Nightmare At Twenty-Thousand Feet
Recently returning home on a terrifying sky journey, Gabriel tried to explain that he couldn’t shut off his game system - couldn’t - because the Mana Tree had just released some kind of surge, unleashing monsters upon isle of Illusia. His aircraft’s stern women were unmoved, even by the delicacy and imminence of his imaginary plight, because the genuine danger posed by airborne videogames was simply too grave.
I read Richard Marcinko’s (sort of) autobiography (thing) a few years ago, a book called Rogue Warrior, and… It was interesting. I felt a lot of pressure to like it, because the person who loaned it to me clearly didn’t believe I was "man enough" to enjoy this thick wedge of masculine escapism. What he did not know, because many people don’t, is that I am actually super manly. There are times where I will turn away from my game of Bejeweled to make use of a spittoon.
I didn’t have to work very hard to like it, as the man whose bio was being auto’d has done a lot of really interesting things in his life. I wasn’t sure which things to believe in their totality, as some of these fantastical scenarios seemed a little embroidered - and I don’t really mean "a little" embroidered, I mean like "five old ladies on a Sunday afternoon" embroidered. Real life can be exceedingly strange, though, and that’s before you add Firearms and International Intrigue. So who knows.
It’s almost weird that his "work" - any way you reckon it, either his writings or his body count - hasn’t been mined directly before now. It’s referenced, sometimes obliquely. I think it’s hard to talk about counter-terrorism as a military action and not have his name come up. When I heard Bethesda was making a game based on his exploits, I assumed it would be based on his activities in command of Red Cell, an entity designed to infiltrate American installations. It’s not, at least, not yet - it seems to be aimed squarely at the now well-developed Ghost Recon/Rainbow Six community, with co-op gameplay you can drop in and drop out of live. It’s also doing something novel in adversarial multi, where each side chooses their own half of the map and goes at it.
The shots look a little early yet, but it’s Unreal Engine 3 and we know by now what that thing can do. The best, most detailed information is probably this IGN interview that discusses the tile system (and more) in much greater detail.
Stopping by EB last week, we got the impression that they were in possession of great piles of Final Fantasy XII, either behind the counter or in the "back," that mythical place where things sometimes are. If it’s the same at your store, and it may well be, that means that you’ll actually be able to get the game on All Hallow’s Een instead of November first, which… While not a huge amount of time, if you’ve been marking the days since the last one, I imagine you would like to avoid twenty-four hours of unnecessary torment.