An unlikely consumer software developer, the US Army, is helping Joe Public get in on the gung ho action with the release of a game based on the Unreal engine.
America's Army is due for release in July and will be free for download from Americasarmy.com.
Based on the engine from popular first-person 3D shooter Unreal, the game is split into two sections.
The first, designed to get the blood pumping in heat-of-the-action battle mode, allows up to 32 players to battle it out online in a set of specific scenarios, such as fighting off a terrorist threat.
"We know that Americans love this type of electronic entertainment," Major Chris Chambers of the US Army's Office of Economic and Manpower Analysis, said in an interview with USAToday.
In a unique twist, players will only be able to join a unit in the online army assault team if they first go through a number of training missions, including an obstacle course, rifle range, airborne school, sniper school and ranger school.
The second game, which is less trigger-happy, but playable offline, is a role-playing game that challenges the player to complete a set of "life goals" by making money to go to college, getting married, then becoming an officer.
Then leaving the forces and getting a job in McDonald's. Actually, we're joking about that last bit.
The army has branded the game as a "positive marketing tool"."Essentially, America's Army is a communication tool designed to show players what the army is - a high-tech, exciting organisation with lots to do," said Chambers.
In short, the American way in a box.
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