As you might have heard, EA’s upcoming Medal of Honor shooter series lets gamers play as either allied or oppositional forces—the good guys or the bad guys. Since Medal of Honor takes place in Afghanistan, the good guys are naturally U.S. Army Rangers, and the bad guys are the Taliban. Unsurprisingly, and justifiably so, some soldier moms and dads are pissed.
We’re not in the business of deciding ethical standards, so we’ll just state the obvious from a purely gamer standpoint—being able to choose whose side you want to fight on is more fun than only being able to shoot at computerized, prearranged bad guys. It’s an itch that dates back to when we were all kids on the playground and divvyed ourselves up between cops and robbers before the shit went down (in case you’re wondering, robbers 4 life).
As you’ll see, being able to choose your side in a conflict cultivates certain strategies you wouldn’t normally entertain, especially if the conflict is based on real life, as Medal of Honor is. So we ask, why stop with the Taliban? We’re America, for Christ’s sake! We’ve had more enemies than Andy Dick has used fist-dildos—enemies that could be a side to choose in the next shooter series game and deserve a speculative look at how things might play out if you were them.
Boss: Osama Bin Laden
Weapon(s) of Choice: AK-47s, IEDs, Suicide Belts
Playing as an Al Qaeda operative might be a tad bit boring, considering they’re not really into shooting so much as driving a van into an embassy parking lot and blowing it up with a cell phone. The strategy offered to the gamer should he decide to join ranks with the holy fighters would probably go something like that old Greg Giraldo joke about being a terrorist mastermind.
Step 1: Take bomb.
Step 2: Put bomb in backpack.
Step 3: Get on bus.
Step 4: Press red button.
The gamer can look forward to spending 95 percent of his time in a cave playing the it’s-only-gay-if-you-open-your-eyes version of hide the bacon and arguing with fellow jihadists about the cultural legitimacy of Chaz Bono’s mangina. The other 5 percent would be spent walking crowded marketplaces and getting electrocuted like The Dam level in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles if you touch a woman before you can blow yourself up.
Boss: Benito Mussolini
Weapon(s) of Choice: Beretta pistols, Breda machine guns, the German Army
Playing as a member of the Axis-era Italian army would be like being a kid and playing football in your back yard. If somebody decides to fuck with you or play a little too rough, Daddy will swoop in from his lawn chair and make it all better. Daddy, in this case, being Adolf Hitler. It could be fun shooting at yanks and limeys in North Africa, but should the game decide to uphold some semblance of historical accuracy, the gamer might eventually get frustrated with equipment that holds up against enemy artillery, as well as a Cannoli would against Excalibur.
Boss: Hideki Tojo
Weapon(s) of Choice: TERA rifles, Nambu pistols
This scenario would be a special treat for all the closet-sadist gamers out there, of which common sense dictates that there are surely many. In the words of Emperor Hirohito: “Kill All, Burn All, and Loot All.” Being an imperial Japanese soldier, or—better yet—officer, means beating the shit out of subordinates who don’t obey the Samurai code and the occasional katana beheading of an enemy. Not only that, but you get to fight that bastardized, mongrelized American army in locales both exotic (Wake Island) and horrifying (Ramree Island).
The North Vietnamese Army/Viet Cong
Boss: Ho Chi Minh
Weapon(s) of Choice: Submachine guns, RPGs
Welcome to the jungle, bitches. Anybody in their right mind would relish the opportunity to take out a pixilated version of Charlie Sheen and withdraw back into the bush before anybody realizes they just did his future wife a huge favor. Jungle warfare is discombobulating, disorienting and means jack shit as to who’s got the bigger gun–a possible equalizer for noobs. The imperial aggressors have helicopters, Colonel Kilgore and F-4 Phantoms. None of which matters, of course, because you have these little things called underground tunnel lairs that reject retched capitalist rhetoric from their quarters like Satan-puke from Linda Blair’s mouth.
Iraqi Republican Guard
Boss: Saddam Hussein
Weapon(s) of Choice: AK-47s, Tariq 9mm pistols, RPGs
AK-47s kick a particularly awesome brand of ass in desert warfare, which is unfortunate considering most of the gamer’s job as a bodyguard to Saddam would consist of hunkering down around Baghdad and playing a hotter-than-balls version of hide & seek, at which point you’ll have to go the insurgent route and break out the RPGs.
Officially, your objective as an elite member of the Iraqi armed forces is to ensure the safety of a mustachioed a-hole so he can go on purging and stuff. Alas, you fight on knowing that the alternative to letting him lose power ostensibly means putting this guy in charge.