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4 Exceptional Military Video Games Worth Binging This Holiday Season
For many, the holidays are a chance to rejoice in the company of loved ones and reflect on the events of the year. But for some, it’s a magical time when the weather sours, friends head out of town to visit family, and the only thing to do on a long weekend is batten down the hatches, plant yourself firmly on the couch, and get ready to pwn some n00bs.
Whether you’re playing your favorite first-person shooter with buddies, or crawling around on the floor trying to find the batteries that popped out of the controller after you tossed your sticks across the room because some kid no-scoped you for the last kill of the game, unwinding with some computer generated carnage can offer a much-needed outlet after a long day's work.
The holiday season is no different. In fact, those long weekends courtesy of federal holidays might be one of the few opportunities we still have as adults to rot our brains for hours on end and escape from an ever-expanding list of responsibilities: Nah, I’m busy winning World War II single-handed, the dishes can wait. So can groceries, I have Dominos on speed dial, and this tank won’t drive itself.
If any of that sounds like how you’d prefer to spend a long weekend this December, then we’ve got a few recommendations for your holiday wish list this year.
While there’s no shortage of new games and systems, from Red Dead Redemption 2, to trips down memory lane with the Nintendo Entertainment System — and yes, yes, PUBG and Fortnite, I know, it’s what all the cool kids are doing, that and eating Tide Pods — this list is limited to those console and PC games we’ve taken to binge-playing here at Task & Purpose.
Set in a satirical future, Helldivers is pretty much Starship troopers (the movie, not the book), but instead of being a 90s space opera, it’s a top-down co-op shooter. As a Helldiver your mission is to travel the known star system, see exciting lands, meet new people, and spread “managed democracy” across the galaxy, which really just means you'll be slaying legions of aliens. Would you like to know more?
Available on PlayStation 3 and 4, as well as PC, Helldivers is light-hearted — the menu screen has a rolling news feed with bizarre dystopic headlines — and offers an addictive and twitchy style of play, and a progression system that makes those hours annihilating bugs and cyborgs with your trusty space age blaster or giant robot all the more worthwhile.
Fair warning to all would-be Helldivers, though: You will most certainly die at least once per game, and probably because of friendly fire. That’s actually part of the game’s charm, so much so that at the end of a match I find myself applauding my teammates for not killing me by dropping a bomb, or a drop pod, on my head.
It’s time to ship out to World War II, again. DICE’s much-anticipated return to the Second World War hasn’t been entirely smooth. The game debuted last month and brought with it a bunch of bugs and minor technical issues, which we discussed in a recent review. But glitchiness aside, Battlefield V is addictive and offers a host of new game mechanics — from the ability to create fortifications, to how they overhauled running and diving into the prone position.
On the whole, BFV is an easy game to play casually. You can log on for a round of Grand Operations — a series of three or four matches where the outcome of one impacts the next — then log out when you’re done, making it a come and go as you please shooter that delivers on the total war we’ve come to expect, while not demanding a huge time commitment from players in order to enjoy all it has to offer.
If frenetic spray and pray is more your style — or you’re just tired of getting sniped from half the map away in Battlefield — then Activision's latest installment in their flagship shooter will do the trick. Black Ops 4 is classic Call of Duty, but with a few new gimmicks and tweaks to make the game feel new, while still familiar.
Some of the new additions include new characters with innate abilities; and no more passive healing — you need to use a first aid pack instead; the ability to fight, which means threats come from every direction, including the shallows below. And of course, there’s plenty of perks, new score streaks, and attachments like operator mods which significantly change how some weapons work.
Sure, Ubisoft's open world sandbox may have come out in March, but the fact that I’m still playing Far Cry 5 speaks to just how fun and engrossing this game is. Like every installment in the franchise, the most recent Far Cry melds FPS gameplay with open-world exploration, colorful characters, gallows humor, and a riveting storyline: in this version, you’re a rookie deputy tasked with arresting a lunatic cult leader, but you end up leading a one-man insurgency against a bunch of religious extremists in fictional Hope County, Montanna.
As Task & Purpose noted previously, the storyline for Far Cry 5 feels like the fever dream of a liberal arts student who thinks that all of middle America is just one downed cell tower away from total chaos. Additionally, the game has launched a number of expansions and mini-games — including one set during the Vietnam war, and in which you have to use stealth rather than brute force, to survive.
Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.
MUSCAT (Reuters) - The United States should keep arming and aiding the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, provided the group keeps up the pressure on Islamic State, a senior U.S. general told Reuters on Friday.
Trump: $6.1 billion in DoD money going to border wall wasn’t for anything that seemed ‘too important to me’
President Donald Trump claims the $6.1 billion from the Defense Department's budget that he will now spend on his border wall was not going to be used for anything "important."
Trump announced on Friday that he was declaring a national emergency, allowing him to tap into military funding to help pay for barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Long before Tony Stark took a load of shrapnel to the chest in a distant war zone, science fiction legend Robert Heinlein gave America the most visceral description of powered armor for the warfighter of the future. Forget the spines of extra-lethal weaponry, the heads-up display, and even the augmented strength of an Iron Man suit — the real genius, Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers, "is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."
"Any sort of ship you have to learn to pilot; it takes a long time, a new full set of reflexes, a different and artificial way of thinking," explains Johnny Rico. "Spaceships are for acrobats who are also mathematicians. But a suit, you just wear."
First introduced in 2013, U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) purported to offer this capability as America's first stab at militarized powered armor. And while SOCOM initially promised a veritable Iron Man-style tactical armor by 2018, a Navy spokesman told Task & Purpose the much-hyped exoskeleton will likely never get off the launch pad.
"The prototype itself is not currently suitable for operation in a close combat environment," SOCOM spokesman Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty told Task & Purpose, adding that JATF-TALOS has no plans for an external demonstration this year. "There is still no intent to field the TALOS Mk 5 combat suit prototype."
D-Day veteran James McCue died a hero. About 500 strangers made sure of it.
"It's beautiful," Army Sgt. Pete Rooney said of the crowd that gathered in the cold and stood on the snow Thursday during McCue's burial. "I wish it happened for every veteran's funeral."