Hogs of War (PlayStation) review
"I canít focus. I can barely muster up enough energy to sit in a chair. My eyes are on fire, my fingers blistered and my answering machine is full because I donít have time to even pick up the phone. Itís ugly over here. But war is ugly and Iím at war. The sound of swine screaming in the background pierces my mind. The grenades shock me out of sleep like a nuclear alarm clock. The crimson has long turned the ground to mud, leaving it soft enough for the carcasses to seep into their hollow, honor-..."
I canít focus. I can barely muster up enough energy to sit in a chair. My eyes are on fire, my fingers blistered and my answering machine is full because I donít have time to even pick up the phone. Itís ugly over here. But war is ugly and Iím at war. The sound of swine screaming in the background pierces my mind. The grenades shock me out of sleep like a nuclear alarm clock. The crimson has long turned the ground to mud, leaving it soft enough for the carcasses to seep into their hollow, honor-less graves. My comradesí boots remain, though the rest of him has turned to ash and caught drift in earthís gentle breeze. I canít turn back now. Even though the enemy stands blatantly across the river, bazooka poised on his shoulder and aimed at me. I wonít runÖ I canít run. My turn is over and now I can merely sit here, trembling and weeping like a child as this pig takes his sweet time to try and end my life in the most violent way he can muster.
Hogs of war. A fitting title for us, donít you think? Considering weíre pigs--selfish pigs at that. Putting our swine lives on the line for what? Swill. Itís like oil to us squared nosed four-legged creatures and thereís an entire isle of it just waiting for usÖ one of us. Five other countries have plans just like ours: Pound every opposition in their wake until they rule all of Saustralasia, thereby gaining access to that golden island.
Itís not going to come cheap though. The reaper has his calendar full for the next year. This is a time where survival out weighs anything else. There is no family out here and I have no friends. It matters not that two weeks ago this fellow lined up in my rifle sights helped me change a flat tire. Nor do I care that innocents are dumb enough to stagger out under my air raid. Bomb the hell out of them all. The rain will wash away their jellied corpses.
Death comes to us all. And while Iíve accepted this as I step out onto this grainy, choppy land it is something I will never enjoy. Not knowing if my comrades, my fellow soldiers will see their families again. Not strictly because I get a promotion bonus if everyone survives but because Iíve come to love these pigs. Weíve grown up in this war. All of us have started out as grunts--the lowest ranking soldiers around. We matured down the road though. Some of us took the route of spies while others became medics, eager to lend their healing hands to a distraught comrade or blast us with medicine darts after a bout with poison gas. One of us even became a bombardier; the sickest most disturbed one in the bunch. Slinging mortars almost straight up in the air, firing his bazooka at horizon level just to scrape it across the sea at a pillbox. Crazy bastard. Iím even on my way to becoming a commando. Finally earn my water wings if you know what Iím saying. The rest of them drop like a stone if they try to swim. But if the general says swim, weíre bloody going to swim.
Ah the general. Every command he gives is crystal clear in my headset. Spouting out praise when we dust someone or giving us a heads up when heís dropping something useful. My mind has even grown accustomed to playing fitting war marches in my head. Though I only know a few, so it grows redundant. I welcome the explosions and the sounds of rifle bursts spitting out three bullets. Anything to drown out those stupid one-liners the enemy chokes up every time he attacks. Keep Ďem coming whelp! Iíve got my own. If this wasnít a war, these silly antics might actually crack me up. Russians, Chinese, Germans. It makes no difference to me anymore. Theyíre all pigs. They all look the same and they all die the same. Ironically cursing the world that they couldnít bare to part with while spouting out one last phrase with their dying breath. ďI feed on violence, and now I am fullĒ was the final mutter of the last fellow I took out with my sniper rifleóthe typical weapon of spies.
But damn the spies as well. They melt into the choppy background with ease. Masking themselves as trees, even boxes at times. Those four-eyed geeks get whateverís coming to them, if only I can find the scum. The pussies donít even have enough guts to show up on my radar. So Iíve to have to use the old-fashioned way: Sniff Ďem out. All I have to do is hit them once and their disguise is toast, even though it does take the brunt of my attack.
An attack Iím not so willing to give up. Thereís honor here despite what youíve heard. An amount of strategy is needed just like any other battlefield and we like to keep things fair even though our lives are on the line. Retaliation is accepted and encouraged. Weíll take our shot at youóone measly turn to try and rid the earth of your miserable presence before we all take a breather and let you pick at us for a change. You only get one shot too before we go again, so you better make it a good one.
Duck into sanctuaries I donít care. Iíll blow the damn things up with you in it. Heal up in your medic camps! That only lets me rip even more holes into your football hides. Trying to machine gun me from that pillbox, Iíll just duck behind this tree. Your frail little metal walls canít stop my mortar! You want to play chicken with tanks? Iím game. Perch yourself upon that hill you bastard! When I get up there, Iíll trotter you right off into the minefield. Iím sick. This war has made me sick.
My whole vision is fragmented now. Square noses?! Your entire body is square! War isnít pretty. It was never pretty. Youíve seared the land with your bombs you sickos. There is nothing lush or beautiful about this environment. Youíve tainted itÖ tainted it all. Maybe it was never gorgeousÖ maybe it would have crippled my eyes beforehand. Itís destroyedÖ all of it. I no longer see the beauty in any of it.
Thereís hope thoughÖ this war has become far too entertaining for me to walk away from it now. You ramble as you attack, and so you will ramble when you die. There is joy in being a pig; there is pride. Your questioning facial expressions as you stare down my barrel will not drown out my contempt for you. You have to die! You all have to die! Iím going to eat my eggs right next to your seared, smoldering corpse as Iíve turned you swine into breakfast as well. Youíre bacon. All of youÖ youíre bacon. Ah ha ha ha ha. OINK OINK!! AhÖ. HaÖ.. haÖ
At 06:00 Commander True was diagnosed with severe dementia due to an overwhelming amount of stress incurred during the war and sentenced to an undetermined amount of time to a sanitarium. Though he spends his days using the televisionsí remote control as a walkie-talkie, the refrigerator as a fort and the t.v. tray as a tank I have hopes that he will one day return to his rank and join his comrades on the battlefield. As True says every night before he ducks under the covers to avoid ďoncoming fire bombingĒ: This war isnít beautiful, but son of a bitch itís fun.
Community review by True (June 24, 2005)
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