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I'm Feeling Pretty Bad About Shooting All These Russian People

Illustration for article titled Im Feeling Pretty Bad About Shooting All These Russian People

"Defeat the monstrous mutants and barbaric brutes of Moscow’s underground" begins the description of the game I've been playing where I shoot vagrants and bag ladies in the face. Why am I killing all of these people?

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"Veiled terrors have transformed the inhabitants of Moscow into horrific demons," the description of Moscow Dash explains. Well, if they're horrific demons, then I...

Illustration for article titled Im Feeling Pretty Bad About Shooting All These Russian People
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... I mean, they're not pretty, but that's no reason to run around killing them in droves. They are trying to kill me, an armed courier tasked with delivering a mysterious package across the dark, gritty and sometimes scenic streets of Moscow, so I suppose that counts as self-defense. Still, I'm killing grandmas.

Not just grandmas, but the aforementioned vagrants, Chavs (at least that's what the description calls them), beefy legbreakers and a whole host of Russian stereotypes. It almost makes me feel bad for the folks walking by the windows of Russian developer Starkom. They must all look like targets.

When I'm not feeling incredibly bad for killing people, Moscow Dash is not a bad little game. I move from stage-to-stage, taking out these horrific demons...

Illustration for article titled Im Feeling Pretty Bad About Shooting All These Russian People

... gaining experience points, upping my stats and unlocking creative new ways to perform my duties. Music plays, mostly metal, mostly the sort that's so bad it starts to go good again. There are wailing guitars. Maybe that's why grandma wants me dead.

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It's a solid little game, with 70 episodes spread across 9 levels, delivering quite a bang for your just-under-a-buck. If I were shooting critters that looked less like extras from Day Watch, I might enjoy it thoroughly.

Instead, I enjoy it with a heaping helping of guilt. Sorry, Mom-Mom.

Moscow Dash

Genre: Side-scrolling shooter

Developer: Starkom

Platform: iOS

Price: $.99

Get Moscow Dash in iTunes

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DISCUSSION

redstripeenvy
redstripeenvy

I'm glad we're starting to ask these questions and considering the ethics of the protagonists in our games. There are reasons why people choose nonlethal options in games that allow it. I felt like an incredible badass in Deus Ex: Human Revolution when I completed a level without any casualties attributed to my presence. I came, I saw, I conquered, and those I conquered went home to enjoy a hot meal with their families at the end of the day.

Why are we constantly called upon, as gamers, to murder hordes of people?