LOS ANGELES - For anyone who's ever played a knuckle-bitingly tense matchup in a first-person military shooter like "Call of Duty" or "Medal of Honor," the final act of the upcoming film "Zero Dark Thirty" will feel very familiar. It depicts, almost entirely in real time, Navy SEAL Team 6's after-hours raid on Osama bin Laden's compound last year in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Despite what might seem like a natural union, when it came to crafting a promotional tie-in between Kathryn Bigelow's film and Electronic Arts' video game "Medal of Honor: Warfighter," the gamemakers opted against constructing a virtual rendition of SEAL Team 6's takedown of bin Laden - or even digitally recreating his fortified compound.
Why? Well, it just wouldn't have been that much fun.
"We looked at different raids that happened, especially during the last years of this manhunt," said Kristoffer Bergqvist, the game's multiplayer creative director. "Certain raids worked better for a multiplayer setting than others. We ended up with these two places because they worked better for the kind of gameplay that we wanted than that most famous raid."
For the downloadable content pegged to "Zero Dark Thirty," the developers at Danger Close Games created a pair of sprawling levels based on real-world locales not actually depicted in the film: dangerous outdoor marketplace "Darra Gun Market" and mountainous enclave "Chitral Compound," once believed to be a bin Laden hideaway.
The downloadable "Zero Dark Thirty" map pack for "Warfighter" is set for release next week for $9.99 or free to gamers who purchased special editions of the game. "Warfighter" attracted controversy last month when Navy officials said that seven members of SEAL Team 6 were reprimanded for disclosing classified information to the game's creators.