Destructive Creations, the studio behind the controversial but ultimately not-very-good twin-stick shooter Hatred, has announced its next project, and it’s about as subtle as you’d predict: a stationary shooter called IS Defense that tasks players with defending the â€œthe old continentâ€ of Europe against the invading forces of Islamic State in the year 2020.
â€œThe player takes the role of NATOâ€™s stationary machine-gun operator, deployed to defend the shores of Europe. His task is to blast as many of the invaders as possible, until his glorious death,â€ the Steam Greenlight description states. â€œTo do so, he has NATO support forces, his Machinegun and Rocket Launcher at his disposal. During the progress of this heroic defense, he gets the opportunities to upgrade his gear, his body and army rankâ€“which affects the efficiency of the called support.â€
It’s fundamentally silly, of course, and on one level it’s no worse than any other game that has you blowing apart onrushing hordes of Nazis or generic banana republic mercenaries. But the way it capitalizes on anti-Muslim sentiment—the studio describes it as â€œour personal veto against what is happening in the Middle East nowadaysâ€—in a bid to draw attention to what otherwise appears to be an entirely unremarkable addition to a long-moribund genre is troubling. And I say that as someone who had no particular issue with Hatred, aside from the way it did its best to give legitimacy to all of the worst of gamer stereotypes.
IS Defense is on Steam Greenlight now, and has already attracted a pile of comments, which I do not encourage you to read. It’s expected to be ready for release sometime in the second quarter of this year.