Well here we go; our first Game review. A lot of the industry suffers from the tail wagging the dog when it comes to giving you the straight and level (with regards to honest) reviews of equipment, guns, gear and...yes, video games. It's been a real eye opener for me since I started writing and a big reason I started writing for Kit Up. Military.com supports our reviews, even if we give a harsh review towards an advertiser.
The gaming industry is a billion dollar industry and very protective of their bottom line. It takes millions to develop top titles, so I can understand why companies would get a bit defensive and go after gaming journalists. See the links at the bottom of this post to see what I'm talking about.
Our main goal on Kit Up is to feature great gear that we believe in, and occasionally point out some stuff you should stay away from. And like I learned in my first SEAL platoon, if you have a problem, bring a solution. We strive to do that on this site. If we see something wrong, we point it out, discuss it with you guys, and come up with positive feedback that (if manufacturers listen) will ultimately drive better R&D and end user product. At the very least ,you know you are getting an honest look from us.
So as we make our foray into military games, we will focus on three things: 1. Gear (did they get it right?) 2. Guns (would this work in the real world?) 3. Tactics (would Warfighters really do that?).
These points are extremely important for authenticity in my opinion. After all, would Madden want players kicking 70 yard field goals consistently in his signature football games? Would Tiger Woods endorse a game that let golfers hit a hole in one on a par 5 course? Hell no! But that's what it's like for me and the contributors on here when we spot a supposedly "authentic" military game that lets you shoot down an Mi-24 with a 7.62 round. It just doesn't happen that way in the real world!! Maybe MW3 should have a "fantasy" and "reality" mode? Or they should start working with guys who know what the hell is going on in the real world.
Well, you finally you have a place that will give it to you straight. I imagine a lot of gamers want to know if these military games are authentic, and like it or not, Kit Up is going to shoot center mass.
Sean Nack is helping us get it right with our game reviews. He's an experienced gaming journalist and former 10th mountain combat vet. Sean is excited to get off the leash and give it to you between the eyes, something clearly missing with current reviews if you ask me. Since this is new for us on Kit Up, please help us spread the word and hit the FB like button and Retweet at will. We want to light it up and we need you on the heavy weapons!
Thanks everyone and enjoy our first review!
Modern Warfare 3
Kit Up's Sean Nack says...
As a soldier, there’s a part of me that wants to pick apart every work of fiction I see and evaluate its tactical accuracy. Would you really want to try to shoot down an Mi-24 with a UH-60 mounted 7.62mm minigun? Would a seasoned SAS captain really eschew all the modern optics available, from ACOG to Zeiss, to roll with flip-up iron sights? Are there massive EOD-style suits that will make you virtually invulnerable to bullets and explosions? Modern Warfare 3 says “yes, yes, and YES,” even if your keen tactical mind says “no, no, NO.”
The Modern Warfare series has nailed gear for years. For example, when MW2 came out in 2009, I scoffed at the idea of the “tactical hoodie”. But after some googling, I found myself quietly apologizing to 5.11 Tactical and Condor. The franchise has even managed to keep up with the changing tactical landscape, registering fairly subtle shifts like the transition away from the elaborate and heavy thigh holsters to the chest holster, or the move away from jacket-style field uniforms to combat shirts.
Indeed, the game is pretty savvy gear-wise, but we have to remember: this is a videogame, and sacrifices must be made. In MW2, for example, a common AT-4 could be used as a heat-seeking MANPADS. Does the average gamer know what a MANPADS is, aside from the set-up for any number of sanitary napkin jokes? Probably not. And like any work of fiction, gaming requires a necessary suspension of disbelief.
Playing through the single-player campaign, for example, is just like watching an action movie, with all of the forced drama and tactical inaccuracy. You wouldn’t want to try to take down an Mi-24 with any variety of 7.62mm weapon, because it’s armored against .50 caliber rounds; 7.62mm is going to scratch the paint and not much more, but playing that segment? Fantastic.
In short, MW3’s a good time, but it’s not replacing the Ranger Handbook any time soon.
-Sean Nack is an experienced gaming journalist and former 10th Mountain 11B with 16 months at FOB Tillman in OEF VII-VIII.