Close Range: Ready For Your Close-up?

By Kieron Gillen on April 8th, 2009 at 10:26 am.

We’re taken aback. It’s not often that The Onion breaks videogame stories. I mean, satire is their thing, yeah? Which makes it all the more impressive when they break the story on Close Range, a videogame which consists solely of shooting people in the face, at close range. The game itself features a demo online, which we’ve played with mounting fury at what can only be described as the foulest of murder simulator. We’re horrified. In fact, so horrified we’re going to present a gallery of head-shots so we can examine the depth of our outrage.


Feeling pretty outraged.


Yup, very outraged.


Oh, the humanity.


Oh, the inhumanity.


Oh, the nonhumanity.

At least the game does try to actually contextualise this meaningless violence with some meaningful narrative. ‘Tis a mere figleaf.



Though I did cry at this bit. Sniff.

Here’s the Onion’s original news story…


Hot New Video Game Consists Solely Of Shooting People Point-Blank In The Face

Good work uncovering this Filth, Mr The Onion. You can play the demo here.

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43 Comments »

  1. Ian says:

    This just in, the heads of Daily Mail journalists literally fell off in excitement at this news.

  2. TC says:

    “This just in, the heads of Daily Mail journalists literally fell off in excitement at this news.”

    I feel a ‘Ban this filth NOW!’ headline coming on.

    At least the BBC/Ross/Brand will be relieved to be out of the crosshairs.

  3. Über Nerd says:

    For some reason I’m more interested in The Flaming Sword of Fire. And I too don’t want to live in a world where good people are shot in the anus.

  4. Larington says:

    If Dailymail run a front page news story on this I will literally fall over laughing. I’d better write my will & testament before its too late.

  5. Dreamhacker says:

    …Free Speech?

  6. Feet says:

    Tee hee. That’s funny.

  7. MWoody says:

    Man, we are seriously overdue for a good sequel to SoF2. 36 individual sections of the body to blow off, and all of them HILARIOUS. Along with Doom and Army of Darkness, I blame SoF2 for my ongoing gaming love affair with the shotgun.

  8. Yiorgos says:

    because who would wsnt a game where you shoot guys in the dick???

  9. phil says:

    This is exactly the sort of narrow minded, knee-jerk, entirely ignorant misrepresentation of the games industry’s artistic aspirations that I’ve come to hate.

    I mean just look at the particle effects on the blood, that’s Playstation I era at least, and where’s the accurately modelled arterial flow huh? Have these people even heard of a Soldiers of Fortune?

  10. Dr_demento says:

    OK…. the cutscenes are Max Payne in the news story, but Metal Gear Solid in the demo, and AJ looks a lot like Doomguy to me. What else am I missing?

  11. Jacques says:

    Poor horse :(

  12. HidesHisEyes says:

    Little do you guys know, “Close Range” is actually the working title for Max Payne 3.

  13. Dave Gates says:

    This surely has to be a joke? I don’t even mean that in a bitchy way but its seems to have its tongue so firmly in its cheek that its loosing balance. No sooner has the Path come along to present itself as an art game this comes along. We truly are blessed to have something this highbrow on the PC.

  14. mandrill says:

    I too will laugh uproariously if the Daily Mail picks this up and runs with it. I hope against hope that they do and reveal themselves as the humourless and narrowminded pricks that they are.
    The Onion wins again.

  15. Larington says:

    Quick, someone e-mail the demo to the daily mail with the subject: Ban this sick filth.

    @Dave Gates: The Onion is a comedy/parody news network, as far as I can tell, this isn’t the slightest bit serious.

  16. Iain says:

    The split screen multiplayer is classic. The irony is that if they did release this, it’d probably sell more copies than The Sims 3.

  17. Dave Gates says:

    @Larington:
    Oh so the onion reported on and made the game. If that is the case this is fantastic.

  18. Markoff Chaney says:

    I saw this yesterday and thought it was a joke. I played this this morning and I’m sure it’s a joke. 101% Awesome. Now excuse me, but I’m in the ZONE!

  19. Iain says:

    For those of you left in any doubt, a quick internic WHOIS search on the game’s website will tell you that it was registered by The Onion.

  20. Dave Gates says:

    Ah, just watched the whole article. Apologies for being vacant, but I have only just recently played Mobties Tokyo, so it wouldn’t have surprised me if it was real.

  21. Dinger says:

    Figleaf? That’s a profound narrative based on classic archetypes, with a nod to the conventions of the FPS genre. The love interest is clearly a repurposed Anna Navarre, and we don’t even need to be told the parallel to Paul Denton.

  22. toni says:

    i wanna shoot that emu

  23. coreyw says:

    “This is exactly the sort of narrow minded, knee-jerk, entirely ignorant misrepresentation of the games industry’s artistic aspirations that I’ve come to hate.”

    I don’t think that’s the message. I think it’s really about the fact that, yes games today have very interesting and compelling themes, stories and motivations for existing, but there is a bunch of people who just play them to shoot people in the face.

  24. El Stevo says:

    Ran too slowly. Didn’t play.

  25. Tei says:

    @Onion:

    This is exactly like a 2 hours hollywood superproduction sollelly composed of oil barrels exploding.
    Why we (the gamers) have to be this self-critical? Is not like latelly we need nonsensical external critical. Or is this a critical of the critical? making fun of these people that think that games are like “Training camps for exterminator” ?

    There are violence on games. WE GET IT. Thares also violence on other mediums. Sport is fake violence. There are pratically whole TV stations to broadcast the simulated violence of Sport. I tell you, is true.

  26. Dracko says:

    This is a genius calling out of just how utterly ludicrous gaming has become.

  27. caesarbear says:

    Ah, so they did make a sequel to The Club.

  28. Catastrophe says:

    @Tei:

    I love your non-sensical rants.

  29. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    The Onion chaps/chapesses get bonus points for the Max Payne cut-scene pastiche.

    Love The Onion News Network, it goes some way to filling the aching The Day Today shaped void which must surely exist in all right thinking people’s lives.

  30. HidesHisEyes says:

    MRBP:

    It goes some way, but it’ll never go all the way.

    “Peter O’Hanraha-Hanrahan is on the scene…”

  31. unclelou says:

    @coreyw I think you should have read phil’s second sentence as well. :-)

  32. Blaxploitation Man says:

    Tei of Shitty Opinions: Defender of Video Game-dom!

  33. Toby says:

    Any Day Today lovers should ensure they listen to the Chris Morris and Peter Cook mock radio interviews. They are highly amusing.

  34. jaguth says:

    I can’t wait until they release “Cock Puncher”!!!

  35. Gap Gen says:

    The Onion’s WoWoW video was better, tbh.

  36. Spanish Technophobe says:

    You know which ONN video was brilliant? The Franz Kafka International Airport one.

  37. FloridaStateLottery says:

    that is what we needed…

  38. grindFish says:

    This game may be vicious filth, but its got nothing on the true horror that is BABY PUNCH!! http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/490352

    I’ve never been so offended in my life, this game makes me so angry i could punch babies. Oh wait…

  39. Quirk says:

    Um, you do all know the Daily Mail is a parody publication, right? It’s a little subtler than The Onion, most of the time, and it’s all the funnier for delivering its comedy deadpan.

    To illustrate, let’s compare a classic Mail article with a classic Onion article.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-566481/Why-child-safe-sinister-cult-emo.html
    http://www.theonion.com/content/node/29257

    Now, while obviously The Onion article is better-written and has the closer mimicry of a journalistic style, the Daily Mail holds itself back better, avoiding going for the quick side joke and instead concentrating on building a mammoth absurdity. That’s not to say they don’t feed that absurdity along the way with great lines such as “the “black parade” – a place where emos believe they go after they die”, but they rely on the David Brent/Alan Partridge-tradition persona to carry the humour rather than cranking on new absurdities at every turn.

  40. Funky Badger says:

    Quirk wins.

  41. I am beginning to understand this comment system says:

    phil says:

    This is exactly the sort of narrow minded, knee-jerk, entirely ignorant misrepresentation of the games industry’s artistic aspirations that I’ve come to hate.

    I mean just look at the particle effects on the blood, that’s Playstation I era at least, and where’s the accurately modelled arterial flow huh? Have these people even heard of a Soldiers of Fortune?

    I see what you did there.

  42. will says:

    genius. the horse and emu completely destroyed me. well done onion sirs.

  43. Bhazor says:

    The great thing about the Onion youtube videos, apart from thier hilarity, are the comments which take the news seriously.

    The best example of this being “DNA evidence frees black man convicted of bear attack” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1cgHEWG-BA

    “What is this crap.

    Black people go to jail so frequently because they are constantly violating the law. And they take pride in it have you ever heard a rap song? The brag about things like stealing, murder ect. “