We like first person shooters, particularly when there are decent weapons involved. The big question is whether you choose an FPS that is lifelike (e.g. Medal of Honor) or artificial (e.g. Quake 3). Delta Force Black Hawk Down is the fifth game in the Delta Force series and it’s based on the same events in Somalia that Ridley Scott used for his 2001 movie of the same name. It definitely goes for the lifelike option.
Some background; in 1993 a force of 123 American Special Forces troops was sent into Mogadishu, Somalia to battle warlords who were hijacking United Nations supplies intended for victims of the civil war. On one mission, Task Force Ranger was sent to capture two of General Aidid’s lieutenants, but two of their Black Hawk helicopters were shot down. The movie was all about the marines fighting their way out, during which 18 American troops were killed, along with nearly 1,000 Somali militia.
Your character in the game is a member of Delta Force, naturally, and you have a series of missions to fulfil. Or at least that’s theory. In fact you get to drive around in a Humvee or fly around in helicopters, including the Black Hawk. At a pinch you can move on foot for street fighting. Mainly you shoot guns, throw grenades and use explosives, and the manual is fairly helpful in telling you how best to do this. It contains background information on Somalia as well as those all-important weapon specifications that some blokes seem to like so much.
The twenty missions give you a variety of scenarios as you defend a convoy, capture enemies or fight an all-out pitched battle. It’s a good game to play, but it’s not as much fun as we would have liked, and we have to blame the BBC and CNN for that. The problem is that the action is all too reminiscent of recent events in Iraq; the level of realism in the game takes a lot of the fun out of shooting people, even if they are computer-generated people.