Hmmmm: Medal Of Honor’s Bin Laden DLC

By Nathan Grayson on September 11th, 2012 at 12:00 pm.

Well, we can't find him here. Next stop: the moon.

Everyone, stand back. I’m going to fire up the Conflict-O-Tron. (Note: side effects of the Conflict-O-Tron may include inability to pin down an emotional response and also a sensation that feels like you’re about to sneeze, but you can’t, and it’ll never go away.) You see, EA’s announced a DLC map pack for the still-unreleased Medal of Honor: Warfighter. It’s doing the whole “free for pre-orderers and paid for everyone else” shtick, too, but that’s not the central issue this time around. Instead, this one’s a question of subject matter. On one hand, players will be tracing the supposedly piping hot tracks of Osama Bin Laden. Contentious! One the other, a portion of the proceeds will go to EA’s Project Honor veteran fund. There will now be a brief recess. Take it away, roving chorus of “hmms” and “harumphs”.

Here’s the official word on the multiplayer map pack from EA:

“The decade long hunt to find Bin Laden went through some of the most remote and dangerous parts of the world. The Darra Gun Market is located in a tribal land where the rules are defined by only two principles – hospitality and revenge. No police are allowed to enter the area and all the laws are made by the tribal leader.”

“Chitral is another area of Pakistan thought for a time to be one of Bin Laden’s hideouts. A rural mountainous area filled with deep narrow valleys, it has many places that are inaccessible several months each year because of snow and road conditions. There are over 1200 small towns scattered throughout the Chitral district and finding someone who doesn’t want to be found would be next to impossible.”

It’s all part of a promotion with upcoming film Zero Dark Thirty, which is being headed up by “Hurt Locker” director Kathryn Bigelow. Her new movie is, of course, about the long, long, long search for Bin Laden. For every £7.99 purchase, £1 will go to Project Honor.

EA, meanwhile, also attempted to raise money for its charity by selling Medal-of-Honor-branded real-world weapons. After all sorts of outcry, it quickly gave the tomahawk-hawking promotion the tomahawk treatment.

So here’s the issue as I see it: this feels like a really not-great way to handle some seriously controversial subject matter. I mean, I’m all for videogames tackling real-world events, but – beyond numerous political and cultural issues/debates here that I’m not going to touch seeing as they’ve 1) already been discussed to death and 2) distract from the point I’m arguing – are we really addressing this gigantic topic with a DLC map pack? Is that gaming’s contribution to this discussion? A throwaway marketing tie-in? I mean, we’re not even talking about a single-player campaign or something that attempts to document the events surrounding Bin Laden’s eventual demise in a dedicated manner. Instead, we just get to shoot each other on a supposedly Bin-Laden-laden playground.

That feels pretty yucky to me. I don’t doubt our medium’s potential to handle hot-off-the-presses headlines without getting burned. This, however, probably isn’t the way to do it.

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187 Comments »

  1. Zanchito says:

    I personally do not care, but I wonder what people would say if it was the other way around (Osama taking down Obama). Anyways, Bin Laden is still alive.

    I’m not trolling! (much)

    • wearedevo says:

      I’m genuinely grateful that you did us the courtesy of answering the “not sure if trolling or actually this stupid” question up front!

    • Ultra-Humanite says:

      So let me get this clear. You are wondering what the reaction would be if they instead had you kill a democratically elected leader of a globally recognized sovereign state?

      • Sheng-ji says:

        I would imagine that in many countries of the world, bin laden would win a fair democratic election by a landslide.

      • Milky1985 says:

        Because no game has ever covered the killing of the US president before , i ddisinctly saw leon kennady shoot the president in the head in the latest Resi evil 6 trailer.

        Hes a zombie, but still the president :P

        its just simply that americans don’t like any of their soldiers/higher ups getting killed in games, unless they are part of a rogue PMC in which case its fine.

    • Kinger says:

      So tired of hearing the word controversy. This type of thinking holds back Great PC Titles from being developed. I want Iraq, I want Afghanistan, I want real time war scenarios. Ramp up the gore, ramp up the shock factor. That’s entertainment. Spec Ops, right idea, just way off track.

  2. Crimsoneer says:

    What is WRONG with these people?

    • Zanchito says:

      Morals aside, it makes perfect business sense. “Morals aside” is what is fucking the world for most of the population, though, but it makes perfect business sense.

      • MiniMatt says:

        Not 100% sure it does make good business sense though. Depends on how it plays out on Fox news really.

        Video games, and FPS games in particular are, as every Fox follower knows, BAD. They will corrupt your children. They know this because they interviewed a real parent.

        Teaching your children to shoot Osama Bin Laden in the bollocks however, is GOOD. Only through this kind of strong moral teaching will your children grow up to be proud American patriots. And not gay.

        Basking in the warm publicity provided by the charred and glowing embers of 3000 9/11 victims for corporate publicity and gain is very much a Fox BAD.

        On the other hand, corporations are GOOD and therefore anything they do is GOOD. Anyone who says otherwise is a god damned lilly livered SOCIALIST.

        It’s tricky, by my reckoning EA are balancing 50/50 in the Fox news stakes.

      • Legion23 says:

        That is actually the thing that really bothers me about EA. You can argue lots about the good and bad of the stuff they do from a gamer or customer point of view, but if it would be the smart thing to do from a business point of view in bringing them more money it would be understandable to me. The thing is I almost always are in doubt if the decisions they make really are good for their business.

    • MD says:

      Eh, I don’t know why people act like there’s some line that they’ve obviously crossed, that wasn’t crossed by every war-based videogame ever.

      • Saldek says:

        Having crossed such lines in the past does not imply that henceforth you are on safe ground beyond those lines.

    • mouton says:

      What’s wrong with this, exactly? Cultures celebrate murder of their enemies, how is it even remotely new or shocking?

      • Zanchito says:

        Because we’re trying to improve over our chimp cousins, so trying to curb some instincts is seen as positive.

      • InternetBatman says:

        But we’ve been improving and becoming less violent over the centuries, this just feels like regressive jingoism.

        • Ultra-Humanite says:

          We’ve become less violent? You apparently are using a different prescription for your glasses than I do.

          • Unaco says:

            Yes. The World is much less violent today, than it was. We are, as a species, becoming less and less violent.

            Here’s a smarter man than me arguing this…

            http://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_on_the_myth_of_violence.html

            It’s based on his book, “The Better Angels of Our nature: Why Violence Has Declined”, which has lots of lovely statistics and evidence highlighting the decline in violence.

            You may also wish to read Dan Gardner’s “Risk: The Science and Politics of Fear”. There’s a nice chapter in there, with a lot of statistics etc., describing how much safer, better and less violent our world is today, compared with the past. It also posits a couple reasons as to why we don’t necessarily see, or perceive this decrease in violence… The media, mostly.

            Our perception of the level of violence is largely unchanged, while the actual level of violence is decreased. You might want to throw away those glasses of yours… they’re distorting your view.

          • InternetBatman says:

            Just look it up in JSTOR. There’s a few relatively recent articles showing a decline in per capita crime rates over the centuries. Come on, there used to be a game in the middle ages where people would see how long it took to beat a greased pig to death with clubs. Can you really see that at a modern state fair?

          • Saldek says:

            Great call, Unaco :)

        • Sheng-ji says:

          @InternetBatman – while I couldn’t agree more with you, the fact that there are human beings who find this stuff acceptable and fun can’t be denied. Our generations are not the end product and we shouldn’t ask people to pretend to be something they are not. Repression of feelings never leads to a positive place. Let the less enlightened have their fun and educate your children properly, and generation after generation will slowly become better!

    • Joshua says:

      The same could be said of any war film that came out shorty after the second world war ended – These maps are based on locations where Bin Laden was searched – not where he was eventually found – and are quite historically important. Apperently.

    • MordeaniisChaos says:

      Eh, I dunno. As someone who has an Osama shooting target and is in the process of working towards enlisting in the USMC, I think it’s silly to expect the tie to Osama to matter to anyone, or really even be known. I wouldn’t mind if the game itself went after the Osama thing, but selling it as DLC is I feel where it gets a bit gross. Other than that, the ties are so loose, I think they are honestly just not considering what the hell they are doing and just hoping to cash in on a movie with a similar theme to their game.

    • derbefrier says:

      I don’t know these terrorists run around blowing shit up killing thousands of innocent people all over the globe in the name of God. Americans decide enough is enough and goes after one of the masterminds, kills him and we become the bad guys…. This is how fucked up the world is.

      • Faxmachinen says:

        Can’t tell if trolling or serious.

      • lordcooper says:

        To be fair, you’re also the guys that trained and armed him and his buddies in the first place.

      • Sheng-ji says:

        You do understand that al qaeda believe themselves to be the good guys, right? It’s a matter of perspective, they believe they are freedom fighters and us westerners to be the terrorists. We can never reconcile our differences if we choose to not try and understand our enemies point of view, deciding instead that we are “goodies” and they are “baddies”

        • NathanH says:

          It’s more like we are the baddies and they are the worseies.

        • LeeTheAgent says:

          Post-modern drivel. Son of Sam thought he was a good guy, Stalin thought he was a good guy, Pol Pot thought he was a good guy, etc etc. That is completely meaningless… just because you think you’re the good guy, it doesn’t mean you act in the most rational, overall “best for humanity” manner. Reconciliation? Most groups don’t want to reconcile even if it is for the best (see Israel / Palestine). And when you have god-inspired fanatics taught that their misery is caused by a foreign enemy that can only be cleansed in fire, then there will never be reconciliation that is not at the edge of a proverbial sword.

  3. DanPryce says:

    Between this and Sniper Elites Hitler hunt, it’s been a good year for real-world tyrant assassination DLC packs.

    • twig_reads says:

      I didn’t know Osama could be classified as a tyrant…

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        How about “asshole”?

        • BobbyDylan says:

          How about “Unarmed”?

          • mouton says:

            Yes, because in our age of chivalry, only an armed person is a threat.

          • Max Ursa says:

            i dont know about unarmed, he had his finger on more triggers than we will ever know. personally id have shot him if he was sat naked on the toilet.

          • Pliqu3011 says:

            Zing!

          • MordeaniisChaos says:

            Are you kidding me? The guy was responsible for way too many innocent deaths, and there’s no way you can defend his actions. I don’t care how much you love MSNBC or whatever, he’s a pretty terrible guy who was responsible for torture and death in a place where life is already hard enough.

          • Tyrone Slothrop. says:

            Due process even for the worst person among humankind? No extra-judicial killing of a reprehensible but unarmed man? What is this?! A civil society?! Norway?

          • Orija says:

            @MordeaniisChaos Heh, he’s small fry compared to the shit Uncle Sam has wrought.

          • Ultramegazord says:

            Iraq war: civilian deaths 66.081. That’s one 9/11 every 4 months for the last 7 years.

          • Fincher says:

            @MordeaniisChaos:

            You’re talking about Bush, right?

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            Rabid squirrels don’t carry guns either, but putting them down is the only option.

          • Consumatopia says:

            I have deep reservations about American military conduct, but being armed or not doesn’t have much to do with whether it was legal to kill Osama–he might have had a weapon, and he was certainly a legitimate military target, so the soldier who first saw him isn’t obligated to put his life in danger by spending time determining whether or not he is holding a weapon.

            I’m deeply suspicious of military FPSs, but I don’t have a problem with this. It wouldn’t make sense to make a larger game about tracking down Osama because we know so little about that process, and it isn’t clear how CIA intelligence gathering and the diplomatic process of Pakistan and America lying to each other would translate into a game.

          • Bhazor says:

            Relavent I feel.

            The response in America to all this scares the living fuck out of me.

          • Fincher says:

            @SkittleDiddler:

            Do you think most people who do bad things are “rabid squirrels”, and does that reassure you?

          • Barnaby says:

            Thanks for that link Bhazor. I was laughing and facepalming through most of the video.

            I was actually quite ashamed of all the reactions to Osama Bin Laden being killed. The celebrations in the street were particularly off-putting to me. I understand a sense of relief, cheering/chanting USA and celebrating a person being killed… Yea something weird about that.

            Also the point made above about innocent Iraqi lives lost throughout this conflict goes almost unnoticed in America. I think about this all the time, yet to me it seems as if my perspective on this makes me some sort of unpatriotic fringe liberal shitbag.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            @Fincher:
            I recognize the issue of criminal psychology is not black and white like so many people think it is, but that doesn’t change the fact that Osama Bin Laden was a nutter with a twisted theology who had worldwide access to the fringes of the so-called “terrorist underground”. This gave him reign to do what he wanted when he wanted, and it allowed him to stay a free man for so many years.

            Bin Laden was like a rabid squirrel. His bite was infectious and it spread rapidly. The analogy is apt.

      • mouton says:

        Hive tyrant

    • Godwhacker says:

      I can’t wait for the Zen Bound 2 ‘Saddam Hussein’ DLC .

  4. Moni says:

    Doesn’t feel nearly as yucky if they called it “Zero Dark Thirty DLC”, instead of “Bin Laden DLC”.

    It’s almost as if they knew it was a deliberately headline-baiting title, and they just did it for the sake of page hits.

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      Heh. You’re so deliciously post-ironic to repost this comment that was popular several months ago.

      “Page hits” and “headline-baiting”. Heh.

  5. Gap Gen says:

    A Rainbow Six: Raven Shield or ArmA map of this could be interesting, but as it is it’s not really a remake of the raid on Bin Laden’s compound any more than the Fawlty Towers map in Counterstrike was an episode of Fawlty Towers. Could be interesting to poke around, but otherwise it’s just another map.

  6. Yor Fizzlebeef says:

    WarfighterFace: The Faces of Bin Laden!

  7. Axess Denyd says:

    I didn’t think that killing Bin Laden was terribly controversial. I guess there are some terrorists that were against it, but I don’t especially care what they think.

    • mouton says:

      Muslim world didn’t really like it, I guess, due to usual ethno-religious loyalties. Ya know, someone might be scum, but we still don’t like it when xenos kill him.

      • MiniMatt says:

        The Muslim world didn’t really like it because of “usual ethno-religious loyalties”??

        That’s like saying the Christian world was grumpy at the overthrow of Hitler.

        Nominally about 1.5bn people in the world are Muslim – way too big a number to make sweeping generalisations like “they didn’t like it when OBL was killed”. Guessing that the greaving families of the Muslim victims of the 9/11 attacks weren’t particularly grumpy for starters.

        • The Infamous Woodchuck says:

          Agreed on that “Muslims approves the us killed osama” thing, its not like he only targets non-muslims to begin with, in fact this article:
          http://www.loonwatch.com/2012/06/most-victims-of-islamic-terrorism-are-muslims-and-why-america-is-to-blame-for-it/
          states that more muslims were killed by terrorism than its supposed target, between this and the effect of islamic extremist on islam’s image on the world stage, i really think that what the US did is-as hard as it is for me to say it- the right thing to do, and im saying this as a muslim.

        • mouton says:

          That is why I said “I guess”. It implies my statement’s seriousness is not guaranteed. Nevertheless, your Adolf analogy is not very good for many reasons. In general, ethno-cultural groups do not like when outsiders kill their own for whatever reason. I did hear it about Saddam a lot, for example. “Sure, he was scumbag, but he was our scumbag”. Of course, Muslim world is far from monolithic and their reactions are varied.

    • Ritashi says:

      There were intelligent people who had legitimate concerns about killing Bin Laden, mostly about the manner in which it happened (not that I agree with them necessarily, but they do exist). That said, I only actually commented because I laughed at your comment. Go figure :P.

      • Lenderz says:

        I’m hopefully one of them, I tend to believe that the way to win against extremists is to maintain our values which have been built up over time. Such as the right of a fair trial, and innocent until proven guilty etc etc.

        I’m not saying that he was innocent of any crime, or that he was a very nice man, just I tend not to like the idea of special forces in real life kicking in someones door and killing them because the intelligence community says that we should blame them for something bad that happened.

        I also believe that it shows the world a lot more character if you practice what you preach, and by this I’m looking at America and saying “Christian Values?” I don’t believe that much in the new testament would support such action. Being a paragon of justice and fair treatment? I believe that killing a guy for saying not very nice things doesn’t really mesh well with that. (But it is something he was certainly guilty of)

        I understand a need to protect our western values, but we must not lose them in the process. Oh golly this is very political for a videogame news website comment.

        Again I realise this is an emotive subject and I realise I’m a wishy washy liberal, and I don’t mean to cause offence to anyone, I apologise in advance if anyone is upset by what I’ve said.

        Back to the matter of happy happy fun fun gaming, I personally wasn’t that interested in the new Medal of Honour game, but I personally find this inclusion a bit cynical and a little too raw to be entertainment handled this immaturely. Personally this is the final nail in the coffin of me purchasing this particular title.

        • Zanchito says:

          You shouldn’t have to apologise for stating your opinion in a reasonable and coherent way. There are counterarguments to that, but golly I wish people were that calm and clear most of the time.

        • Axess Denyd says:

          Those are good rules for a police force, but for war I think they fall a bit short. Put every enemy soldier on trial before shooting them?

          I think that, at least in the case of Bin Laden (and other leaders of the Taliban / Al Qaeda / general enemy forces) it is pretty clear that they are guilty of a bit more than harsh words and that they have, in fact, played a guiding role in many terrorist attacks.

          I am against the use of drone strikes as a tool to eliminate those who we suspect of having committed crimes, but if they brag about it I think they are just asking for it.

          • Lenderz says:

            I seem to recall Bin Laden never accepted responsibility for 9/11, although he was vocally supportive of it. He did however take responsibility for attacking military targets (USS Cole) and the US Embassy attack in eastern Africa (can’t remember the country).

            So he was an “Enemy of America” for sure, but at the time he was shot, he was unarmed and an old man who had never taken liability for the main reason he was hunted so fervently. But feel free to correct me if my information is incorrect.

            Also I’d never argue that in war people should be put on trial before being shot, that would be taking my argument to ludicrous extremes. But shooting an unarmed guy, in his home isn’t “war”. War tends to be a state of armed conflict between states or different groups within a state by the legal definition.

          • sophof says:

            Well the whole Bin Laden thing is a bit shady in that respect. Just because Bush called it a war didn’t make it one, but also just because Bin Laden didn’t lead a nation, did not mean he didn’t have an army.
            However, the world (not including America sadly) has been moving steadily towards actually convicting tyrants, instead of just murdering them.

            Let’s not kid ourselves here, the whole killing him and dumping him in the sea is a bit dubious, even if we can understand the motivations behind it.

          • sinister agent says:

            Also I’d never argue that in war people should be put on trial before being shot,

            When did the US declare war on Pakistan, exactly?

          • Dances to Podcasts says:

            While he was very wishywashy about it at first, he did eventually claim responsibility in one of his videos. Besides that there is also evidence from several investigations into this that links him. It doesn’t just hinge on what OBL says, of course. It’s pretty well established for as far as these things go.

          • Supahewok says:

            @Lenderz Eh, he first claimed responsibility in ’04. Then he did it again a couple more times before he was killed.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osama_bin_Laden

            If Wikipedia doesn’t do it for you, follow some of the citations.

        • mouton says:

          I also wish no one ever killed ever. Sadly, we have to compromise on our values, hence war and special forces ops that kill the most dangerous people.

          • MiniMatt says:

            When we’re into remotely assasinating people via drone strike rather than execution after a trial then they’re technically *allegedly* dangerous people that are being killed.. And their children. And any other unfortunate bystander in the vicinity.

          • mouton says:

            @MiniMatt
            I also wish we have executed all those Germans and Japanese after a fair trial during the WW2. And their children and loved ones. And their whole fucking cities.

            Alas, sometimes all the options are horrible.

          • Lenderz says:

            And whos to say who the most dangerous people are? One of the top ten read BBC News stories of today “US Covered Up Soviet Massacre”.

            There are issues with blindly following your leaders, which represent you. People make mistakes, people do horrific things.

            Also fighting wars are not always compromising your values, they can be fought for the right reasons. For example the Balkans in the 90′s is a good example of when a war is carried out for the right reasons, and I don’t think its comparable to the killing of Bin Laden.

          • mouton says:

            @Lenders
            Who follows leaders blindly? The Americans? Sure they do, it’s not like they protest in huge numbers almost every conflict there is. Or any other major executive decision for that matter.

            Balkans war? All sides committed atrocities, it’s just that some were weaker. There is no such thing as “just war”, just some wars that are less asshattish. You always murder innocents, bystanders, children. You always help one interests over others.

          • Lawful Evil says:

            @mouton:

            First, I disagree with your statement that there is no just war. When one country/nation/whatever decides to invade yours, to kill your loved ones, to plunder your properties and to burn and destroy the entire country of yours (or parts of it) for whatever reasons, then I believe the only logical, correct AND JUST thing is to stand up and defend yourself and other things you value. Unless you like the idea of being killed/enslaved and removed of your possesions.

            Secondly, in almost every war (In my opinion, I could be wrong) every side that takes part in it commits some atrocities. But there is a big diference when those atrocities are commited as a result of choices made by individuals (for example, by undisciplined soldiers, officers etc.) on the one side, and when such acts are well organised and sponsored by a state/country, on the other. Surely, there never can be a sign of equality between acts commited by two sides, since one side is always a victim, and suffers much more. So, in my opinion, yes, it could happen that all sides commit atrocious acts, but there is always difference in how many, and how heavy (strong) those acts are commited by the sides involved in a war.

          • Ultra-Humanite says:

            You internet philosophers sure are amusing.

          • mouton says:

            @Lawful Evil

            Was reducing Dresden, Berlin, Hiroshima and Nagasaki to cinders just? Justified, perhaps, but never “just”.

            My point is, war is a horrible insanity that destroys all participants. Sure, some commit less atrocities, some more, some atrocities are a result of other atrocities etc. But in the end, once you take part in a war, you can leave all morality at the door. All you can do is try to be a slightly smaller asshole, yet you will always remain one.

        • Joshua says:

          From what I understand from the Special Ops team, they were supposed to capture him, and not actually assasinate him. However, since a special ops team primary objective is staying alive and neutralizing Osama Bin Laden, even the mere thought of Osama Bin Laden getting a weapon, or getting away, must have set them off. Call it highly stressfull.

          (Now, hellfiring the hell out of everyone is another matter entirely).

          • Lenderz says:

            @mouton – Woah boy, exactly what I feared by posting my opinion, people tend to jump to extremes in Internet discussions. I would never say that “Americans blindly follow their leaders” thats far too general and sweeping a statement to make.

            I was replying to your point that sometimes we must compromise on our values and have wars and have special forces kill “the most dangerous people” and questioning how you define “the most dangerous people” and how we know they’re the “most dangerous people”.

            I just struggle with the concept of being told “this person is bad” and then having them killed with little in the way of evidence. And if I, a liberal British gentleman has issues with this, imagine how other cultures may perceive such actions.

            I’m not sure if you’re just for promoting “democracy through superior firepower” or just cool with Special Forces being used to kill whoever the intelligence community points them at because its for the “greater good” I’m just suggesting there may occasionally be issues with this.

          • mouton says:

            @Lenderz

            I am sorry, you weren’t clear on who you mean.

            Essentially, you dispute the use of deadly force, because we can never be sure we are getting it right. Well, we can never be sure of anything – including fair trials. Sadly, necessity sometimes forces us to make difficult decisions, even basing on incomplete knowledge.

            If the US recklessly executed people left and right all around the world, I might be more reserved. But Osama? Nah, I think they got that right.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          Here’s the problem: our values, as part of a western Christianity-based society, also consist of rendition, torture, war for profit, political intrusion, and hegemony. We can’t have both “good” and “bad” values and expect to hold an inoffensive relationship with the rest of the world. Extremism is the name of the game for both sides.

    • undu says:

      It shows how fucked up is the world is when human right’s and law process are ignored.

      Not that I expected anything better from the USA government.

      • Shortwave says:

        Lenderz, I just want to thank you for being intelligent, logical and decent.

        Despite popular belief, fighting fire with fire doesn’t actually do anything but make the fire bigger.
        Well.. In my opinion! I’ve never managed to get it to work..

        The true enemy of everything wrong in this world is education and understanding.
        Not more bloodshed. And please people, as he said.
        No one should ever just blindly put all faith in their government.
        Take a look around you and simply observe how mindless they can be much of the time.

    • Milky1985 says:

      Really? They basically commited a act of war to go get him.

      They went armed into a forgein country with (aparently) no information given to that nations government, fake the IFF on the helicopters (frowned upon in the rules of war) and blew stuff up.

      Basically they invaded a country they were at peace with.

      How is that not controversial

  8. Crosmando says:

    Americans…

    • Whallaah says:

      America, Fuck yeah!

      • Tyrone Slothrop. says:

        Americans clapping

      • MrTambourineMan says:

        Pheeewww.. I just posted the same comment :/ Anyway, as far as killing bin Laden goes, I’m quite eager to get my hands on this book called “No easy day”, but much less so on playing a game with infinitely respawning terrorists, whose gameplay is same as it was a decade ago and it wasn’t that good to begin with. However I don’t find it morally ambiguous, I think it’s just as fine as shooting Hitler in Wolf3D (Auf wiedersehen and shit). I for one find it awesome that USA tracked down the bastard and shot him dead. So – America, fuck yeah!

    • Misnomer says:

      Oh good, we need an another anti-American thread. Because there aren’t enough issues to discuss in this post, it is best just to label all 300 million people as like minded. The groupthink of RPS comments is never more hateful towards a nation of people than when discussing a FPS made by an American company. I know hating Americans is popular in Europe and all, but does said hatred really need to be posted as a response to a game story with other game related issue (paid release day DLC that separates the community) in it to discuss?

      Hint: Nathan is American.

      • Shortwave says:

        Just to be fair. To anyone else in the world who’s not an American.
        This game is undoubtedly going to make you all look like goons.

        Sort of like the last game.
        I’d be offended if I were you guys for that reason alone.

        PS, tons of Canadians also hate Americans.
        Not me however, since I understand people are individuals. But most of the people I know, seriously hate USA. Games like this won’t help you either, lol.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          Ignorance is bliss. If a bunch of your friends are going to paint us with as broad a brush as they can find, don’t get defensive when someone from this side of the pond gets perturbed with their views.

          • Shortwave says:

            I’m not actually friends with people who think that way.

            I’m just saying, more or less like..
            I’ve never met a Canadian who didn’t think your government was behind it.
            I’m pretty sure even the American numbers are like 50%+ believe it was their own government also.

            I was in the wrong by saying “To anyone else in the world who’s not an American.”.
            I didn’t mean for that to sound THAT way. Just to clarify that.. I realize many of you can see for yourselves.

      • theleif says:

        I don’t hate Americans, and I’m pretty sure most of the people here don’t either.
        What I (and many other) despise is the so called War on Terror, a war that has so far only managed to increase terrorism, increase religious fanaticism and destabilize a big part of the world, while at the same time being the excuse for removing liberties taken for granted in the states and in many European countries. There are other parts of American culture and politics that I strongly disagree with, like American exceptionalism and patriotism, the notion of always supporting the troops and FOX News, but that does not make me hate Americans. And it does not stop me from loving other things American. Most of the music I listen to is from the states, and the same goes for movies. I think Neal Stephenson is a phenomenal writer and John Stewart makes the most intelligent political satire/commentary on the planet. I could go on, but you probably get what my point is.
        Hating Sean Hannity doesn’t make me hate Americans, hating Berlusconi doesn’t make me hate Italians and hating Bin Laden doesn’t make me hate Saudi Arabia.

        You live in the most powerful nation on the planet earth. Every other nation is affected by American military, economical and cultural might, so what happens in USA logically gets more attention than what happens in, say Belgium. You better get used to it, because as long as USA remains a super power it will be like that.
        Cheers

  9. BobbyDylan says:

    I honestly don’t care. This is a game doomed to the mediocrity of the 2010 issue. EA are just trying to garnish free Publicity.

  10. Ratherly says:

    Harumph.

  11. Planet9 says:

    Is it just me, or is this the worst part?

    “a tribal land where the rules are defined by only two principles – hospitality and revenge. No police are allowed to enter the area and all the laws are made by the tribal leader.”

    What a sensitive way to address a nation where your country currently has troops stationed ‘protecting’ the populace.

    • Zanchito says:

      What can I say? They really know their target demographic and their worldview.

    • mouton says:

      USA has troops in Pakistan? News to me.

      • Okami says:

        I didn’t knew they had troops there either. I always thought they just sent drones there to kill anyone who looked suspicious (i.e. muslim).

        • mouton says:

          Yes, they want to kill all the muslims. That is why they send drones and observe them for days, weeks or months before striking. Instead of, say, bombing the whole region to the ground using a myriad other deadly weapons. Yes.

          • Shortwave says:

            You can sort of go watch countless videos right now of Americans blowing up innocent people from miles away while yelling “GO MERIKA” actually. And TBH, I do believe I spent the first few days of that war watching it happen live on TV even. Where a lot of innocent people were murdered. (Hm, killing a bunch of innocent people in another peoples land.. Sounds familiar for some reason.)

            Just saying.. Maybe check it out sometime.
            It’s pretty bad. It’s even worse when the soldiers march through the town after pissing on and posing with the corpses for photos like they actually did something. Or something to be proud of.

            Just a bit of perspective from the other side of things.

            PS, I forced myself to watch a video of some guys shooting up a van up with two visable children sitting in it.. I could make them out through low quality video settings even. It was tragic honestly and I didn’t want to believe what I was saying could actually be from our brothers from the south. I’m ashamed of my country for supporting that war and the methods used to fight it.

          • MrTambourineMan says:

            @Shortwave:Sure, Americans mistakenly bombing a wedding is far worse than fuckin’ Taliban lynching women and practically forcing them into house arrests and killing gay people and prohibiting music and books (except for one book of course) and cinema and mass killings of civilians (intentional in this case), enslaving of civilians (especially women for sex trade et al.), denying all education to most people etc etc etc. Bin Laden sure seems as a fuckin hero, compared to the “Satan” of America, you can’t be serious or moral in comparing the two.
            P.S. I’m from Europe, but I’m not a (complete) idiot.

          • mouton says:

            @shortwave

            I know which video you mean and no, the children weren’t visible. Go watch it again, this time without the knowledge which pixels are which people.

          • Shortwave says:

            Because I said one was worse than the other?
            Actually no, I’m saying both sides are being just as bad.
            Ultimately. Don’t twist words please.

            And dude, I seen the kids. They were tiny, little heads boppin’ around.

        • Lawful Evil says:

          Yes, muslims are indeed suspicious kind. Especially since they constitute the vast majority of Pakistaini population (97% according to Wikipedia).

        • lizzardborn says:

          Check your facts – drones never targeted Muslims. They only targeted enemy combatants. To be classified as an enemy combatant you had to pass a very rigorous checklist – you must be poor, with skin tone in the brownish, have beard and be caught in a drone missile blast wave.

          So if you are killed by a drone you are combatant because drones only kill combatants – get it?

          “They’re trying to kill me,” Yossarian told him calmly.
          “No one’s trying to kill you,” Clevinger cried.
          “Then why are they shooting at me?” Yossarian asked.
          “They’re shooting at everyone,” Clevinger answered. “They’re trying to kill everyone.”
          “And what difference does that make?”
          Catch-22

          • lasikbear says:

            That’s actually essentially correct. If we bomb an area and there is a man (meaning a male of “military-age” or older) than he is an enemy combatant. Seriously.

            Edit: didn’t read the second part where you explained it clearer, so this is pretty redundant

          • Shortwave says:

            /me golf claps

  12. torchedEARTH says:

    In Wolfenstein 3D you got to kill Hitler.

    • Zanchito says:

      Come on, Hitler is a WAAAAAAYYY cooler boss than Osama could ever be. An old man in a dirty house in the middle of nowhere? Pffft, give me bavarian castles and V-2 and secret religious relics any day. Also, the footage of the bombing of Dresden is just too limited in comparison of news of weddings being bombed to hell by unmanned drones and civilians being shot from helicopters, so it’s less of a drag. But mostly Hitler had robots and zombies, can’t really against with that.

      • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        Hitler’s robo-suit was better than Bin Laden’s robo-suit.

        FACT.

        • InternetBatman says:

          Well yeah, Bin Laden’s robot suit was a cardboard box covered with tinfoil.

      • MrTambourineMan says:

        EDIT: Wrong reply.

  13. libdab says:

    Morally, I don’t see the big deal. The whole raison d’etre of an FPS is to brutally slaughter as many anonymous NPCs as possible. So what if we give one a real-world name?

    However, given that we’re all living in a world still suffering from the after-effects of 9/11, I’m sure this will stir up a lot of resentment in some quarters and I can’t see how that would be a good thing …

  14. CaspianRoach says:

    > on September 11th, 2012
    OH MY

    • Zanchito says:

      Genius! I hadn’t noticed it. Now, being serious, it’s disgusting how a company feeds on the emotional distress of so many to promote their product.

      • lucifon says:

        This was yesterdays news, not 9/11.

        • Zanchito says:

          I stand by my comment, date’s close enough AND even if it was announced on March, it’s still definitely bottom of the barrel craving for attention.

        • MiniMatt says:

          Yeah to be fair EA did post the news yesterday. One day before the anniversary of the most lethal terrorist act the world has ever seen.

          And I’m pretty sure they knew what they were doing. They’re not *that* stupid, but they are *that* cynically manipulative and greedy, willing to bask in the warm afterglow of three thousand burning victims if it’ll get them some publicity for their game and enable them to pre-order the all baby seal fur luxury interior upgrade for their next Lamborghini.

          As for whether the subject matter is right or wrong, I’m rather in the camp of “too soon” but I accept the very valid argument that all FPS’ basically boil down to shooting vast numbers of pixels, putting arbitrary names on some of those pixels is rather irrelevant.

    • Shortwave says:

      Holy .. I didn’t even notice that..
      That’s like.. Not cool… At all. I’m pretty damn sure..

      Stay classy EA.. Stay classy..

  15. Hoaxfish says:

    next up, “Medal of Honor: It’s Cairo town baby”., where you can kill hundreds of anti-government protesters and they’re not even armed!

    • Temple says:

      I… that’s a good title -okay not for that game.
      Or you could be a protestor and the twist is you lose even when you win!

      “Yet when we achieved, and the new world dawned, the old men came out again and took our victory to remake it in the likeness of the former world they knew. Youth could win, but had not learned to keep: and was pitiably weak against age. We stammered that we had worked for a new heaven and a new earth, and they thanked us kindly and made their peace”

  16. Persus-9 says:

    So if I were to buy this then I too could give money to a charity supporting US military veterans, thus participating in a system that serves to glorifies war, shields jingoistic foreign policy from criticism and at the same time allows the state to shrug off responsibility for caring for the military personal it damaged so it can leave them to survive on charity. Screw that.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      Supporting injured soldiers isn’t the same thing as supporting the foreign policies that led to them being injured.

      • Vayl says:

        Not everyone is american and all american soldiers are volunteers, so supporting them either injured or not is wrong to many people.

      • Morlock says:

        True, but if you want war to be unacceptable politically, this becomes a complex decision. You want to support everyone who is a victim of war (including veterans), however, you do not want to support a system that makes current and future wars more feasible.

        • Dances to Podcasts says:

          I think what Persus-9 is saying is that the veterans aren’t so much victims as perpetrators of war.

  17. Tim Ward says:

    To be honest, I’m not sure this is in any worse taste than the very fact of setting a video game in a conflict which is current or recent (which is pretty questionable if you ask me, but that’s a slightly different topic). It’s ok to gun down nameless jihadis by the dozen but suddenly when it’s bin Laden it becomes ghoulish and insensitive?

    • Zanchito says:

      I’m thinking the people who find that questionable is the same people who find this questionable (same holding true for the opposite oppinion).

      • Tim Ward says:

        By their deeds shall you know them. If there is an outcry over the bin Laden killing DLC but no outcry, or less of an outcry, over the general subject matter of the whole current crop of war porn shooters then obviously they *don’t* find both equally objectionable, whatever they say after the fact.

        As for your other point, I think you could make a fairly coherent argument that a game about killing bin Laden is more moral than a game about killing 9000 million a-rab terrorists in a row. Personally, I just don’t think that, whatever the rights and wrongs of the wars themselves, you shouldn’t be making video games about wars where people are currently fighting and dying.

  18. Makariel says:

    I’m waiting for the DLC where you team up with Stalin to defeat Mecha-Bin Laden.

  19. derbefrier says:

    /yawn , what else you got?

  20. Ultra Superior says:

    Will there be DLC for microsoft Flight Simulator as well ?

  21. yurusei says:

    On my part of the world, the date is 11/9/2012.

    Releasing such news on this date? I’m not sure if to be confused or disgusted.

  22. Ovno says:

    Meh

  23. BatmanBaggins says:

    It’s kind of silly and banal, but I don’t see what’s controversial about it.

  24. Pliqu3011 says:

    BINLADENFACE

  25. Phinor says:

    2 whole maps for £7.99? Just £4 per map? That’s a bargain. So very generous of EA.

  26. NathaI3 says:

    “a supposedly Bin-Laden-laden playground” is my favourite pun for a while

  27. jimmycrash says:

    My view..

    As the writer alluded to – Bin Laden is the figurehead for one of the most divisive situations in world politics and I expect anti-western media will have a field-day with this DLC release… As a global american-based brand, I would ask EA whether it is really worth providing those with an anti-western agenda with this sort of ammunition?

    I’d also inquire whether there’s anything that is more important to EA than their profits..

    • Ultra-Humanite says:

      If profit is so important to EA, why do they continue to produce crap?

      • lijenstina says:

        Marketing and propaganda works. They just need to produce an average crap game to it work it’s magic.

  28. InternetBatman says:

    “Nobody ever lost a dollar by underestimating the taste of the American public.” – P.T. Barnum

  29. televizor says:

    What’s really weird is EA’s choice to announce this 1 day before 9/11.
    Sure, it’ll get lots of hits from searches but, last time they planned to let you play as talibans in the other Medal of Honor game (I think), Americans all over the Americas went ape shit as they usually do over stuff like this.

  30. electronicgoat says:

    Who cares.
    To be propaganda it’s normal for it to be forced down your throat. But the event already happened, just like that equally dumb Hitler thing a while back. You pay for it and get an extra mission and hey it’s kind of neat it happened it was a big deal even though this is a videogame.
    Even if you want to “defend” it you could just say “videogames are art” and they all have the “artistic merit to portray any subject matter or situation!”. Just, don’t worry about it.

  31. sophof says:

    I’m not sure how this is in any way different than any other ‘realistic’ shooter, except from the fact that this is somewhat more recent. In my mind this is as controversial as shooting nazis, but maybe I’m the weird one here ;)

    • Shortwave says:

      Except for the Nazi’s (And Russians) killed about 5,933,900 people.
      And were planning on taking over most of the world.

      N’ stuff.

      • Dances to Podcasts says:

        Because we all know that Jews were the only people who died there…

        • Shortwave says:

          Wait, sorry what? Who said it was just Jews? I’m confused..
          I’m Ukrainian and millions of my people were also killed, including family.
          So I sort of almost would of took offense to that if I could of taken it seriously. Lol.
          Along with the disabled, homosexuals, polish and many many others.. Of course..

          I’m confused as to why you said that still..
          Explain?

    • Eddy9000 says:

      Because the game is about hunting down and killing a named, identifiable real life person who was only very recently killed, not about shooting generic Nazi soldiers who could be anyone in a war that happened 70 years ago.

  32. Cam says:

    While i don’t like how much of a shameless cash-in this is, i do think it’s okay for them to do it. Media forms have been celebrating the demise of enemies since the dawn of time, and this is nothing new. We do this to the Germans and Japanese all the time with games like this.

    Still, EA can be real A$$-Hats sometimes. Really? Only 1 Euro of the DLC goes to charity? Screw off!

  33. Bhazor says:

    LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME!!!!!!!

    This is just the equivalent of a little kid throwing a temper tantrum for attention. The only solution is to ignore it until it runs out of steam and then take it out in the back yard and hose it down.

  34. MistyMike says:

    I’d really like to see a war shooter where the environment is full of civilians and some of them are plainclothes insurgents and the player has to make tough calls when and if to open fire… and be evaluated for the adherence to the Rules of Engagement and the laws of war afterwards.

  35. Shortwave says:

    The Silent Man Speaks The Loudest. – Charlie Chapman
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVQrLF13npk

    I’m not too sure why, but I just felt an unavoidable desire to post this here, right now.

  36. zeroskill says:

    Electronic Arts never cease to amaze me, on a personal level. Absolutely hilarious.

  37. MrTambourineMan says:

    America, fuck yeah!

  38. Captain Joyless says:

    “Controversial subject matter”??? It’s a game about shooting brown people. About as uncontroversial as you can get in the West.

  39. Beelzebud says:

    Crap like this is why I stay away from modern war propgranda, oops I mean games.

  40. campingfag says:

    God you civvies on your goddamn high horses;

    I agree, this is an absolutely tasteless attempt at capitalism. I also agree that the United States has a foreign policy that many can disagree with (and should, as per their rights in a modern, liberal world).

    But your idle comments on what Americans are like, what US Foreign Policy seeks to do, and the morality of killing one of the most dangerous and cruel people on the face of the planet seriously makes me sick.

    God, all of you, sitting at home and taking the moral high ground and patting yourself on the shoulder- there is real injustice in the world, perhaps around you if you got off your asses.

    When a young man, whose got no future and grew up in the ghetto, gets shot by jumpy police because he gets mistaken for his brother who only last night shot a man in self defense, because he ran scared because everything he grew up with told him to be afraid of the police- that’s sad.

    When an internationally hunted killer of muslims and non muslims alike for a cause that would be considered regressive in the 11th century gets shot in a tense, unavoidable shootout where it was highly unlikely that he would be taken alive (though that was the original objective, look it up), where there was a high risk of the entire thing being a trap rigged to blow, and where they had to hurry otherwise innocent Pakistani security forces might be dragged in mistakenly, due to the actions of their government-

    I do not shed a tear. It had to be done, and I don’t believe in blindly agreeing with one’s government, or anyone really, but Bin Laden was goddamn Bin Laden. Pat yourself on the back all you want for your non-action, pretend you’re saints for believing you would have done things differently. You disgust me.

    • MiniMatt says:

      So let me get this right, you make a sweeping generalisation about “disgusting liberals” because those disgusting liberals were making sweeping generalisations about “obese warmongers” who in turn make sweeping generalisations about the interchangeable nature of “brown/muslim/terrorist”.

      I’m sure this way forward will result in peace and prosperity for all.

      • Grape Flavor says:

        He said absolutely nothing to the effect of “disgusting liberals”. Nothing.

        Your reading comprehension is atrocious and only serves to illustrate that you typed up your knee-jerk response without even bothering to read what the OP said.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      No, what’s sick is making a game about it afterwards, perhaps just for fun you’ll get to pull the rope on Saddam’s gallows as a mini game.

      Btw wonder how many gamerscore points the “Bin Bagged” achievement will get you.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      Thank you for this post. I’m not a supporter of US foreign policy, or even consider myself “patriotic”, but even I can see the deeply rooted, reflexive anti-Americanism that taints all discussion on RPS.

      I think it’s incredibly sad that their worldview is warped to the point where a mediocre looking video game is considered an incredible outrage, and the death of an unapolegetic extremist and mass-murderer is pined over as a regrettable tragedy and injustice of the worst order.

      • Eddy9000 says:

        pretty sad that you think that the outrage over making an entertainment game where you hunt and kill a real, identifiable human being that only recently got killed has anything to do with the games quality or the feelings towards the said individual to be honest.

  41. Radiant says:

    Been laden with dlc

  42. Synesthesia says:

    Woah. This is even tackier than the cartel launch during the zeta shitstorm in mexico. Shame on then, this is not about political correctness. Its just flat out retarded, and insulting.

    I guess it could be done right, as a comment on something, anything at all! But i have a slight feeling it might just be another shootout gallery.

    You said it well:
    ¨are we really addressing this gigantic topic with a DLC map pack? Is that gaming’s contribution to this discussion? A throwaway marketing tie-in? I mean, we’re not even talking about a single-player campaign or something that attempts to document the events surrounding Bin Laden’s eventual demise in a dedicated manner. Instead, we just get to shoot each other on a supposedly Bin-Laden-laden playground.¨

    Relevant: http://www.guernicamag.com/blog/noam_chomsky_my_reaction_to_os/

    • Tim Ward says:

      Jesus Christ, Chomsky really *is* a fucking moron.

      • Dominic White says:

        For suggesting that a heavily armed commando unit could have captured an unarmed man alive, rather than executing him on the spot? If that’s the definition of idiocy these days… well, we’re fucked as a species.

        • theleif says:

          Come on, Bin Laden’s wife lunged towards the soldiers. There where only 24 or 79 of them (depending on your sources) and one of the five persons killed in the raid was even armed!
          They clearly had no choice.

        • Jason Moyer says:

          When you’re entering a compound while being sprayed by machine gun fire, I think it’s safe to assume at that point that you’re dealing with armed hostiles. Whether Osama was brandishing the firearms he had with him at the time is irrelevant at that point.

        • theleif says:

          Again, only the first person, “the courier” Al-Kuwaiti was armed. On the other hand, they are trained to shoot first, so that is what you would expect them to do in those situations, unless ordered otherwise.

        • Tim Ward says:

          Actually, primarily for the sentence they use as the leading pull quote. And for the general uselessness moralising of the entire article, and the painful banality of his ‘insights’ – “The imperial mentality is so profound, throughout western society, that no one can perceive that they are glorifying bin Laden by identifying him with courageous resistance against genocidal invaders.” yeah, or maybe they picked the fucking name at random out of a list of words because the whole idea of an operational code name is to keep the nature of the operation being planned secret? That is Chomsky in a nutshell – drawing superficial connections between unrelated things then trying to come up with some sort of facile equivalence between them.

          • theleif says:

            Well, he does have a point. It might be exaggerated, but naming your operations and weapons after a people one self have driven almost (and in some cases completely) to extinction is at least… bizarre? The comparison to Nazi Germany naming it’s planes Jew and Gypsy is of course far fetched, but it’s not intended as a truth. It’s there to overstate why the US army could and should, if they had at least thought a minute of the origin of the words, have chosen other names.

  43. ITSSEXYTIME says:

    Didn’t they call the Terrorist faction in the first game (In the multiplayer) the Taliban and then later change the name because of media pressure?

    And then they’re doing it again?!?

  44. aepervius says:

    I don’t see how is this controversially different to the WW2 shooter allowing you to kill historical figure like hitler. A few decades does make the difference ? I don’t think so. There are still living follower of both idiot in either case.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      ” A few decades does make the difference ? I don’t think so”

      I do.