How “Blackwater” is a waste of PR money – 11/13/2011

With the war shooter genre being dominated by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3; Blackwater for the Xbox 360 is a game that will be easily overlooked. But unfortunately that is hardly the problem.

Erik Prince has teamed up with 505 Games to give gamers the chance to experience what it is like to be an operative for the organization. Being the brainchild of Prince, fromer CEO and founder of Xe Services (formaly Blackwater Worldwide), the game attempts to introduce a new take on the war shooter genre using the Kinect.

For those not familiar with Xe; it is one of the largest private military companies in the world and at one time the second largest army in Iraq (after the US military). To no surprise; the company has been riddled with controversy when Prince was CEO.

Hence; this game is probably an attempted to undo the damage caused to his public image by an FBI investigation into allegations of weapons smuggling, allegations of promoting genocide, perpetrating a massacres in Iraq, criticism from the media, a New York Times bestseller, being the inspiration for the villains in the seventh season of 24, and being the inspiration for the villains in Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction.

The game is set in a fictional nation in North Africa; gamers take on the role of a Blackwater operative as he leads a team to protect UN Aide workers and assist in the humanitarian effort while fighting an evil warlord.

One of the most obvious aspects is that, unlike 24 and Splinter Cell, Blackwater operatives are not the villains. Another content that set this game apart from competing titles is that it’s not about saving the world but about offering assistance during a humanitarian crisis. In the gameplay aspect; Blackwater really tries to take advantage of the Kinect.

Despite this new take on the war shooter genre and the use of Xbox Kinect; Blackwater feels more like a failed public relations ploy. The overall quality of the game can be compared to a movie-game with poor graphics, outdated gameplay and having an abundance of glitches. It also don’t help that they used the companies old name as the title (since they changed it because of the bad publicity).

Also being the only shooter compatible with Kinect dose not give it any real advantage. Most gamers own two consoles or more; hence why would any gamer blow their hard earn money on Blackwater when they could just play Resistance 3, Killzone 3 or The House of the Dead: Overkill for the PS3. As for Xbox owners, they are more satisfied with Modern Warfare 3.

Overall; Prince should have just been satisfied with the fictional portrayal in Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction. The only people I could image who will enjoy this game will the small fringe of Blackwater supporters and maybe Erik Prince. Also knowing that a lot of Blackwater supporters will be criticizing this review or my past stance towards the organization; I will point out that Tom Clancy fans and 24 fans outnumber you guys a million to one.

Just play Modern Warfare 3!

Written for Bitmod
11/13/2011
Original Article: How “Blackwater” is a waste of PR money

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About Stan Rezaee
I'm a writer from San Jose who has contributed to several online and print publications.

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