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Operation Patriotic Video Game

US Army to give away free game

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

The US Army, "today's premier land force", has unveiled its first videogame, the imaginatively titled America's Army. Nice to see that trillion dollar defence budget being well spent for once. The game will be distributed free from August, given away at recruiting stations and US Army events, bundled with leading computer game magazines and also available on request from the game's official website. Built around the Unreal engine, it's a game of two halves - Soldiers and Operations. The Soldiers portion of the game is being described as a "role-playing" exercise, which lets players "navigate life's challenges to achieve goals" as they go through army training and encounter various tactical, technical and physical challenges, both on and off duty. Depending on your character's development, new dialogue, scenes and goals will be dynamically generated. Sounds thrilling. Rather more interesting is the Operations section, which is a first person shooter using the latest Unreal technology to put up to 32 players into a variety of co-operative missions. Would-be soldiers can look forward to navigating the assault course at Fort Benning and practicing parachute drops, before going on to fight online as anything from light infantry to rangers. A selection of realistic weapons and equipment will be on offer, as well as a videogame first - genuine US military hand signals to communicate with your team mates. This being a US Army game, you will always be playing the "good guys", even though the terrorists and hostile nations you're fighting against are also played by humans. In a cunning piece of technical tomfoolery, whichever team you are on the player models and mission objectives will make it look like you are the Americans and the enemy team is the hostiles. The only bad news is that the online portion of the game will be hosted by America's HomeLAN, so it's not entirely clear at this stage whether the dedicated server code will be distributed with the game so that us dirty Euros can get in on the action and indulge in some .. ahem .. friendly fire. Related Feature - You're in the army now

Even the US Army has to clear out warehouses full of crates

Source - press release

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