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Inside the New Hezbollah Video Game: "Special Force 2" - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat – Hezbollah continues its propaganda activities in the video gaming world with the latest release of “Special Force 2″, a PC game based on last summer’s operation” Truthful Promise”.

Encouraged by the success of “Special Force” several years ago, “Special Forces 2” sees players reliving last summer’s war in Lebanon as they try to capture two Israeli soldiers, and then launch a successful missile attack on Israeli settlements.

Sheikh Ali Dahir, the official in charge of Hezbollah’s media activities, says the July 2006 war ended on 14 August of the same year but the electronic war continues.

He pointed out that Hezbollah had decided to launch a new game after the success achieved by the original “Special Force “, however when last summer’s war broke out, game designers felt compelled to incorporate it in the sequel’s overall plot, adding that, “The Lebanese child has the right to know what happened in the south so as to imitate the jihadist action and the act of liberating the land.” But Dahir stressed that the party is not presenting the game as an alternative to the violent American games that are invading the Arab markets and said they “are required to present an alternative to the Western patterns that are presented to us in names, language, and tones that are sometimes devoid of contents and at other times for not so innocent aims.”

When asked about the violent content of the military game, Dahir told Asharq Al Awsat, “It is true that it contains violence but it also contains a cause and a message. The Americans presented a game where their soldiers occupy Beirut and it is of course natural for us to have some objection.” He added that, “We are not presenting it as a game that does not contain violence but the difference is that the child does not play with a useless game without a cause or message.”

The “Special Force – 2” is a 3-D PC game with high quality graphics in addition to realistic sound effects. It is made up of eight stages that the player goes through in the company of a five-man Mujahidin support team.

The game starts with the “implementation of the operation to capture the two Israeli soldiers’ after completing the “training” stage. The player’s task is to monitor two Israeli military trucks and then destroy at least one of them. He then has to enter the border gate after blowing it up in order to capture the soldiers. The player is then asked to head to the Israeli military post near the site of the operation in order to bring in secret documents. The stage ends once the player gets these documents.

The second stage represents the clashes that took place in both Bint Jubayl and Marun al-Ras. In this stage at the Marun al-Ras Town the player must purge it from a number of soldiers backed by several tanks. The player is then asked to head toward Bint Jubayl market to destroy a sniper positioned in one of the buildings in the market center. The player is then told to head toward the sports complex in Bint Jubayl to prevent one of the soldiers from planting the Israeli flag in the soccer pitch. when that is done the player must then go to the hospital to clear it and its vicinity from the remaining Israeli soldiers.

The third stage represents the clashes in the Wadial-Tayyibah water project and Wadi al-Hujayr. This level starts at Al-Tayyibah project where the player is asked to clear the vicinity from the soldiers and then to head towards Wadi al-Hujayr. The player must then fire a salvo of Katyushas at the Israeli settlements. The player then continues on his way toward Wadi al-Hujayr where the decisive battle takes place and a group of tanks is destroyed. In the fourth stage, the player’s duty is to sink the “Sager” destroyer. The stage begins with an imaginary island where the enemy soldiers set up a military operations base. The player is asked to clear the island after which he sails in a boat toward the opposite coast. The player faces a number of soldiers before reaching his target and finds a rocket launcher which he will use to sink the “Sager”. The next stages are a repetition of the previous ones but at different stages of the war.

Fouad Rustum, the executive director in the Hezbollah’s Central Online headquarters, says that the game’s standard matches those of its US equivalent and that all the weapons featured during the war will also be featured in the game.

Hezbollah will offer the PC only game at a price of $10 and it will be sold in Syria, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates. Hezbollah Game-makers at present are preparing to launch an English version of the game in addition to a Farsi one. Rustum says the party is ready to market it in other countries but knows there are political reasons which might prevent this.

Additional Reporting By Mohammed Alkhereiji in London

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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