27 December 2009

PS3, next-gen game set in Dubai !

UPDATE : UAE Newspaper 'The National' reports on it.

I've been waiting forever and forever for this to happen, but finally ! A next-gen is currently being produced that has a post-apocalyptic Dubai as it's backdrop. G.K Flash : Abu Dhabi, Dubai's neighbour is the capital of the UAE and not Dubai. The game, Spec Ops: The Line, is a reboot of the popular "Special Ops" games of the budget PS1 era.

The storyline is set in post-apocalyptic, and thankfully there are no monsters here (unlike Left 4 Dead). Cataclysmic sandstorms have wrecked the playground of the rich and the opulence of the city is history. Sandstorms have buried the city altering the landscape for interesting combat situations. A US Army squad that had stayed behind to protect those incapable of self-defence runs into trouble themselves.As U.S. Army Captain Martin Walker, you and your elite Delta Force team are sent to infiltrate the treacherous region to bring Konrad home.
If you ask me, the best part of the game is the adversaries are terrorists. It's just so depressing to have to kill ugly monsters and zombies alone, that too in an apocalyptic setting. For gamers like me, what makes Left 4 Dead 2 so attractive despite being apprehensive of the zombie-shooter types is the comfort in numbers. You are surrounded by three violent (if killing zombies with chainsaws and rifles is violent) friends throughout L4D2 who help you. Shooting zombies in Dubai would sound attractive, but killing terrorists is a much better option. 2K Games better avoid equating the terrorist groups with you-know-what. The adversaries in the game must be universally deplorable. You get what I'm hinting at.

The official announcement is a late 2010 release date. But it would have to face stiff competition from numerous other titles also releasing around that time such as Medal of Honor and Halo: Reach, as well as a likely 'Call of Duty' release.

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20 December 2009

Min.73 Saudi soldiers killed in Yemeni operation

At least 73 Saudi soldiers have been killed, 470 wounded and 26 are missing since Yemen's rich neighbour entered the conflict in November when the Al Houthi rebels that were fighting the government since the Yemeni military launched Operation Scorched Earth on August 11 launched a cross-border raid that killed a Saudi border guard and occupied two villages on Saudi territory. The capable Saudi air force and military launched an assault that killed dozens and dozens of rebels over the next few weeks.
Despite having a superior army to that of the rebels, the Saudis did sustain single-digit casualties over the subsequent weeks that soon rose to a figure under 20. It's shocking that for such an equipped army the casualty figure has risen so high. The army's weapons and equipment definitely do inspire confidence, something observed by the Saudi Assistant Minister of Defence, Prince Khalid, who said he "was amazed by the troops’ tactical skills and management of the battle".

We are not going to stop the bombing until the infiltrators retreat tens of kilometers inside their border,” Prince Khaled said on a visit to Saudi troops in southwestern Jizan province.
“As you stand fighting in the battlefield of honor sacrificing your lives to secure your homeland and its integrity, I am confident you are making a great victory,” he said addressing the troops.

I shared Prince Khalid's amazement too, but now in a different manner. As an American ally, American funds definitely went quite some way in modernizing the army, but almost two months after the invasion, which was mainly aerial, 70 martyred is a not-so-stellar figure. However, we should be glad that we at least got to know about the casualty figures on the non-rebel side."Dozens and dozens of rebels killed" isn't so comforting if an equal no. of soldiers are killed.

Unfortunately, much of the casualties on the Yemeni army side goes unreported and since their special forces are currently engaging in operations aimed at neutralizing the top leaders of the Houthis, we can only hope the KIAs are kept to a minimum. The dream of no K.I.As is a dream that will probably remain just a dream for the underarmed, under-equipped army that backs even basic armour for it's troops.

Source - France24

05 December 2009

Stunning pictures of Afghan Army's battle with the Taliban

Often, we get to see pics of American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan during their tour of duty, chilling out at their bases and the kind. Time magazine recently presented a new photo essay featuring 14 shots of Afghan soldiers by Alvaro Ybarra Zavala. The essay takes an intriguing look at the conditions of the soldiers and their daily life. I watched a show on the Pentagon Channel where an American soldiers asks whether it's possible to have a game room and jacuzzi at their base in Afghanistan ! The senior replies with some footage of a wide indoor food court and other luxuries. The soldiers of Afghan National Army meanwhile rely on volleyball courts and radios for entertainment. Meanwhile, read an article about the Pakistani and Indian influence in Afghanistan.

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