Get into the Game – US ARMY

A game bold enough to offer everything from basic shooting skills to intense action intrigue invites gamers to take it to the max. See if you have the right stuff to fight as a member of the Special Forces on secret missions. Segueing from real life to videogame and back again, the game and its website allow gamers to take a look at what real Special Forces do. They "are either on a real-world mission or training for one. Their missions are conducted worldwide and usually classified" –America’s Army

All you need to get started in the virtual Army experience is your Mac or PC. And for all you Linux users who say you’re always left out, there’s a version for you to download too. And the best part of it is that it’s absolutely free, save a small charge for Mac users. Your first thought might be, “Free? What does this thing look like?” Well, it actually looks and sounds great! The game utilizes the “Unreal” engine via (most) Nvidia chipsets and touts Dolby Digital Surround Sound. But, unlike the Unreal series, “America’s Army” has court marshaled the gore and rampaging demons to produce a clean game that delivers the realism of joining the army without having to do any pushups.

Lead Animator, Scott Dossett, spoke to us about the importance of consulting the Army’s best in order to make the games as real as possible: “All of the missions that we have done were developed hand in hand with the units that actually performed these kind of missions.” Motioning towards the screen depicting an enemy camp sitting in moonlight, surrounded by a desolate landscape, Dossett continued, “So, when we set out to design this mission we actually met with people from the 75th Ranger regiment, who sat down -and we had their intelligence officer there so they would make sure that they didn’t say anything they weren’t supposed to. But, they helped us. These are guys that have actually gone in and assaulted terrorist camps… It’s more of an amalgamation of all of their experiences and what they would typically find at a camp such as this.”

“In addition to helping us lay out the spaces, they gave us help with the weapons…They’ve helped us keep the fidelity of the game, in every aspect of the game, down to the point where… There is selector switch right here on the M16, that switches between single shots and 3 round bursts. And when we put the animation in for the guy to reach up with his thumb and switch it -originally the model just pulled back to the old model where the selector switch was in the wrong position. And the Army guys picked up on it just like that… Everything is as authentic as we can make it.”

The Idea

Many may wonder why the Army would decide to make a game in the first place. The answer comes simply from the guy who got the idea together, Lieutenant Colonel Eugene Wardynski: ‘We came up with the concept back in August of ’99 as an idea for sort of a leap ahead in providing information to young Americans about the opportunities the Army affords. And when you look at the kind of games that are built today, lot’s and lot’s of them look like the Army, so we thought we probably knew something about the Army too. And we could put all that together and build an environment that was engaging and informative at the same and be a communication channel to young Americans.”

Get America’s Army today at: http://americasarmy.com