America's Army: Rise of a Soldier
A long, long time ago, when they were still claiming not to be fond of the male species, they made the hit “late is never too late”. Now, so many years later, they’re back. One is even more gay than the other, but they’re still going at it under the name Get Ready. For those not familiar with this Belgian musical phenomenon, let me explain. Get Ready was a boy band from the nineties in Belgium, that’s about it. Well, ever since that long time ago a review copy of America’s Army: Rise of a Soldier has been lying on my review desk. But as the lads from Get Ready once sang: “late is never too late”, not even for a review of a shooter which probably no one is waiting for and that tends to just exceed the mediocrity.
America’s Army arrived on the PC a couple of years ago. The American army used this piece of software as so called training. Now, again a couple of years later, it’s appearing on the Xbox. America’s Army: Rise of a Soldier is a pretty realistic shooter that puts you in the shoes of a “scheiss Ami”. Nowadays it’s “in” to be anti-American and a game like this doesn’t really suppress that hype. The propaganda is pretty much as in your face as it can get and the horrible instrumental rock soundtrack is really ruining the atmosphere.
But enough about the pro-American feel of this game. You can just as easily look through this as you could through the sexual preferences of the boys of Get Ready. Deep inside, they’re also humans and deep inside AA:ROAS is also just a first person shooter with a tactical twist to it. You’ll start your journey with an extensive training. Everything, ranging from crouching to throwing grenades will be thought through a lot of missions. Frankly, I didn’t have the stamina to play the game further than those trainingmissions.
Surely, this doesn’t give me a credible reviewer status, but be honest for once: how good is a game that’s already boring in the tutorial? You can however put it differently, saying that all tutorials are boring, but this isn’t your usual “get the info and get on with it” tutorial. You’ll occasionally receive true mission-like objectives that already give you a feel of the real gameplay and that’s when I said: no more for me. I’m not really a big fan of tactical shooters and the propaganda feel didn’t really make things better.
That doesn’t mean that this is a really awful game. The realism is pretty impressive making you truly feel part of a war scene but this time around it’s the presentation that’s really lacking. Graphically this game is so outdated that the saying “gameplay is more important than graphics” doesn’t really get you far in this game. It might sound stupid but the mouths of the soldiers don’t even move when they’re speaking.
The biggest problem that AA:ROAS has to cope with is the fact that the competition is fierce and there are a lot of better games on the market. The realism, combined with the highly American propaganda, makes that the game lacks certain warmth. A decent storyline might do miracles, but sadly there isn’t any. This made me leave the game safely in its cover and frankly I don’t think that I’m the only one with that opinion.
Sure, I have hardly spoken about the gameplay and I totally ignored the sound and online department but tell me, are you really curious about this? Would you be more happy and fulfilled if you knew about the online aspects and decibels produced by this game? In that case, go and rent it, but I’m telling you that you wont be overjoyed nor fulfilled. No, this game is pure mediocrity which no one needs, except perhaps a pro-American gamer. I start to wonder why there is a thing like mediocrity. I would never buy a game with a score of 6 or lower. But from another point of view you really need bad and mediocre games since otherwise you wouldn’t know what a good or great game is, right? That’s why I’d like to give a shout out to the developers of America’s Army: Rise of a Soldier. Guys, thanks for this mediocrity because without this piece of American propaganda I would have never been able to enjoy a game such as Brothers in Arms with the same sense of happiness and excitement.