Konami readying realistic Iraq War shooter

Japanese publisher picks up Six Days in Fallujah, developed with input from real-life veterans of titular battle at Close Combat-maker Atomic Games; due out in 2010.


Although half of the dodeca-platinum Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare took place in an eerily similar Middle Eastern country, Iraq itself has not been the subject of many games. In fact, the only title to actively tout its re-creations of actual battles from the ongoing conflict is the PC shooter KumaWar, which received explosively poor reviews.

 Operation Phantom Fury: The Video Game
Operation Phantom Fury: The Video Game

One battle that got a KumaWar redux was Operation Phantom Fury, also known as Operation Al-Fajr or the Second Battle in Fallujah. The conflict took place during several weeks in November and December 2004, when Iraqi forces and US Marines forcibly occupied the central Iraqi city. The metropolis of 250,000 had become a haven for insurgents following the First Battle of Fallujah (aka Operation Vigilant Resolve) in April 2004, which saw the Marines attack the city following the killing of four Blackwater security contractors. The Washington Post estimates that over 25 percent of all the city's 39,000 homes were destroyed during the fierce fighting, the intensity of which can be witnessed via numerous YouTube clips.

Today, both the Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times are reporting that several Fallujah veterans are advising developer Atomic Games on an ambitious new war game, Six Days in Fallujah. Published by Konami, the game will be based on the diaries, photos, videos, and memories of the former Marines and will attempt to re-create the fighting in the city as accurately as possible.

"We replicate a specific and accurate timeline--we mean six days literally," Atomic president Peter Tamte told the Journal. "We track several units through the process and you get to know what it was like from day to day."

To take Six Days in Fallujah to near-hyper-realistic levels, Atomic Games will also incorporate video clips of Marines recalling their experiences fighting in the city. The Marines will also play themselves in the self-styled "game-amentary," which is reportedly using classified satellite photography for accurate re-creations of neighborhoods. It also helps that the developer, best known for its Close Combat series, makes training simulations for the US military using game technology.

Six Days in Fallujah will be based on an all-new engine designed to create realistic structural damage for the game's almost completely destructible environments. Players will be part of a four-person fire team tasked with taking out any insurgents they encounter.

"For us, the challenge was how do you present the horrors of war in a game that is also entertaining, but also gives people insight into a historical situation in a way that only a video game can provide," Tamte told the Times. "Our goal is to give people that insight, of what it's like to be a Marine during that event, what it's like to be a civilian in the city and what it's like to be an insurgent." Atomic has not yet decided on whether or not insurgents will be playable.

Six Days in Fallujah is expected out sometime next year. According to GamePro, the game is in development for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

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