Spec Ops: The Line was one of the most brutal U.S. military war games to ever released, but you don't find out until it's too late.
The plot of the game involves a massive sandstorm burying Dubai. You play the officer in charge of a group of Delta Force operators searching for not only signs of life in the disaster-stricken city, but also a missing U.S. Army battalion, the Damned 33rd, that ended up marooned in Dubai while evacuating the city.
No, this game is not a commentary on climate change (mostly). Rather, it's a mirror for the violence unleashed in the Middle East and the idea that moral choices can possibly guide us in conflicts. While the early stages of the game are spent fighting armed refugees who survived the sandstorm, the script flips very quickly — and your team of Delta operators finds itself fighting the very U.S. soldiers they came to save.
Indeed, the most memorable sequence in the game involves Delta operators debating taking out a squad of U.S. soldiers with white phosphorus mortar rounds. The mortar devastates the U.S. troops and allows the Delta team to advance, only to discover that the soldiers were guarding civilians trying to hide from the fighting between the brigade and the insurgents in the city. All that is left are charred remains of men, women, and children.
The sequence is hauntingly paced. During the mortar set up, you are told frequently that you have a choice; the choice, though, is to quit the game, a completely outside-the-box answer from the creators.
The only way to not commit a heinous war crime is to not play. There is no other way to win.
Your orders, detailed in the beginning of the game, are to see if there are survivors and report back. Your squad learns there are survivors in the first five minutes. The mission was accomplished. But you, the player, kept playing the game until you were killing refugees turned insurgents, rogue U.S. soldiers, and finally, civilians.
This game is not an evolution in third person shooters. What it actually represents is debatable, but it truly feels like a morality test disguised as a video game. There is an easy way to test this out, too: Have a friend play and see how they feel once they are killing U.S. troops who moments before were talking about home-cooked meals.
GREENBELT, Md. (Reuters) - A U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant accused of amassing a cache of weapons and plotting to attack Democratic politicians and journalists was ordered held for two weeks on Thursday while federal prosecutors consider charging him with more crimes.
An undated image of Hoda Muthana provided by her attorney, Hassan Shibly. (Associated Press)
Attorneys for the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America have filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Attorney General William Barr and President Donald Trump asking the court to recognize the citizenship of an Alabama woman who left the U.S. to join ISIS and allow she and her young son to return to the United States.
U.S. soldiers surveil the area during a combined joint patrol in Manbij, Syria, November 1, 2018. Picture taken November 1, 2018. (U.S. Army/Zoe Garbarino/Handout via Reuters)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will leave "a small peacekeeping group" of 200 American troops in Syria for a period of time after a U.S. pullout, the White House said on Thursday, as President Donald Trump pulled back from a complete withdrawal.
Construction crews staged material needed for the Santa Teresa Border Wall Replacement project near the Santa Teresa Port of Entry. (U.S. Customs and Border Patrol/Mani Albrecht)
With a legal fight challenge mounting from state governments over the Trump administration's use of a national emergency to construct at the U.S.-Mexico border, the president has kicked his push for the barrier into high gear.
On Wednesday, President Trump tweeted a time-lapse video of wall construction in New Mexico; the next day, he proclaimed that "THE WALL IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION RIGHT NOW"
But there's a big problem: The footage, which was filmed more than five months ago on Sep. 18, 2018, isn't really new wall construction at all, and certainly not part of the ongoing construction of "the wall" that Trump has been haggling with Congress over.
(From left to right) Chris Osman, Chris McKinley, Kent Kroeker, and Talon Burton
A group comprised of former U.S. military veterans and security contractors who were detained in Haiti on weapons charges has been brought back to the United States and arrested upon landing, The Miami-Herald reported.
The men — five Americans, two Serbs, and one Haitian — were stopped at a Port-au-Prince police checkpoint on Sunday while riding in two vehicles without license plates, according to police. When questioned, the heavily-armed men allegedly told police they were on a "government mission" before being taken into custody.