I don’t normally enjoy playing Facebook games, but a few months ago one caught my attention. I was extremely bored, and there was a game being advertised on my Facebook page. The game was titled “Supersniper 2.0”, and the add was a picture of some kind of sharpshooter, with some tagline that I don’t remember. I wasn’t expecting it to be very good, but like I said, I was very bored, so I clicked on the add.
I was redirected to another website for a development company named “Twisted Gaming.” The company logo appeared to be a red skull with horns. The site was very plain, with no fancy pictures, screenshots of the game, or anything, not even any Google ads. “Welcome to Twisted Gaming” it said. “You are hereby invited to participate in the official online Beta test for our new game, SuperSniper 2.0. We are currently testing a new technology that we hope will propel role-playing games into the next generation. We hope you enjoy playing.” At the bottom of the page, there was a link saying “Play Now”. I clicked it.
As the game was loading, I was treated to a text screen detailing the plot. The plot was very simple and typical of independent RPGs. Some strange disease had broken out in a small Midwestern town out in the middle of nowhere, turning all the victims into zombie-like creatures that would spread the disease by biting other people and also turning them into zombies. The virus had eventually overtaken all the residents of the town, and as the hero, the player was to dispatch them all using a sniper rifle.
The game loaded and I was left looking through the crosshairs of a sniper rifle. At the top there was red text that read “Camera 1, Level 1”. In the upper left-hand corner, there was a map of the town. All around the town, there were red triangles that were marked “Camera 2” through “Camera 10”. In the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, there was the “options” menu. I clicked it, then clicked “controls”. The mouse was used to turn the scope, the arrow buttons were for zooming, and I would use the space bar to fire. “Shift Q” would let me switch among different kinds of ammunition, the left and right arrow buttons would cycle through the types of ammunition, and the left and right arrows combined with the "Shift" key would cycle through the cameras.
I zoomed into the town. It looked like an old Route 66 town, with one road running through it. The graphics were nothing spectacular, but as I zoomed onto my first target, I noticed something striking. The body of the target was very realistic. The face in particular was exquisitely detailed, with the facial expressions being extremely well-animated. I couldn’t believe how much detail they had put into the target. But most unusual was the expression. It was one of fear, as if the target knew he was about to be executed.
I took the shot, and there was a slight lag between the sound of the shot and the trace of the bullet. This was a little annoying. The target must have heard the report, for he took off. I saw a couple other targets running away as well. Like their faces, their running movements were also very well-animated and realistic. This game was going to be a lot harder than I thought.
I couldn’t spot any more enemies on this side of town, so I clicked on Camera 10, on the opposite side. I saw another target, a woman this time. She had the same level of detail and the same terrified expression. She also started to run after I took the shot but it was too late. The round struck her in the left shoulder blade. She fell down. There was no blood, but for some reason the place where I had shot her had glitched out and become transparent. Then more of her started disappearing until I could see through almost all of her backside. She was crawling, struggling to get away. And though I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, her struggling and distress was somehow also very realistically animated. It was even a little sickening so I finished her off with another round. But even this wasn’t enough at first. She continued to breath and have nerve spasms. Looks like TwistedGames really was set on making the targets as realistic as possible.
A couple seconds later she finally died and a picture came up on the screen that said “Kill Cam!” at the top. The picture was of a dead, bloodied woman in a white outfit. It was very realistic, in fact it looked like a photograph. After a second or so the photo disappeared.
I was a little disturbed, but I kept playing. Each of the targets had the same level of realism, and each of them ran away each time I fired. Eventually I discovered that I had the option of going full-auto to make strafing runs, which made it a lot easier. Each time I killed a target, the part where I had shot them disappeared. Each time, a got another grizzly “Kill Cam!” photo, and each subject had the same white uniform. Eventually I noticed something even more disturbing. Each of the photos appeared to be taken in a real-life version of the town, in the same spot where I had killed the target.
After dispatching all the enemies, I was taken to Level 2. This level was much different. This time all I had to do was fly a drone over a lab where a terrorist organization was making the zombie virus and bomb it. After completing the objective, I was greeted with another “Kill Cam!” image. But this time it was a video, one of a burning building. I could even hear men shouting in a foreign language and I even thought I saw a couple.
For Level 3, I was returned to the town. The first target I saw looked like a little girl. I was appalled that they would include this in the game, so I decided to skip that target. The next target took a while to find. He was hiding between what looked like two fuel tanks that were there for some reason. I tried shooting at him, but couldn’t get a hit. Then I switched to incendiary rounds and blew up one of the tanks. As he ran, on fire, his entire body disappeared in mid-air.
The Kill Cam photo showed a completely charred body, with the two exploded fuel tanks behind it.
Up until now I had hoped and assumed that this had all been some kind of elaborate act. But after killing another enemy, I noticed something else.
The white uniform that all of the targets were wearing in the Kill Cam photos…well, you know that technology they use in movies like The Polar Express and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy for Gollum? Well……
The next day, there was a report on the news of a drone strike on a building in Iran, which killed several civilians. You can see why I wish to remain anonymous.