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Posted: 9/30/2004 4:36:08 AM EDT
(Hope this is not a dupe)


John Kerry, action hero
New video game emerges based on Kerry's official Vietnam records

By Tom Loftus
Updated: 5:46 p.m. ET Sept. 17, 2004

Move over Lara Croft. Say hello to Lt. John Kerry, action video game hero.

Later this month the presidential candidate's service in Vietnam -- the subject of ongoing controversy -- receives the full video game treatment with "John Kerry and the men of Swift Boat PCF-94."

Available for download from kumawar.com as a free seven-day trial, the game will put players in the combat boots of a 25-year-old Lt. Kerry on Feb. 28, 1969, the date he earned his Silver Star citation.

Players will have the opportunity to view and participate in the action from Kerry's perspective, up to and including the point where Kerry beached his swift boat on the banks of the Mekong and chased down the enemy on foot.

The game comes courtesy of Kuma Reality, a New York City game developer that specializes in creating games -- or what it calls "interactive reporting" -- based on real-life battles.

Kuma's recent titles include episodes based around medal recipients including Pat Tillman, the former pro-footballer killed in Afghanistan, and Marine Capt. Brian R. Chontosh, a Navy Cross winner in Iraq.

According to Kuma CEO Keith Halper, a game about Kerry's Silver Star actions was a no-brainer.

"The level of rancor has been so high and what is lost is the details," said Halper referring to the attacks on Kerry's Vietnam service by the partisan group, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. "People want to know, what did Kerry do? What did swift boats do in Vietnam? What types of missions did swift boats go on?"

Halper hopes that "Swift Boat PCF-94," which is based on official Naval records, will not only illustrate Kerry's experience, but that of a typical swift boat crew member in Vietnam.

"You are going to walk away with a visceral sense of how dangerous a typical swift boat mission was," he said.

Included in the mission will be several dozen written pages concerning the history of swift boat missions in Vietnam, satellite images and maps, and an interview with the president of a swift boat veterans group.

But in a nod to game play, "Swift Boat PCF-94" will not hue strictly to Kerry's experience. On Feb. 28, 1969, Kerry was indeed the tactical commander of a three boat squadron that suffered repeated ambushes. And on that day he is credited with overriding common swift boat procedure by pressing the attack. But whereas Kerry only beached his swift boat once, players may have the option in "Swift Boat PFC-94" to up the action from Silver Star winner to Rambo.

"Our first objective is to replay that events that occurred in 1969," said Halper. "But we also want to allow people the chance to experience some sort of free-form play."

After the expiration of the seven-day trial, players have the option to subscribe to Kuma's library of games for a $9.99 monthly fee. New titles become available approximately every two weeks.
© 2004 MSNBC Interactive
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 7:54:38 AM EDT
NOBODY has a comment? I thought this would be fertile material for jokes.
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 7:55:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/30/2004 7:55:47 AM EDT by fight4yourrights]
can you say FRIENDLY FIRE?
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 7:58:09 AM EDT
can we shoot the helpless little boy in the back with a 50BMG like sKerry did
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 8:12:22 AM EDT
I wonder if you can frag yourself with rice in this game, or press a key to make civilians turn into armed VC. Or if you can hide below deck while your crewmates assess threats that you're supposed to be dealing with. That'd be realistic.

Link Posted: 9/30/2004 8:23:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/30/2004 8:23:56 AM EDT by Tango7]
I tried the demo version.

You can only steer away from hostiles.

If one of the other boats engages enemies, your boat automatically veers away, and hides around the bend unti the shooting is over, when you can come back and collect loot for ponts.

If you equip sKerry with a gun, he can only shoot himself.

The game is pretty good, in terms of playability. You can even dismount the boat and wander around the jungle, where you can cut the ears off of dead VC, and torch villages, while little women and children NPC's cry and plead against the American Agressors (or is it tears of joy for their liberating heroes? I'd better check with sKerray's pollsters, and see which way the wind is blowing)

When the game is over, you can hit the (x) and (y) buttons to argue that you were there, and you do deserve a medal, or that you weren't there, and shouldn't get blamed for anything.

If you finish the game? You can grow your hair, spit on returning soldiers, and dump the medal you've earned into the reflecting pool in D.C.

The end game credits are the sounds of bones breaking, electric shocks, men screaming, and angry voices in vietnamese, with sKerry's senate testimony playing in the background.
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