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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Is Xbox game a vision of our Shattered Union?

This one got on my short list of upcoming video games to look forward to a few days ago when I first heard about it: Shattered Union from PopTop Software, arriving on the Xbox (and Playstation 2 and PC) on October 4th.
It's a turn-based strategy game set in the year 2014, following the break-up of the once-great United States of America. This write-up from Business Week does a better job of explaining it:
So here's the deal. In the not too distant future the U.S. is the victim of a ridiculous amount of terrorist attacks, the most devastating being the nuke that vaporizes Washington D.C. One minute the President is celebrating his election victory and the next he, his cabinet, and the White House are vaporized. With no commander in chief/Congress, which is essentially the same as going away for the weekend and hiring a bunch of teenagers to watch your house, the country becomes totally unglued. Suddenly several states form their own unions and break off from their neighbors, becoming Greater California, New Republic of Texas, the Yankee Union (though I'm almost positive that New York and Boston will still argue over baseball), Arcadia (which is comprised of Pacific Northwest), Dixieland (I don't want to even imagine which states make that up), and finally the Heartland. Also, to make matters worse, a bunch of foreigners who call themselves the European Expeditionary Force thinks they know what America needs, but they're just sticking their noses where they don't belong. Yup, it's a real mess, as in worse than my closet.
There's some really good screenshots and Quicktime movies over at GameSpy that set the tone for what this game is set to offer. It looks pretty disturbing, to be honest: who's to say we aren't headed for a scenario like this in the not-too-distant future? Our political system is already corrupted beyond redemption, several states (especially those on the border with Mexico) are getting fed-up with Washington's laziness in handling the illegal migrant problem, and all it would take is one well-placed terrorist act to wipe out everything necessary for centralized rule and then the whole thing would fall apart in a... well, a shattered union. I'm gonna be keeping my eye on this one, it might be well worth investing in.