Lock and load for Duty Calls, a hilarious look at the modern shooter genre that may just be the smartest bit of videogame marketing ever created. (PS. It’s an ad for Bulletstorm.)

War. War never changes. Or does it? The war has changed. Did it? The answer is no! Unless it is yes. And if it is yes, then duty calls in Duty Calls, a free new game that skewers all the best-known conventions of the modern warfare shooter.

It’s all there: satellite imagery, military-issue carbines, intense drama, bloody screens (so real!) and more. Oh, and it also happens to be an ad for Bulletstorm, the upcoming shooter from People Can Fly and Epic that makes a point of being everything that contemporary “realistic” military shooters are not.

Okay, so Duty Calls isn’t the greatest game you’ll ever play, although it does have possibly the best ending to a videogame I’ve ever seen. But it’s an incredibly smart bit of marketing that exploits “genre fatigue” to emphasize the fact that while most of us have saved the world from rogue Russian nationalists at least once, none of us have ever turned a man’s corn chute into goo with an automatic shotgun.

Between this, Bulletpoints and the vomitorious Halo 3 parody, I think the Bulletstorm marketing campaign is my favorite ever. Now I’m just hoping that the game lives up to it. Bulletstorm comes out on February 22 for the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and in the meantime be sure to get your own copy of Duty Calls at thedutycalls.com!

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