By Elizabeth M. LorgeAugust 13, 2007
Washington (Army News Service, Aug. 13, 2007) Aca,!" America's Army will declare war on the fictional country of Ganzia Sept. 27 when it launches "True Soldiers" for X-Box 360, the latest evolution of the popular Army-sponsored computer game.
Players create a Soldier, go to basic and advanced weapons training, then deploy to Ganzia, an American ally overrun by a rebel militia. Each mission comes complete with a set of battle orders providing background information, objectives and intelligence.
True to its name, "True Soldiers" accurately depicts the Army, from the smallest unit patch to the shadow of a Raven unmanned aerial vehicle. Players can even give each other "coins" for saving a battle buddy and receive awards for valor.
Training and marksmanship tests reflect real Army standards, and uniforms, guns and other equipment model the real thing.
"We have all these weapons in our studio and artists can actually model them and texture them to make them look as real as possible," said Randy Greenback, creative director for the game. "Thanks to the Army, all of our developers were trained on how to reload and fire weapons, and we actually went out and did some training at Fort McClellan, Ala. We put everything we learned and experienced into the game."
The game focuses on leadership and teamwork so groups play together as units, but players may also participate individually.
"True Soldiers" is filled with background information on ranks, units, specialty occupations and the core Army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage.
"True Soldiers" also tells the stories of "America's Army: Real Heroes," six real Soldiers who received a Silver Star or Bronze Star with Valor for heroism in combat. The program is scheduled to release four action figures of the Soldiers in Toys "R" Us stores by the end of August and two more later this year.
"It's a great way to tell our stories," said Real Hero Sgt. Tommy Rieman, who will literally be the face of the game. "It's an honor and it's pretty cool."
"This is all very authentic, even down to the face paint, the goggles," he added. "This is one portion we bring to the table. We show them this is what a Soldier looks like and then the designers go in and put it into the game and you have the United States Army."
Parents concerned that the game is a little too life-like can set the program to use non-lethal training ammunition only. Enemy soldiers will simply sit down after being shot.
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