I filed the review for ‘GRAW 2′ earlier today, so it should be up and running by the end of the week. Focused a little bit on the social aspect of the game, since it arrives at a time when stuff like the Minutemen, border tensions, and immigration issues are still regulars on the mainstream media. Hell, the game even ticked off the mayor of Juarez, the Mexican border city (and the main battlefield of GRAW 2).
I won’t rehash the review here … I liked the storytelling and the pace of the action more in this game than the last one, and I had a blast playing multiplayer, despite some lag issues and the lack of a bonafide cover system that was available in single player.
What I will expound on a little is the whole Tom Clancy-vs.-brown people trend that we mentioned on Friday’s All Games Interactive. Essentially, aside from Splinter Cell, you’re asked to shoot a lot of Mexicans in GRAW, Rainbow Six: Vegas, and now GRAW 2. I’m not saying this is a problem — just something I noticed.
What intrigues me about some of the complaining concerning the Clancy games is that it centers around image. Rainbow Six got slammed because there was fear the game projected a negative image of the city. Same with the Mayor of Juarez.
Let’s start with Vegas. It’s fine with being called Sin City, it has legalized prostitution, and an ad campaign that actually pokes fun at its own reputation for debauchery. There are TV shows dedicated to the shenanigans that happens in the casinos and some of its crime — and did I mention the legalized prostitution?
But once a scenario gets cooked up when terrorists use the city as a staging ground for its operations, then there’s a problem? Everything I just mentioned was true — yet there’s an uproar about a piece of fiction that focuses on fighting terrorism.
Now comes Juarez, which has been known as a haven for violent drug cartels for years. I happen to work with one of the better immigration reporters around (if you’re interested, she’s Sara A. Carter) and I’ve heard stuff about her trips to border towns that are bone-chilling. She went to Nuevo Laredo, which isn’t exactly known for being a picnic area, either. You hear stories of gunfights and people being killed, then chopped into pieces and buried in the backyard, That’s the word I hear on Juarez … and this was long before some game came along and used it as a backdrop.
Unfortunately, I think this is going to start (or increase) a trend of nations getting ticked at game developers for having the gall to use their soil in a body of fiction. China might get angry that Sam Fisher was in Hong Kong for a mission. Russian legislators could get angry because some fictional tanks got blown up near Moscow. I’m not saying it’s GOING to happen … but I wouldn’t be surprised.