LOS ANGELES, CA – Amidst cries of outrage and controversy, Activision unveiled the latest addition to the Call of Duty franchise at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) last week, entitled Call of Jihad: Scourge of the Infidels. The first-person shooter, developed in conjunction with some of al-Qaeda’s top field experts, will be launched for both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 for release on September 11, 2013.
Like previous titles in the series, Call of Jihad will feature campaign, online multiplayer and a “Suicide” mode — reminiscent of “Survival” in Modern Warfare 3 — with the objective being to slaughter as many innocents as possible before a quick-reaction force arrives.
The campaign takes place in an alternate reality where infamous al-Qaeda operatives like Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi are still alive and Khalid Sheik Mohammed is a free man. The opening mission of the campaign, displayed as part of a teaser trailer at E3, takes place in the Pakistani compound raided by SEAL Team Six. The player must single-handedly dispatch the American commandos as Bin Laden escapes on a camel before time elapses.
Game developers also confirmed the martyrdom perk would always be turned on.
“It’s fucking sick!” squealed die-hard gamer Bryan Campbell, 17, of Manhattan, New York. "I give it two severed heads up!"
In an exclusive interview with Duffel Blog, Omar Khalifa, an al-Qaeda Public Relations Officer, disclosed the strategic purpose behind launching a video game:
“It’s a huge recruiting tool. Period. Initially, it was very difficult to garner support for COJ, especially amongst our more traditional and tenured members. ‘Why submit to the infidels’ ways? We have a perfectly fine review on Yelp!’ they said. And I responded, ‘In the words of our great leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, 'If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.'"
“The fact is, our youth are moving away from traditional pastimes," Khalifa continued. "Instead of stoning harlots, they're getting stoned. Kids these days just sit around all day smoking hashish, watching MTV and playing Xbox. We needed a way to reach out to them with al-Qaeda’s message, so we took a page from the U.S. military's playbook and decided to create a video game.”
Saif Aladeen, an al-Qaeda recruiter who normally works out of a booth in his local marketplace in Syria, flew out to Los Angeles for Call of Jihad’s premiere. "Personally, I love it. This is just what we need to bolster our numbers and ensure that we not only recruit promising operatives, but also the paper bitches that make blowing up infidels possible. I'm sorry, that was offensive — I meant POGs. A lot of kids watch newsreels from 9/11 and think anybody can crash an airliner into a building, and don't realize it takes a particular skillset to commit mass murder. With COJ, we estimate interest in al-Qaeda will triple."
"Have I told you about our life insurance policy? No? Well, if you join al-Qaeda today, we can guarantee 72 virgins of your choosing! Oh, okay, well, think about it," Aladeen added.
Still, there were some detractors from inside al Qaeda's ranks. In a review at an online gaming website, Mohammed Gul Ibrahim, an AQ financier, wrote:
"كان على ما يرام ولكن الرسومات اللعينة الله هي من الخراء"
Activision spokesperson Tony Schwartz offered little insight behind the gaming giant's contentious partnership, but was seen laden with excessive bling and heard exclaiming "Dollars, bitches!" before zooming off in a brand-new Lamborghini Countach with several belly dancers from the premiere.
Before his abrupt departure, Schwartz hinted at the limited release of a special edition Call of Jihad Xbox, featuring a tactical keffiyeh skin and digital camel dung controllers. The console is rumored to self-destruct after an unspecified amount of time, making it the "first of its kind among improvised explosive devices for the home and family."