An upcoming game in the Tom Clancy franchise is ruffling some feathers for depicting a domestic terrorist attack staged by individuals who sound sympathetic to the 99 Percent movement.
“Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6: Patriots,” due out in 2013 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, was teased in a recent trailer released by French publisher Ubisoft, which produced a clip wherein a collection of American mercenaries raid a corporate boardroom and murder the CEO.
“This all started when you became bigger than the governments,” a narrator’s voice explains. “And governments became bigger than the people. That’s how the land of the free became the kingdom of the few — a few like you, Mr. Walsh. It’s time for a new balance of power. You may not answer to the government, but you will answer to us.”
And like a scene from a Wall Street CEO’s worst nightmare, the captive is strapped with explosives and hurled from the skyscraper office down to the street below, where the bombs detonate seconds before he hits the pavement.
Conservative blogs have been ratherappreciating how these fictional terrorists mirror the message of the 99 Percent movement, although it’s not yet clear what the characters’ true motivations are. Then again, for a game series that’s taken on everything from evil eco-terrorists and third world anarchists to nuclear hijackers and scheming ex-Soviets, domestic terrorism is probably just as fair a subject.
The game will also have portions that take place outside of the United States from the perspective of characters that are not part of the Rainbow 6 anti-terrorism squad, according to gaming website G4tv.
Developers also said they were working on incorporating moral decisions into the gameplay, where players will have to weigh the lives of the many over the few, making decisions that will influence how the story plays out.
In an example of how the game will challenge players’ ethics, another preview features a woman bound and gagged by terrorists, who accuse her husband, the player, of cashing in on numerous foreclosures. The lead terrorist threatens to “field dress” the player’s wife and child “like a deer” if they don’t cooperate. The character is then strapped with a suicide bomb vest fitted with a dead man’s switch, then transported to the Brooklyn Bridge.
In a tense segment of gameplay that follows, the player is challenged to handle the situation and avoid as many unnecessary deaths as possible, with one of the results including tossing the man into the water and letting the bomb detonate. Developers have said that the game will be chalk full of similar life-or-death decisions set in familiar urban environments.
Previous games in the “Rainbow 6″ series have earned critical acclaim for their methodical, tactics-based gameplay and ripped-from-the-headlines plots, but none have dared venture into subjects so controversial as “Patriots.” Whether the gamble will pay off for Ubisoft remains to be seen, but from the looks of it, “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6: Patriots” appears to be every bit the gripping tactical shooter its predecessors were, just with a shocking, potentially offensive new twist.
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