The Day After

Before I played September 12th, I immediately envisioned a “day after” tragic portrait of New York City- guessing it would be a game in which I would have to navigate throughout the aftermath on the streets.  I thought it would be sort of like “We Feel Fine” but more of an emotional look into the people of the city.  This was not something that really appealed to me, so I wasn’t really looking forward to the game.

Instead, this game was much more shocking than I had imagined.  The setting is in what I can only assume is Afghanistan.  There is a sandy landscape with palm trees, simple square buildings, outdoor markets, and people that seem to be in two categories: bad guys, and civilians.  There are even dogs and children running around.  It is a simple game and background, and I couldn’t figure out how to do anything but shoot.  Also, navigating through-out the game, you can’t really go anywhere, the entire landscape is the same.

The goal seems to be to hit the “bad guys” without harming any civilians, which seems to be impossible.  I fired a few times, and as I got a “bad guy” down, I also killed civilians, and even a dog.  The game plays with your emotions, as you hear a woman crying when you accidentally hit a civilian or civilian area.

The games says in the beginning that there is no winning or losing- just choosing to shoot or not to shoot.  At first, I shot many times, trying to hit my target, but it seems no matter how hard I tried, I also took out people and things that I really didn’t want to- such as a outdoor market, dog, or child.

The people all kind of look alike, and it is hard at first to spot the terrorists among the civilians.  Everyone has the same type of walk and seems to be moving at the same pace.  I assume that the point of the game is that it is very hard to kill the terrorists without hurting innocent bystanders, and that shows the harsh reality of war.