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Review: Dogma and Left Behind: Eternal Forces

February 11, 2011

This has been one hell of a week. Since last Friday, I’ve gotten sick, got better, got sick some more, and had my grandfather taken to the hospital with low hemoglobin, get a transfusion, had him feel better, and seen the birth of a new Egypt. And still I update this piddly little blog that has no impact on anything. Because I’m committed to it. I said reviews every Friday and I stand by that. So here’s my review of Dogma and Left Behind: Eternal Forces.

The fourth installment of Kevin Smith’s View Askewniverse, the movie is about two renegade angels, played by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, who are trying to get into heaven. Along the way, they take vengeance on the sinful, including the majority of the board members of the Mooby corporation.

Meanwhile, Bethany Sloane, a Planned Parenthood worker, is visited by the seraph Metatron, who acts as the voice of God. She joins prophets Jay and Silent Bob, Rufus, the 13th apostle left out of the bible for being black, and Serendipity, the muse responsible for nine of the top ten grossing movies of all time, who works as a stripper on Earth due to a righteous bout of writers block, and together they proceed on a holy pilgrimage to a church in New Jersey.

The movie’s not bad. It’s not exactly Casablanca or Citizen Kane but it’s not Alone in the Dark either. The pacing is good, some of the jokes are a little hit-or-miss, but the references to pop culture are spot on. The casting is decent enough, although I’d like to see a Miramax film that doesn’t have Matt Damon or Ben Affleck in it. Kevin Smith stays mostly inside his comfort zone, but the few steps out are decent enough. Kevin Smith movies are kind of polarizing. It’s really a like-him-or-don’t kind of thing. If you like his style, then you’ll probably like this movie. If you don’t, then nothing in this movie will change your mind.

_________________________________________________________________

Left Behind: Eternal Forces. What.

I’m not even sure where to begin.

Okay, the basic story is that told in Revelations. The end times are here, the faithful have been raptured to Heaven, and four Born-Again Christians are in New York City to fight against the Antichrist’s world government. I’m gonna be honest, I couldn’t play this game for more than fifteen minutes at a time, because I was laughing too hard.

Technologically, it’s a fairly standard real time strategy. Thematically…hoo boy. Let me put it this way, it doesn’t feel like anything that actual Christians would make. It feels like a parody. The basic male unit wears a sweater over a dress shirt with slacks, so you command an army of Ned Flanders clones. Female units can only train as nurses or singers, soldiers are all “America, Fuck Yeah”, builders just want to get the current job done so they can go back on break, and the greatest threat to your faith is…heavy metal.

That having been said, the ability to convert enemy or neutral units is a fairly innovative bit of gameplay. The graphics…aren’t bad. Not great, but still decent. If it weren’t Christian to the point of self-parody, it might be worth playing. As it stands, keep away from this game at all costs. At least until someone decides to mod it.

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3 comments

  1. Well, I guess I can say that you were a bit more fair than other people who haven’t even played the game. You still use a lot of misinformation, however. Female units can be evangelists, doctors, and are the only ones who can become the most powerful unit in the game: the Prayer Warrior. Soldiers don’t say anything about America. Builders are versatile and crucial, particularly in missions where your buildings are attacked and need to be repaired. The heavy metal musicians on the Global Community’s side aren’t “the greatest threat.” In fact, more often than not, they leave you alone. Other GC characters attack or try to convert you if you get close. GC soldiers often hunt you down no matter where you are on the map.


  2. First of all, thank you for the feedback. At least I know that there are people who will let me know about it if they feel I’ve screwed the proverbial pooch. As for your actual objections to my review and the corrected information you posted, it really doesn’t matter. None of these things make the game any more fun, which is my number one priority for a game.

    This is a game that seems designed for the converted, and considering the source material that characterization isn’t too far off. Now, I’m not trying to cast aspersions about the Left Behind books. As a matter of fact, I have no opinion on the series at all.

    The series is poorly adapted to a game format. And it didn’t have to be this way. Seriously, if Left Behind Games (now Inspired Media Entertainment) had tried harder, if they had put just a little extra effort into making this game something that wasn’t a representation of almost every Christian fundamentalist stereotype, if they had just adapted one of the books to a game instead of trying to invent a completely new storyline, the game might have been decent. As it stands, the game isn’t any fun to play.

    EDIT: In all fairness though, Left Behind: Eternal Forces is still far and away the best game based on the Bible out there. If you want really bad Bible games, you have to go to Wisdom Tree back in the 90s. They, and only they, could possibly come up with the idea to take the engine for Wolfenstein 3D and make it into Noah shooting sleep-inducing fruit at animals on the Ark.


  3. I liked your article is an interesting technology
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