Who Would Jesus Shoot? UN Peacekeepers!

Left Behind: Eternal Forces

“Praise the Lord!” they shout as the vile UN forces are ground under the treads of Jesus’ own tank brigade beneath a large ad for Dell computers plastered on an in-game billboard.

We’ve all been searching for a game where you can play as a group of militant Christian evangelists fighting the evil forces of Secularism, and we’ve finally found it. Left Behind: Eternal Forces is a game where the UN and its Antichrist leader Nicholae Carpathia (which must be pronounced Niiiiiic-ko-lie Kar-PAAAAAAA-thee-uh to obtain its full amusement factor) are vilified along with all non-Christians, education and rock music. If it weren’t a video game itself, Left Behind would almost certainly have included them in its list of the forces of evil as well.

Set in the early aftermath of “The Rapture”, an event in which some Christians believe that they will be instantly transported to Heaven before the world is thrown into chaos by the Antichrist, Left Behind starts with a premise that at least some segment of the gaming world could get behind.

The real world counterparts of the game villain “Secularists’” on the other hand, while they may think that the idea of a game world where all of the evangelical Christians suddenly disappear from the face of the planet sounds fun, will quickly be disappointed when they find out the evangelicals still manage to preach at you from The Great Beyond, and the goal of the game is actually turning into them!

You use your “Recruiter” units to raise the “Spirit Level” of neutral characters until they are converted. Trying to thwart your efforts are the members of the evil “Global Community” which consists of such vile beings as “Rock Stars” who play ungodly music, “Secularists” who specialize in deception and “Cult Leaders” who, along with many other evil units, are trained in dreaded “Colleges”.

Murdering unbelievers along with other atrocities such as seeing secularist propaganda and listening to rock music can lower your units’ “Spirit Levels” until they lose faith and switch sides. Fortunately, as in real life, there is a simple cure for all ills: prayer.

Whether you’ve heard a song that doesn’t glorify God, or you’ve merely shot a dozen people in their evil Secularist faces, prayer can bring your “Spirit Level” back up and keep you from losing faith.

It’s interesting that the performers of the game’s own Christian Rock music are not vilified along with other Rock Stars. Perhaps they managed to escape the malevolent clutches of the evil education system unscathed by college?

One of the most disturbing things about this game is that while it portrays the Christian Tribulation Forces as good in their ceaseless efforts to convert or kill the unbelievers, it shows musicians and unbelievers as forces of evil, even aligning them with cult leaders! Since when are “secularists” on the same side as cult leaders? Apparently since the poor martyr complex ridden evangelicals decided that life is just one big fight pitting Real Christians against Everyone Else.

Back in the game, God’s holy bullets rip through the bodies of the Global Community Peacekeepers (UN Peacekeeper stand-ins) as “Amazing Grace” plays in the background and the Tribulation Forces take down another group of unbelievers in the name of the Lord. This mind-bogglingly strange dichotomy is taken from the second official trailer for the game, so the sickness of this pairing is apparently lost on them.

In a vain attempt to make these battle scenes more palatable, the game’s designers chose to make it blood free. Sure, you can kill tons of people, but your poor little eyes are perfectly protected from the real problem with violence; the blood. Apparently it’s not that whole “killing” thing that’s a problem, just seeing the results.

At least the game won’t let you mow down groups of neutral people — until they decide to oppose you that is. Then they’re as bad as any lying Secularist pig and they deserve to be burned at the stake. If only the game’s designers had thought to include an Inquisition weapon set.

Left Behind II

Not content to sit on its laurels (such as they may be), Left Behind Games is hard at work on a sequel to its first multi-million dollar losing flop.

As it is likely to be another colossal failure, we should lend them our full support in its development. If the Left Behind publishers continue to bleed themselves dry with one financial blunder after another, we won’t be subjected to their garbage for much longer.

Unfortunately for Left Behind Games, they were unable to hide the blood pouring out of the gaping wounds in the game at launch. They have since released a patch that supposedly addresses at least the most egregious of the game’s bugs and faults, but one has to wonder, if God blesses endeavors He supports and curses those he dislikes, then perhaps this is a game that God doesn’t want us to play?

Despite Left Behind Games’ attempts at intimidating people through legal threats into not criticizing their prodigious flop of a game, major review sites kept their criticisms and low ratings up, which is probably a major reason for the multi-million dollar loss on this steaming pile of “How Not to Make a Game.”

Unless you’re in the mood for a buggy, preachy game of Christian Jihad, Left Behind: Eternal Forces is a good game to leave behind.

This entry was posted in Games and tagged , by Kazz. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kazz

My name is Shawn Esplin and I am an advocate of Free Thought and general good sense and thought in general. To that end, I encourage people to seriously question the things that they have been taught, especially as children, because many of these things - religious and secular - are taken on faith until we actively choose to seriously examine them for ourselves.

6 thoughts on “Who Would Jesus Shoot? UN Peacekeepers!

  1. Pingback: Better Than Faith Reviews Left Behind: Eternal Forces | Vox ex Machina

  2. Really? I find that not believing in gods is not something I have a choice in, it is simply the conclusion I have come to based on the evidence.

    I can’t just start believing in gods any more than I can start believing that I have four arms. I could pretend I believed it, but then I would just be a liar.

    I can understand not wanting to label yourself with the word “atheist”, and I’m not always happy about using it either, but it’s the closest word I can find to let people know that I don’t believe in any gods.

    As for this game review in particular, you may or may not be surprised to know that many Christians were also against the game. Some of the reasons they didn’t like it were because they thought it was a bad portrayal of Christianity, because of the violence, or just because it was just not a very good game.

    I don’t know what you believe at this point, but if you really think that we’re doing something wrong here, please be more specific about what you think the problem is.

    We’re happy to get feedback, and enough people dislike something about the way we’re doing things then we will at least seriously consider changing them.

  3. How funny you should say that, Kazz, because I found that believing in God is something I didn’t have a choice in, either, due to the evidence. I can’t stop believing in God anymore than I can stop believing that I have two arms.

    Anyway, as far as the game goes, most of the criticism of this game from Christians and non-Christians was due to loads of misconceptions, half-truths, and lies spread by non-Christians who had never even played the game. If they had, they’d know there’s no “convert or kill” in the game and that all aspects of the game (from the website to the manual to the game itself) blatantly denounce such a thing. In fact, you can lose the game if you kill by violating the “peaceful resolution” goal for the levels. I have never once seen anyone criticizing the game talk about any of that, which makes me think one of two things: either they have never actually played the game (like this “review” indicates by the reviewer basing their comments on a trailer for the game) or they played the game and are lying about it.

    Truly neutral reviewers have completely disagreed with the lie that this game promotes “convert or kill.”

    IGN: “To keep the balance of power in your favor, you’ll have to find non-violent ways to avoid getting killed. Your units will definitely fight back in a life or death situation but, for the most part, you want to either avoid your enemies or have a ready plan to convert to your side using musicians and disciples. This gets much harder as the game progresses.”

    ArsTechnica.com: “Many groups have made inaccurate statements about this game that need to be corrected. For one thing, it is not particularly violent. While there are violent aspects of the game, the game makes it clear that shooting is the last resort. Second, it is not hateful to other religions. It does have an agenda, and I think you need to know that going in, but there’s no bashing of other faiths.”

    GameSpy: “The other “controversial” aspect of the game is its explicit connection to evangelical Christian philosophy. Here too, the hysteria is seriously overblown. Within the game itself, the amount of proselytizing is kept to a minimum. Units bow their heads to pray in order to replenish their “spirit” resource and giving a unit orders may elicit a response like “For the Lord!” or “In His name!” Prayer scrolls with Biblical verses are also available as power-ups that can call down angels for bonuses, but anyone looking for explicit “Kill the unbelievers!”-style content to justify their fear of the game won’t find it here. The biggest “message” portion of the game is actually the “Learn more” screens that become available after each mission. These display interesting text passages about the history of Christianity and CliffsNotes versions of aspects of evangelical theology while playing cuts from top-selling Christian musical acts (with a convenient “buy the album” link to the Internet).”

    Even the Anti-Defamation League (no friend of evangelical Christianity), while criticizing the game’s supposedly “exclusionary” theology, denied the game promotes “convert or kill”: “Conversion to Christianity in the game is not depicted as forcible in nature, and violence is not rewarded in the game.”

  4. Sorry I didn’t respond to this years ago, but I don’t think I ever saw your last response!

    When I talked to you above I did call it a “review”, but that’s not really accurate, and I intentionally avoided calling it a review when I wrote it because it really is not one. It’s a collection of information about the game both from official sources and other people who did post reviews.

    Some of them may have been biased, and some of them may not have played it, but I tried not to let those people sway me unduly. Most of what I talked about is based on what really is in the game though. Things that I saw for myself through screenshots and descriptions, and even official trailers from the game’s creators.

    You may think that trailers aren’t much to base my opinions on, but they are the way that the game’s creators or owners chose to publicly portray their work, and they are as valid as any other piece of evidence of their intentions.

    Despite the provocative title of this post, I know that the killing of non-Christians is not the game’s primary goal, but I find many of its messages disturbing, or even reprehensible.

    To the game’s creators, even if killing people is not the preferred path in life or in the game, all it takes is faith and prayer to make things right. That is a fundamental difference in our views of the world, and one that I find disturbing and frankly sickening.

    As much as many Christians deny it, at the core of Christianity is the divestment of personal responsibility; the use of a scapegoat (Jesus) to “balance the scales” through faith and prayer, rather than through actually making things right with those you have harmed.

    As I understand it, when your troops kill other people, they don’t go and apologize to the families of the dead for what they “had” to do, do they? Maybe offer food, shelter and protection to the families of the slain who may have little chance of being safe, or even surviving, after losing their fathers, brothers, or whoever else might have gone down in a hail of holy fire from God’s guns? Do they rush the enemy wounded to the hospital? I would be surprised if they did anything of the sort, and I haven’t heard of such actions being necessary, or even available, in the game.

    Instead you pray. Pray so you don’t lose faith. It is all about you and your god of vengeance and destruction. If they won’t convert, who cares about the evil educated secularists who have to die to achieve your goals? They must not have been doing anything good in the world, and their families and other dependents just don’t matter. Just pray to God to take the burden of your own actions off of your shoulders, and to forgive you in case you made Him angry. That’s what counts. Right?

    It’s the same attitude that disgusts me in reality, but even more clearly defined.

    Like many evangelicals, the game seems to have anti-education leanings and to promote ignorance. I would be surprised if it didn’t hide that behind the facade of accepting pious Christian learning, but as good as many Christian schools/home schools/seminaries/etc. are at teaching some form of Christianity and Christian apologetics, they are generally abysmal at teaching any subject which might come into conflict with religious beliefs – many, if not most, sciences for example.

    You, and all of these reviewers you quote, really miss the point. The violence is just one unsavory aspect of the game. Where the bulk of the problems lie is with the promotion of the already all-too-common-among-evangelicals anti-secular, anti-education, arrogant and xenophobic beliefs that are deeply interwoven in the game.

    “it is not hateful to other religions. It does have an agenda, and I think you need to know that going in, but there’s no bashing of other faiths.” (ArsTechnica)

    I literally could not care less that they didn’t choose to enflame the passions of other over-zealous believers in different supernatural superstitions. What it does do is create a caricature of the only real alternative, that being acceptance of the observable natural universe, and treat it as if it is utterly ridiculous and over-the-top movie villain evil.

    “The other “controversial” aspect of the game is its explicit connection to evangelical Christian philosophy. Here too, the hysteria is seriously overblown. Within the game itself, the amount of proselytizing is kept to a minimum.” (GameSpy)

    Again these people miss seeing the forest because it is so dense that they only notice a few outlying trees.

    You can’t take a game which is entirely based on a premise exclusive to certain Christian groups (the rapture, etc.), which is named for and inspired by a series of books that, if they have a purpose other than bilking Christians out of a lot of money for an endless string of mediocre books, is to proselytize, and pretend that it is not deeply and unquestionably infused with the same messages and goals.

    Sometimes proselytizing is standing on a street corner with a bullhorn yelling that all of the “fags” and “whores” crossing your path are going to burn in Hell if they don’t turn to Jesus. Sometimes it is feeding, clothing and generally helping a homeless person and just at the very end hugging them and whispering “Jesus loves you.”

    The tactics are vastly different, but the intent is the same. This game may not be as in-your-face about pushing Christian faith as it could be, but it amazes me that anyone would suggest a game that is so deeply and thoroughly tied to and portraying a specific Christian belief system is doing a minimum of proselytizing. I suppose that’s why it works on a lot of people – they don’t realize it’s happening.

    There are games which are made just for fun, where the creators have no intention of sending a deeper message to players, but this is clearly not one of those games.

    Finally, you said “I found that believing in God is something I didn’t have a choice in, either, due to the evidence. I can’t stop believing in God anymore than I can stop believing that I have two arms.”

    Would you mind letting me in on this evidence you speak of? I’ve looked long and hard to find it, and so far it seems to be a decades-long snipe hunt. ;)

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