War As A Game

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GameCore is a weekly column by CBSNews.com's William Vitka, Chad Chamberlain and Joey Arak that focuses on gamers and gaming.

The real war in Somalia begat the book, Black Hawk Down, which begat Ridley Scott's film which begat the PC game.

Now, Black Hawk Down is moving to the Xbox and PS2. It isn't quite a port; it's more like a Special Edition of its PC counterpart and it will be hitting store shelves in May.

They've tightened the game up and added what they hope will be the largest ever Xbox Live multiplayer support, with 50 people running amok on the digital battlefield.

There is variety, a cascade of multi-player game types: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Flag Ball and King of the Hill.

If none of those are your bag, Black Hawk boasts a four-player split-screen cooperative mode on the Xbox. PS2 users are confined to a two-player split-screen.

The game covers Somalia's full 18-month campaign, reenacting it in 16 single-player missions. NovaLogic told us that it is "as accurate a retelling of the events as is possible."

The company says one of their goals is educating people about what really happened there. Army Ranger John Collett, who was there on the ground and Novalogic's technical adviser, told us the Pentagon did a poor job telling the American public about the good the U.S. soldiers did there. Worse, he says, was the "ridiculous misinformation" broadcast by CNN at the time.

Truth be told, Collett is more interesting than the game and I wanted to know more about his experience.

"No bull," I said.

John smiled as we shook hands and agreed, "No bull."
  • William Vitka

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