaity of war than to let people experience it first hand?

This is quite the bold goal. It's hard to make a game that's fun but doesn't bog you down and depress you with the "horrors of war", so it'll be interesting to see how they handle this.

I'll definitely keep track of this.

I can see it already.

"Tonight on Fox, civilian massacre simulator released today,"

It's certainly a brave idea. It'll all hinge on whether the developers are brave enough to make it a realistic account.

this could be really great..... or really horrible. im kinda excited, this seems to be the first example of people using games as a medium to express themselves, which is my definition of art. ill definitly keep an eye on this one.

I thought Call of Duty 4 was an intense depiction of urban combat. I shudder to think the horrors that this game will contain, and can't wait to see them.

fix-the-spade:
I can see it already.

"Tonight on Fox, civilian massacre simulator released today,"

It's certainly a brave idea. It'll all hinge on whether the developers are brave enough to make it a realistic account.

Ahh but it's made by the troops. You can't not like it, cause otherwise your not supportin' our troops.

Their logic, not mine.

This could be a significant step in gaming as a serious cultural medium. However...

Malygris:
how do you present the horrors of war in a game that is also entertaining

...makes me think it wont be

I really like the sound of this.

Very interesting, though if done wrong it will offend a lot of people.

They had better take very special care with this game's subject matter.

*falls to knees* Finally, the 'are games art?' debate is settled!

This has the potential to be one of the most interesting thing to happen to games in a real long time. I hope they pull it off properly.

And yeah, I think a first-person view would be more intense for dealing with the subject matter, not to mention the setting... but there's still time before the game is done.

Considering this will be published/Co-developed by the same studio that made Metal Gear Solid and Silent Hill, I have high hopes for this one and a honestly fresh take on War sims. Many civilians, such as my self before one of my friends joined the Army, have honestly no idea what soldiers encounter and have to deal with aside from the constant crap that the news media feeds them.

I have always wanted to be a soldier since my family is full of them but I'm unable to join (U.S. Military kinda frowns upon enlisting someone with a very huge history of Severe Bipolar/Psychosis unfortunately...) so all I can do is listen to the stuff my friends talk about and to be honest, I don't think I would have been able to deal with some of the **** they have to.

Anyways, this game will be stuck on my radar until release so we will see if it's worth it.

This is very exciting. I mean, it has the failure potential of any ambitious project, but it's ambitious nonetheless. I hope they work as closely as possible with the soldiers and deliver an educational and unique experience.

EDIT: Also, there was a trend a few years ago to create deep, interesting, and (more) realistic games in the vein of, say, the original Ghost Recon or Rainbow 6 before Vegas. This style was supplanted by the apparently more marketable "streamlined" style we enjoy today. I hope this represents a new trend back toward really good games.

I know many people who moved back into civilian life from direct contact with the enemy. It changed them, most for the worst, which they acknowledge. I wonder if the truth gets in the game - I hope so since the soldiers themselves might have the ability to make it as realistic as their experience and the game developers allow. I also hope that in the game, players who play with a "kill everything" attitude suffer the consequences too.

So the game may not be "fun" but it might be realistic. Will combat gamers be able to handle that? Normally you shoot and move on, you don't have to deal with the one you shot or their parents, wife, children.

IT's just going to be another generic "if it's BROWN, and it has two legs, shoot it."

This game has the potential to be one of the most realistic FPS's ever, showing the horrors of war alongside why the marines fight. I'm just afraid it'll turn into a "Ho-rah! Go Marines! Semper Fi!" shooter

Huh... I think the history channel attempted to make a realistic shooter before...

What moral repercussions? I care about them in a real game or else I'll get the bad ending, but in this game? Cheney will just pardon me.
EDIT: I hope there's multiplayer support so I can bomb some infidel faces off.

Oh yeah... this whole damn thing is sarcasm, so don't flame me.

This could be interesting, I'm hoping that they are able to pull this off without it causing a lot of trouble in the media and what not.

Atomic has been hinting at something big for a while now, and I've been anxious to hear about what they had up their sleeve. I must say, I'm looking forward to this. They're a 5-star developer who really goes the extra mile in terms of realism, and they do it without sacrificing gameplay or fun.

This is definitely on my list of games to watch out for.

Dalisclock:
This game has the potential to be one of the most realistic FPS's ever, showing the horrors of war alongside why the marines fight. I'm just afraid it'll turn into a "Ho-rah! Go Marines! Semper Fi!" shooter

It wont. Atomic takes pride in their realistic take on games. Just play Wacht am Rhein. It'll be nothing like any RTS you've ever played

1 A history game could be a great idea.

2 They need more interviews from civilians. A common criticism of mainstream media is how often they rely on the Pentagon and the military for information.

3 "You'll pretend you were men instead of babies, and you'll be portrayed in the movies by Frank Sinatra and John Wayne or some of those other glamorous, war-loving, dirty old men. And war will look just wonderful, so we'll have a lot more of them. And they'll be fought by babies like the babies upstairs." Kurt Vonnegut.

Pseudonym2:
1 A history game could be a great idea.

2 They need more interviews from civilians. A common criticism of mainstream media is how often they rely on the Pentagon and the military for information.

3 "You'll pretend you were men instead of babies, and you'll be portrayed in the movies by Frank Sinatra and John Wayne or some of those other glamorous, war-loving, dirty old men. And war will look just wonderful, so we'll have a lot more of them. And they'll be fought by babies like the babies upstairs." Kurt Vonnegut.

"hi, we are making a game where we are shooting your husband and sons, care to leave some feedback? ^_^"

cainx10a:

Pseudonym2:
1 A history game could be a great idea.

2 They need more interviews from civilians. A common criticism of mainstream media is how often they rely on the Pentagon and the military for information.

3 "You'll pretend you were men instead of babies, and you'll be portrayed in the movies by Frank Sinatra and John Wayne or some of those other glamorous, war-loving, dirty old men. And war will look just wonderful, so we'll have a lot more of them. And they'll be fought by babies like the babies upstairs." Kurt Vonnegut.

"hi, we are making a game where we are shooting your husband and sons, care to leave some feedback? ^_^"

I'm sure they'd have a lot to tell them. They got hundreds of hours of footage from Hearts and Minds many of it from grieving civilians. I think it can be done and there is a lot of interviews already out there.

The problem with making this, is that we're all fed up with the war. We'll look back when we're ready to look back.

Pseudonym2:

cainx10a:

Pseudonym2:
1 A history game could be a great idea.

2 They need more interviews from civilians. A common criticism of mainstream media is how often they rely on the Pentagon and the military for information.

3 "You'll pretend you were men instead of babies, and you'll be portrayed in the movies by Frank Sinatra and John Wayne or some of those other glamorous, war-loving, dirty old men. And war will look just wonderful, so we'll have a lot more of them. And they'll be fought by babies like the babies upstairs." Kurt Vonnegut.

"hi, we are making a game where we are shooting your husband and sons, care to leave some feedback? ^_^"

I'm sure they'd have a lot to tell them. They got hundreds of hours of footage from Hearts and Minds many of it from grieving civilians. I think it can be done and there is a lot of interviews already out there.

I don't know man. Just got out of a seminar on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, so am not really hungry some shooter based in reality.

ElArabDeMagnifico:
The problem with making this, is that we're all fed up with the war. We'll look back when we're ready to look back.

Exactly what I am feeling at the moment.

cainx10a:

ElArabDeMagnifico:
The problem with making this, is that we're all fed up with the war. We'll look back when we're ready to look back.

Exactly what I am feeling at the moment.

The game comes out in 2010. We won't leave Iraq until 2012.

I just pray to God that they're gonna depict the actual Iraqi people accurately and not one-sidedly. Most of them have such animosity towards Americans because we screwed over their country.
And "our" poor planning did.
But the well-intending, hardworking soldiers did not.

Third person might be for better damage modeling on the player character, an FPS can't show you that you're limping or bleeding and in pain, all it can do is show a health indicator for a body part and maybe slow you down. In an FPS the player cannot really see the actions of his character.

HobbesMkii:
Atomic was an excellent choice for this. They excel at the war games they make. I've yet to see them present a game that offers any real narrative, but I have no doubt that they will succeed admirably here as well.

If it's a realistic game I don't think there'll be much narrative beyond people dying and suffering.

Erana:
I just pray to God that they're gonna depict the actual Iraqi people accurately and not one-sidedly. Most of them have such animosity towards Americans because we screwed over their country.
And "our" poor planning did.
But the well-intending, hardworking soldiers did not.

Does it matter? You're playing a soldier down on the street, you can't even understand their language! How can they depict the motivations of the Iraqis from that point of view? Should they have your squadmates hold a speech on why the country is fucked when they're supposed to be hiding behind cover and keep quiet to not give their position away?

Now this sounds very interesting. A documentary Game? Would this be the turning point in games? These soilders went for video games before movies or books, that tells you something.

TsunamiWombat:

Ahh but it's made by the troops. You can't not like it, cause otherwise your not supportin' our troops.

You forget, that only applies if 'the troops' are unequivecally supporting all things America. The moment they question the glorious nation they're deserters, cowards, liars, canadians(!) or involved in something shady.
Like you said, it's their logic (total lack of).

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