Pharyngula

At last, I know what heaven looks like

There’s some weird video game coming out, called Heaven: the Game. It has a fairly elaborate web site, but it fails to say how you play the silly thing (I suspect you don’t get to form an army and assault the throne of heaven…). It does have lots of shots of the scenery, which finally reveals the Christian vision of paradise.

It looks a lot like an even more opulent version of the Vatican, populated with flexible, dewy porn stars. It’s actually not bad.

Comments

  1. #1 Negi
    October 28, 2008

    Are they for real with that? Seriously?

  2. #2 kryth
    October 28, 2008

    Heaven: the Game is the opiate of the few hyper religious gamer geeks.

  3. #3 Kel
    October 28, 2008

    I think I’ll stick to the civil war torn Kenya in Farcry 2 for my gaming preference, or the alien-overrun spaceship of Dead Space, or even the post-apocalyptic ruins of Washington in Fallout 3.

  4. #4 God
    October 28, 2008

    If this game comes for the 360 what would an achievment be. “Convert an Atheist.” Nah that would just be to hard.

  5. #5 Longinus
    October 28, 2008

    Axis is hot. :P
    So this is where the church money goes to…

    That said, I’d rather wait for GTA 4 to come to PC. GTA4 = the devil’s game. :D

  6. #6 Venger
    October 28, 2008

    Wow, so its like Christianity meets “Too Human”, and Heaven is apparently a place you can crash a space shuttle into while passing through the Asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. There’s spelling mistakes all over the site, watch any of the Axis messages for really horrible voice acting. But its all biblical. *snort*

  7. #7 alex
    October 28, 2008

    “Genesis works“? that’s a tad presumptuous.

    i’m sure Phil Collins would have something to say about that.

  8. #8 Todd Unctious
    October 28, 2008

    It’s a very Aryan looking heaven (even down to the blonde He-man Jesus and his particularly buff looking archangel Michael).
    By the way PZ, your movie just became available online, I guess the DVD has finally been released.
    It’s even worse than I expected !(and I expected abysmal).
    Expelled

  9. #9 Spencer
    October 28, 2008

    And Jesus is…. white!?

  10. #10 386sx
    October 28, 2008

    It’s funny how heaven is always full of things that people invented. Like, oh, houses and chairs and swords. And fountains. Always lots of fountains. And clothes. Plenty of clothes for sure. Oh yeah, and books too. God has a “book of life”, but he had to wait for people to invent books first of course…

  11. #11 df
    October 28, 2008

    With characters like Axis there’s just gotta be a “hot coffee” mod for Heaven.

  12. #12 Longinus
    October 28, 2008

    Hmm, Jesus/angels wear clothes in heaven too, does that mean they’re shameful (like adam and eve) as well?

    If it was a first-person shooter I may consider it…

  13. #13 Shane
    October 28, 2008

    It looks like a Myst clone with 360 degree pre-rendered scenes. The gameplay videos are actually pretty creepy with the bizarre architecture, statues, and the eerie singing voices.

    I don’t see a difference between using Christian mythology for a game as opposed to Greek or Norse or anything else. Although Valhalla would probably kick more ass, I think this Christan heaven environment would make for a really cool survival horror game. Escape from the creepy heaven place.

  14. #14 Ick
    October 28, 2008

    There sure are a lot of white people in this heaven.

  15. #15 Neslock
    October 28, 2008

    Looks like a Myst style game (point and click) to me; I didn’t see any actual walking scenes in the preview movies, just a lot of looking around while standing still. Very pretty scenery, though, and the “cross” hair is a nice touch.

  16. #16 Shane
    October 28, 2008

    “God has a “book of life”, but he had to wait for people to invent books first of course…”

    Nonsense, God was obviously the Divine Inspiration that led to the invention of books and writing and, well, everything else. Of course, you’d think by now God would have a “MacBook of Life”–and he probably does or, rather, always did as we can anachronistically apply modern day understanding to the interpretation of scripture.

  17. #17 Marcus Ranum
    October 28, 2008

    Someone really really needs to get on there and play Capt Stormfield. :D

  18. #18 wjv
    October 28, 2008

    Clearly they didn’t pay the copywriter as much as the Flash animator. Note the page on “Game features”:

    - 360 degree panning 3D world.
    - 360 degree panning stereo sound
    - Looping video inlays
    - Realistic Motion Capture animation. (House of Moves)
    - Seamless intergation of cut scenes.
    - 6 levels of intreging, meaningfull game play.
    - Unique 3d menu interface.
    - Beautifully concepted/rendered scenes.
    - Custom built 3d game engine -using Bink video.
    - Animated lens flares
    - Unigue animated game cursors.
    - Powerfull Bibical content.

    That’s all entirely (sic), down to the punctuation.

  19. #19 Epistaxis
    October 28, 2008

    Ooh, I see they hired the soundtrack guy from Every Shoddy Action Movie Trailer.

  20. #20 Lyle
    October 28, 2008

    I certainly hope they have a remedial spelling class in Heaven, because the designers didn’t learn much down here. The Kings remind me of Michael Phelps. If God is so much against women and sex as the bible and the koran implies, I doubt seriously you would find an Axis character. I thought Angels were sexless? Who knew? I don’t care how wonderful it looks, if my fundie ex-family are going there, I don’t want to be a part of it. Dreadful folks.

  21. #21 Kel
    October 28, 2008

    Although Valhalla would probably kick more ass, I think this Christan heaven environment would make for a really cool survival horror game. Escape from the creepy heaven place.

    Now THAT I would play. Can you imagine the protests though?

  22. #22 Stephen Ockham
    October 28, 2008

    Valhalla would make a great setting for a game. I mean, in some descriptions it sounds like you play Unreal Tournement in the flesh all day, then your wounds heal and you drink buckets of mead and feast all night. And in their cosmology, bad shit can happen in their afterlife setting, including, quite importantly, the death of all mortals and gods and whatnot.

    Christian heaven as a game? I think my favourite depiction of Christian heaven was in the fifth (sixth) book of Johnny The Homicidal Maniac, which I gather is a reference PZ would get at least.

  23. #23 JonathanL
    October 28, 2008

    In the image that compares the angels they have Axis listed and her authority is ‘Bride Class’. Yay, who wants to be the slutty bride doing flips in heaven!?

  24. #24 Longtime Lurker
    October 28, 2008

    (even down to the blonde He-man Jesus and his particularly buff looking archangel Michael)

    Any Jesus/Michael slash fiction out there?

  25. #25 Cath the Canberra Cook
    October 28, 2008

    This would be easy: just use the info from revelations and you can convert a star trek borg game!

    Heaven is a Borg cube. Srsly. Read this: http://nobeliefs.com/heaven.htm

  26. #26 OctoberMermaid
    October 28, 2008

    #14

    Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. Everybody’s white.

    Maybe they’ll take a Valkyrie Profile approach and Jesus will turn out to be evil and you’ll get to fight him.

    “You fools! I AM A GOD!”

    Don’t think he’ll be able to top the famous villain laugh from Valkyrie Profile, though…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBhksfGFiQ8

  27. #27 KeithM
    October 28, 2008

    Count me in amongst the people who noticed that the heavenly denizens had a distinct lack of melanin. It looks pretty much like one would think a Nazi’s wet dream would look like, complete with the buff Aryan male angels to, you know, deal with their closeted personal issues.

  28. #28 Richard Eis
    October 28, 2008

    It’s going to suck.

    They should have done an RPG. Not some dumb Myst clone.

    Ridicule is no fun when it’s this easy.

  29. #29 BigDan
    October 28, 2008

    Man, Atheists and Christians alike are all gonna feel really dumb when it turns out Heaven was just hidden in the asteroid belt.

  30. #30 Stephen Ockham
    October 28, 2008

    @26

    Oh, I loved VP so much. I never played the PS2 sequel, and I have little faith (har) in the upcoming FFTactics-alike follow-up.

    here is a little bonus awesome trivia for you, since you mentioned Lezard’s distinctive laugh and voice – he was voiced by Maddie Blaustein, a transgendered VO artist who, according to wikipedia did the following voices in the game:

    # Addie Blaustein: Arngrim, Barbarossa, Gabriel Celeste, Lawfer, Lezard Valeth

    That’s right, the manic high pitched Lezard and the gravel growl of Arngrim provided by the same VO artist. Impressive, I thought.

  31. #31 CaladanGuard
    October 28, 2008

    The cinematic isn’t terrible. I’d be tempted to give it a whirl with my gaming group for entertainment, though it would be fun as an action. Myst-style doesn’t leave much potential for delicious Heaven modding.

    Though looking at the shiny but content light Genesis Works website, I wouldn’t hold out much hope for a release.

  32. #32 Jadehawk
    October 28, 2008

    someone needs to shoot the idiot who thought that much frilly flash was a good idea….

    and there’s something seriously creepy about the Axis character. I don’t know whether it’s the kinky bride aspect (kinda like the catholic schoolgirl stuff) or the impressive flexibility.

  33. #33 Jérôme ^
    October 28, 2008

    Axis, being the only female up here, is probably the villain of the story… Well, at least, she looks quite creepy to me (despite being gorgeous).

  34. #34 Ritchie Annand
    October 28, 2008

    Aww, I was hoping for something more along the lines of Requiem: Avenging Angel where the Fallen were going to put a bunch of people into cold sleep in a spaceship and smash it into heaven, which is hiding behind an optical illusion of stars. You could turn people into salt and the realm of Chaos was pretty disgusting.

    Mythological games are supposed to be fun like that :)

  35. #35 Dag Yo
    October 28, 2008

    Okay it looks bloody awful. But in it’s defense I do have a thing for women with pronounced hips.

  36. #36 Paper Hand
    October 28, 2008

    Wow … that’s just insane …

  37. #37 Ka
    October 28, 2008

    It reminds me of that South Park episode when Kenny goes to heaven. I just waited for the angel to sniff his felt pen.

  38. #38 OctoberMermaid
    October 28, 2008

    #30

    Oh, you absolutely MUST play Silmeria. I’m not kidding. It’s fantastic. It turns the story of the first game completely on its head and has one of the greatest villains.

    Also, Lezard’s VO is replaced by the always capable Liam O’brian who does some really incredible work. I like Maddie well enough (I’ll always root for a successful t-girl. We need more role models) but Liam makes Lezard his own.

    There’s also some really interesting subplots involving Hrist which make her much more sympathetic and interesting.

  39. #39 Jadehawk
    October 28, 2008

    hmm…. there doesn’t seem to be a villain in the game… no Lucifer? not even a demon or two? what’s the point of the game then?

    maybe it is a “how the fuck do i get out of this place?!” kind of game, after all.

    btw, the art in the “comic book” looks very Dark Horse Comic style. maybe it’s a spin-off of The Magdalena? :-p

  40. #40 woog
    October 28, 2008

    This is the most blasphemous thing ever.

    hot bitches in heaven? Opulent palaces while people starve (I know, I know, on earth as it is in…)

    Animal spirits?

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  41. #41 Jadehawk
    October 28, 2008

    ahhh, empty promises of heaven. apparently this thing has been 10 years in the making, with no end in sight: http://www.justadventure.com/Previews/Heaven/Heaven.shtm

  42. #42 AlanWCan
    October 28, 2008

    Sorry. I’m with Bill Hicks. No Jimi Hendrix, no heaven, game over.

  43. #43 Andrés Diplotti
    October 28, 2008

    “Jesus is the ruler of Heaven. Every knee bends to Him and every tounge (sic) confesses him as the Lord.”

    Perhaps the goal of the game is to depose this clearly oppressive tyrant?

  44. #44 Don
    October 28, 2008

    Heaven is a shopping mall in Dubai?

  45. #45 Buzz Buzz
    October 28, 2008

    “From what we can tell, there seem to be two main characters: Joshua – an astronaut on a special mission whose ship lands on the shores of Heaven after being damaged by asteroids”

    Wait? What? What the hell? You can effing fly there? It gets nuttier and nuttier!

  46. #46 Old Goat
    October 28, 2008

    I showed this to my oldest son, 17 years old and a deep gamer… and all he said was “lame”.

    I think it’s a riot how they believe all they have to do is make something “hip”, and the kids will eat it up. A LOT of kids can see right through this crap.

  47. #47 Vidar
    October 28, 2008

    This can’t be what heaven looks like!
    Too many Roman Empire/Nazi fantasy imagery, and not enough beer volcanoes and stripper factories cranking out oodles of gorgeous, curvasious and promicious ladies of every ethnicity under the sun.

    Is there actually any point to this game, other than making heaven look like Hitler’s wet dream?

  48. #48 MH
    October 28, 2008

    The architecture and the strange, giant creatures are very Egyptian, dontcha think?

    “The Archangel Michael is the commander of the Northern Angel Host”.

    Heaven has poles?

    Axis reminds me of Jocelyn Wildenstein.

    And what message are paraplegics supposed to take away from Axis’ story: “She was born with a crippling disease that robbed her of the use of her leggs [sic]. After hearing that Jesus could heal the lame, something inside her wanted to believe in a miracle. Her faith in Jesus proved correct – she got healed and enjoyed a lifetime of walking, running and dancing!”. That’s right cripples, if you can’t walk, it’s your fault for not having enough faith in Jebus.

    The golden street scene is weird, The look and sound of it remind me of the big mall in GTA Vice City. Now then, where’s the Ammu-Nation?

    Thankfully, the Flash has just crashed, saving me from a diabetic coma.

    So, did anyone find out what the purpose of the game was supposed to be? Or was it in fact a brochure for a new development in Dubai?

  49. #49 dahduh
    October 28, 2008

    Woo, fantastic! Joshua is a spaceman and he flies to heaven in his spaceship with a 120ft “wingspan” powered by “STD Nitrogen”! Do they know space doesn’t have air and that Nitrogen doesn’t go bang? Anyway, so he meets this cool chick Axis who was lame, and not only did Jesus fix her legs but he also gave her a collagen job before sending her to Heaven. Regrettably, Paradise Island does not appear to feature Axis in a bikini; and while there are 24 Kings, this being Heaven means of course there are no Queens. I really think they should have rather gone with “Hell the game” in order to properly cater to Christians’ prurient desires.

    And what’s with this ubiquitous “A” symbol? It’s not bad; perhaps we should add it to the Atheist’s symbol lexicon.

  50. #50 MH
    October 28, 2008

    Vidar #47 “Is there actually any point to this game, other than making heaven look like Hitler’s wet dream?”

    Doesn’t seem to be. As far as I can tell, you wander around being awe-struck at all the bling. I suspect it will get boring very quickly.

    I suspect it will be even worse than Bible Adventures.

  51. #51 rdriley
    October 28, 2008

    The Aryan blonde in the wicked bustier is definitely weird. She looks a bit like Billie Piper to me.

    The creepiest thing I saw was the winged animals. I dunno what Biblical function they serve, but they look like they need a good whacking with a +2 great sword to me.

  52. #52 Masks of Eris
    October 28, 2008

    PLAYER: “Jesus, you are all so beautiful and graceful here! So full of life!”

    JESUS: “Verily. It is said: The weak in body or face shall not stay in the sight of the LORD. They shall be in closed places and serve in other ways, for as it is said in the Book of Makoto, the flesh of the weak is the food of the strong.”

    PLAYER: … Sorry?

    JESUS: Come with me, Fleischwesen.

  53. #53 Emmet Caulfield
    October 28, 2008

    The creepiest thing I saw was the winged animals. I dunno what Biblical function they serve.

    Apparently, they’re there to “priase (sic) Jesus”.

    Clearly, there is no spellcheck in Heaven.

  54. #54 Nogard
    October 28, 2008

    Hey, there IS a black looking girl on the website in the About section.

  55. #55 MH
    October 28, 2008

    Andrés #43 “Perhaps the goal of the game is to depose this clearly oppressive tyrant?”

    If North Korea had an abundance of gold and jewels, it would be just like heaven.

    I remember seeing a TV programme where a British guy was being shown round North Korea by a guide (of course, one is not allowed to tour the country without a guide). She was really pretty, and only showed him the good bits (of N Korea ;-). I think her name might have been Axis too.

  56. #56 Nogard
    October 28, 2008

    Oh, and I think I will totally pirate this game when it comes out :P The irony is too delicious to resist :P

  57. #57 Steven
    October 28, 2008

    You know, this game might be much more interesting if they didn’t insist it is true. I got to admit though the architecture looks pretty nice…

    If a real game (read: has an actual storyline that doesn’t involve exploring heaven) came out based on the biblical myths, (or any other silly god myths) and looks like that, I’d be interested.

  58. #58 Emmet Caulfield
    October 28, 2008

    If a real game came out based on the biblical myths, …, I’d be interested.

    Me too — it’d make GTA look like Teletubbies.

  59. #59 Steven
    October 28, 2008

    Bah… All pregenerated scenery… Would be much better if it was actually 3D…

    You just know this game’ll be the target for hackers everywhere… Wonder how long a hot-coffee mod would take…

  60. #60 Emmet Caulfield
    October 28, 2008

    Wonder how long a hot-coffee mod would take…

    I think a “Jesus and Michael” mod that just replaced all the audio, giving Jesus and Michael outrageous camp gay stereotype voices, and replacing all the music with “It’s Raining Men”, “YMCA”, The Village People, etc., would be much funnier, much easier, and would piss off the Rapture-Ready Retards much more.

  61. #61 student_b
    October 28, 2008

    Ok, that game sounds awesome.

    The oversexed and siliconized Axis (how does that square with the target audience of the game anyway?) is a 7ft tall and 300 pounds heavy “bride class” angel…

    Which in normal units would mean she’s about 2.10m tall and weights ~150kg. Man, that silicone is really heavy.

    And really, naming a character Axis in a game filled with Arian stereotypes… not really subtle.

    Though Joshua with his fatally wounded spaceship is also a riot.

  62. #62 Walton
    October 28, 2008

    If a real game came out based on the biblical myths, …, I’d be interested.

    A game based on Numbers 31 or Joshua would probably be banned.

    (Incidentally, is it just me that remembers being taught a children’s hymn called “Joshua fought the battle of Jericho”? It’s slightly bizarre that a happy-clappy kids’ song would be written about what, according to the Biblical narrative itself, seems to have been essentially an act of wholesale genocidal slaughter of women and children for the sake of racial aggrandisement and territorial expansion. But I digress.)

  63. #63 Tulse
    October 28, 2008

    Apparently Heaven doesn’t prevent dyslexia, since they misspelled the name of the Arcangel [sic] Micheal [sic] in their fancy trailer.

    you’d think by now God would have a “MacBook of Life”

    In Hal Hartley’s film The Book of Life, Jesus (played by Martin Donovan) has exactly that (well, a PowerBook to be completely precise).

  64. #64 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 28, 2008

    I’m pretty sure I know what Heaven in a Video Game looks like.

    It’s called Fallout 3. I’ll find out today and report back.

    This game looks el Lame-o

  65. #65 ckerst
    October 28, 2008

    Jesus with brassy blonde hair and chicks in skimpy outfits. Rocketships? It looks like it was designed by Liberace.

  66. #66 Lemming
    October 28, 2008

    The castle on their main page stands out as possibly inspired by She-Ra. Otherwise, the game looks like it was cranked out by a low-end developer circa 1998. Good to know companies that make games like this are technologically ten years behind.

  67. #67 MH
    October 28, 2008

    Did Jesus (“Every knee bends to Him and every tongue confesses him as the Lord”), who sits on his throne, give the Kings he surrounds himself with rings, perchance?

    They do say that Tolkien was influenced by the Bible, don’t they.

  68. #68 stevogvsu
    October 28, 2008

    It looks like they stole a page from just about every sci-fi movie and Final Fantasy game I’ve ever played.

  69. #69 Masks of Eris
    October 28, 2008

    Hm, so this game has been in development for a longish time now?

    Would this be enough to say that (development) Hell has conquered Heaven already?

    (groan)

  70. #70 ennui
    October 28, 2008

    heaven
    heaven is a place
    a place where nothing
    nothing ever happens
    (Talking Heads)

    I saw streets of gold and bedazzled gates, but I saw no bacon. This can’t be heaven.

  71. #71 Moggie
    October 28, 2008

    “Jesus is the ruler of Heaven. Every knee bends to Him and every tounge (sic) confesses him as the Lord.”

    Speaking as someone with bad knees, I’m very offended by this. I’m not kneeling, even for Aryan Jesus.

  72. #72 Cuttlefish, OM
    October 28, 2008

    All the decadence and glitter, seen in 3D animation
    Show that God and His designers have a poor imagination.

  73. #73 spud
    October 28, 2008

    Mark Twain beat them to it.

    http://www.online-literature.com/twain/3278/

  74. #74 Masks of Eris
    October 28, 2008

    LORD: Come now, and let us reason together. Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool. If you consent and obey, you will eat the best of the land; But if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.

        Consent

     >  Rebel

    You have chosen Rebel. The LORD summons help!

    It breathes nexus. It breathes plasma. It dies. It dies. Master Quylthulg summons Greater Undead! Master Quylthulg summons Ancient Dragons! The Great Wyrm of Balance bites you. Jesus breathes plasma.

    Oh, the light!

    You have died.

    * * *

    With an idea like this, endless fun can be had. (Source: Isa 1:18-20)

  75. #75 Rev. BigDumbChimp, Kot, OM
    October 28, 2008

    I saw streets of gold and bedazzled gates, but I saw no bacon. This can’t be heaven.

    no shit.

  76. #76 AJ Milne
    October 28, 2008

    It’s the ‘…And his kingdom shall have no end’ bit in the promo stuff that’s really making me wonder…

    GAMER: Hello? Tech support?

    BORED TECH SUPPORT GEEK: Yeah?

    GAMER: Okay. I give up. How do you win this thing?

    BTSG: Sorry?

    G: Win? You know? Is there a boss battle? Some other crazy puzzle I’m supposed to solve?

    BTSG: Yeah, about that…

    G: Dammit man, my credit card’s out, I’ll pay you for the hints, if that’s the deal…

    BTSG: Uh, guy, I’m not sure I can help there…

    G: I mean, I’ve wiped out all the archangels, swiped the Grail and the Ark of the Convenant, bitch-slapped the Last Scion, got the Wandering Jew to settle down at a nice little condo in Heavenly Florida, bedded all the hot saints, and like, seriously mastered playing the harp…

    BTSG: Really? Wow…

    G: I took out Jesus, too. Turns out sure, he’s all badass, but all ya need is a coupla lower-echelon Roman centurious, a coupla two-by-fours and two No. 3 spiral nails, and it’s no biggy. Then, finally, I won the whole place from God in a game of stud poker… But still, no joy. Shouldn’t I be seeing the credits screen by now? I mean, this fucking thing is taking an eternity!

    BTSG: The thing is, dude, we get that a lot…

  77. #77 woody
    October 28, 2008

    I probably shall never get to ‘heaven,’ but that’s okay with me. I got to spend 4 years in Santa Barbara, from ’80-84, which was at the time about as close to heaven as anyone was likely to get…

  78. #78 MH
    October 28, 2008

    Heaven is perfectly good, and you can’t die. I guess if you did something wrong, Jesus could send you to Hell (with love), but then eternal existence in Heaven just becomes not doing anything ‘wrong’, ever. If God wasn’t omniscient, I guess you could have some game-play: do as many bad things as possible without getting caught. It would be a bit like Skool Daze, which was indeed a classic game.

    But if only good people get into Heaven, and you do something bad which results in you being sent to hell, doesn’t that make God a flip-flopper. It would be like McCain ditching Palin; it would be the equivalent to admitting an error of judgement.

  79. #79 The Chemist
    October 28, 2008

    Heaven is remarkably white. Still, if going there’s all I have to do to get abs, Hmmm…

    Their flash skills are full of fail, when I numbers approach a hundred, I expect it to have finished loading.

    Still, what about Satan?

    I smell a sequel…

  80. #80 MH
    October 28, 2008

    Ennui #70 “I saw streets of gold and bedazzled gates, but I saw no bacon. This can’t be heaven.”

    They do apparently have giant winged cows, which I imagine taste like a cross between beef and chicken.

    But I agree, eternity without bacon sandwiches sounds more like Hell.

  81. #81 Stwriley
    October 28, 2008

    Well, with all this discussion of “the game”, perhaps some might have noticed that we still haven’t arrived at what the point of this little exercise in scripture-porn actually is. I mean, why is it a game? What’s the actual game process that takes place when you play it? It seems to be a rather gaping hole in the entire concept, since I really couldn’t tell from the website.

    Sure, it’s a “Myst-type” construction graphically, but what about game play? In Myst, you had no idea what was coming, the puzzles were genuine exercises of thought and reasoning to arrive at new information and new choices, all based on not knowing how the story comes out (like reading a mystery.) It was both the strength and fatal flaw of Myst, that it really only worked the first time you played it.

    But what does Heaven have in this way? As I see it, you have the reference book of the game designers easily to hand and you know where the story (such as it is) is going, so where’s the game play? You’re just going through the motions of acting out a story you can already predict, like reading a mystery based on a story that everyone already knows the end of. That doesn’t really sound like a “game” I’d care to bother with, no matter my (dis)inclination for the source story.

    Walton @#62
    I grew up with that one too, but it’s not a kids song in origin. Here’s a link to a YouTube video (sort of, it’s actually a video of the album playing, but the sound is what matters) of Odetta’s 1966 version (the best you’ll ever hear, I swear):
    Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho — Odetta
    It’s a traditional African-American spiritual, with origins sometime in the late 18th or early 19th centuries. It’s also a resistance song, which is why it has the more upbeat and defiant tone, disguised by it’s celebration of a Biblical hero. You may remember it for the same reason I do; it became a fairly popular song in the Civil Rights movement for a while too, about the time that Odetta recorded it. Thus I heard and learned it as a child.

  82. #82 The Chemist
    October 28, 2008

    The flexible female character, from the website:

    “…was born with a crippling disease that robbed her of the use of her legs. After hearing that Jesus could cure the lame, something inside her wanted to believe for a miracle…”

    Jesus can cure lame? Then why is this game out?

  83. #83 teucer
    October 28, 2008

    It’s a bad sign when “animated lens flares” are listed as a game feature.

  84. #84 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 28, 2008

    Jesus can cure lame? Then why is this game out?

    bwhahaha

  85. #85 Mike Fox
    October 28, 2008

    Near as I can figure, their trailer calls the higher levels of angels “creatures.” That’s … ballsy.

  86. #86 Befuddled in Seattle
    October 28, 2008

    Wow. Mythological creatures, and white chicks bouncing around. Golly.

  87. #87 Andrés Diplotti
    October 28, 2008

    What this game needs is a faith-based interface. Instead of using a keyboard, a mouse, a gamepad or some other such materialistic controller, you should come to your knees in front of the screen and pray: “O Lord, make my character turn right and add that lamp to his inventory. I beseech you, Lord…”

  88. #88 Jason Failes
    October 28, 2008

    I do approve of the general trend of assimilating Biblical characters into pop culture, like Jesus running a cable access show on South Park, or God trying to pick up women on Family Guy, or, in this case, turning them into video game characters with an eye towards comic-book-style conflicts, because it removes them from their special place in religion and piles them in with Spiderman, Scooby-Doo, Mr.Spock, and Dr. House in an almost endless montage of (value-equal) fictional characters.

  89. #89 Levi
    October 28, 2008

    @ #14:

    Uriel: No! There is another. A Japanese boy did make it to level 59.
    Michael: Are you stupid, Uriel? Japanese people don’t have souls!
    Angels: Yeah Uriel!
    Uriel: Oh. Right, right. I’m sorry.

    The whole South Park episode can be viewed here:
    http://www.southparkzone.com/episodes/904/Best-Friends-Forever.html

  90. #90 Capital Dan
    October 28, 2008

    Emmet Caulfield | October 28, 2008 7:10 AM

    The creepiest thing I saw was the winged animals. I dunno what Biblical function they serve.

    Apparently, they’re there to “priase (sic) Jesus”.

    Clearly, there is no spellcheck in Heaven.

    Tell me about it. Apparently, Axis, although quite bouncy, had lost the use of her leggs.

    I’m sure it’s all very sad. Or, at least it will be just as soon as we figure out what a legg is.

  91. #91 Frank Lovell
    October 28, 2008

    Swords? Body shields?? Music of imperialism-on-the-march??? In HEAVEN???? What’re THOSE all about?????

    That sure doesn’t look like the heaven MY parents envisioned!

    I don’t want any part of it — looks like a step back to the decadence of ancient Rome — I’ll take modern-day decadence (and the music of Pink Floyd/David Gilmore) if decadence is inescapable even in (alleged) eternal Heaven.

    But that’s just me; I suspect many Christians will drool at the prospect that “game” presents.

  92. #92 Capital Dan
    October 28, 2008

    teucer | October 28, 2008 9:12 AM

    It’s a bad sign when “animated lens flares” are listed as a game feature.

    NEEDZ MOAR FLAREZ!

  93. #93 LotharLoo
    October 28, 2008

    Man, Atheists and Christians alike are all gonna feel really dumb when it turns out Heaven was just hidden in the asteroid belt.

    And Russel thought a teapot in the asteroid belt was improbable.

  94. #94 André Phillips
    October 28, 2008

    Hahahaha! Blond Jesus!

  95. #95 t_p_hamilton
    October 28, 2008

    Is this game a first person smiter?

  96. #96 DrFrank
    October 28, 2008

    It’s a bad sign when “animated lens flares” are listed as a game feature.
    Hey, that was probably quite a selling point about a decade ago.

  97. #97 Andrés Diplotti
    October 28, 2008

    #66

    the game looks like it was cranked out by a low-end developer circa 1998.

    #96

    It’s a bad sign when “animated lens flares” are listed as a game feature.
    Hey, that was probably quite a selling point about a decade ago.

    Well, according to fundies, things that always remain the same are better than things that change. So they’re being consistent, I guess.

  98. #98 B. Scott Andersen
    October 28, 2008

    I see the game is PC-only, not Macintosh compatible. Hmmm. Heaven isn’t Mac-compatible? Doesn’t sound like Heaven to me!

    – Scott

  99. #99 Vidar
    October 28, 2008

    A game based on Milton’s “Paradise Lost” is likely to be a hell (pun intended) of a lot more awesome.

    Even better would be a game where you pick your god/ pantheon, and you have to compete all the other religions in order to take over the world. An all-out war between the Roma-Greek, Viking and Hindu pantheons could be very epic.

  100. #100 blueelm
    October 28, 2008

    Bride class??!? WTF? And then people wonder why I never *got* Christianity.

    I mean, if we’re making stuff up there’s a lot of made-up things I’d rather.

  101. #101 blueelm
    October 28, 2008

    I have bad grammar. Should be “there are”, not that my post was profound.

  102. #102 Steve_C
    October 28, 2008

    Wow. Heaven is just like Vegas! With go-go dancers and gigolos and everything!!!

    I’m SO in! Where’s the Black Jack tables???

  103. #103 Tony Sidaway
    October 28, 2008

    This version of heaven is noisy. Lots of very bad choral music–surprising given the huge quantity of very, very good alternatives there are in the public domain.

  104. #104 Tulse
    October 28, 2008

    Heaven is just like Vegas! With go-go dancers and gigolos and everything!!!

    It certainly was in Monty Python’s Meaning of Life.

  105. #105 Jason
    October 28, 2008

    Wow, for what I’d expect to be a wholesome, moral game, Axis has a huge rack.

  106. #106 Bob L
    October 28, 2008

    Sounds kind of dated. Pretty much Myst with a Christian theme and no line play or building. That’s kind of missing the boat there.

  107. #107 James Hanley
    October 28, 2008

    If all the hot chicks are going to heaven, I may go back to church.

  108. #108 Scrabcake
    October 28, 2008

    I actually really like Myst style games, but this one looks like stuff done in a raytracer ten years ago. Honestly, could we get any more reflecting glass surfaces? It also looks like the inside of a mormon temple. Pretty in kind of a mod, tacky way.

  109. #109 Badger3k
    October 28, 2008

    Well, they added in the Narnia link, but they even Aryan-ized Aslan to make him white. (although maybe it wasn’t a lion, I didn’t get a good enough look to be sure and don’t want to waste time going back). Seeing the “Bride” character, did they mean Peraly Gates, or Necklace?

  110. #110 Donnie B.
    October 28, 2008

    I do agree about one thing: their heaven does indeed look like a “woundefull” place.

  111. #111 Darth Wader
    October 28, 2008

    Hahahaha! Blond Jesus!

    My mom has a nativity set, and it has a blond haired, blue eyed, light complexion Jesus, Joseph, and Mary.

    She gets mad when I call it her “Aryan Nativity Action Figures”

    “Look out! A gentle Baha’i! Keep firing; convert the heathens!”

    “Got him!”

    “No, you just winged him and made him a Unitarian.”

  112. #112 Scrabcake
    October 28, 2008

    As a person who works in video games (although not in marketing), I have to wonder, WTF were they thinking? Don’t they know that the main audience for adventure games is older people and women? I’m slightly insulted by Axis…her behavior in the animations is more like a filly in heat than an actual woman, and she looks like a porno star.
    There’s no way in Hell they’re going to get the usual 15 year old boy demographic to play this, so why sex it out like that?

  113. #113 student_b
    October 28, 2008

    There’s no way in Hell they’re going to get the usual 15 year old boy demographic to play this, so why sex it out like that?

    Because. ;)

  114. #114 VegeBrain
    October 28, 2008

    Gahhh! What a bunch of empty, vapid twaddle. Just when I think xians can’t get any cheesier, they do. I especially liked the heavy eye shadow on Axis. One part of heaven that they left out were the slaughterhouse and meat processing plants where the hamburgers are made that everyone in heaven eats.

  115. #115 Nate
    October 28, 2008

    I’m dying to know (pun entirely coincidental, I promise)…

    How many virgins are the Christians willing to offer me?

    (You really have to shop around when it comes to Paradise.)

  116. #116 Andrés Diplotti
    October 28, 2008

    I think it’s a good bet to say they drew Axis like that for their own benefit. If the artists follow the usual Christian strictures, that character would be a natural exhaust vent for them.

  117. #117 Whiskeyjack
    October 28, 2008

    There are a lot of spelling mistakes on that site…

  118. #118 Tulse
    October 28, 2008

    If all the hot chicks are going to heaven, I may go back to church.

    All the prudish hot chicks are in heaven, and they definitely won’t have sex with you when you’re there (because surely there is no sex in heaven).

    Now hell is where all the slutty hot chicks go…

  119. #119 Capital Dan
    October 28, 2008

    Whiskeyjack | October 28, 2008 12:44 PM

    There are a lot of spelling mistakes on that site…

    That’s the mark of Christian authenticity. They can’t be bothered with things like spelling and coherency. They’ve got Jebus to pimp out.

  120. #120 Evolving Squid
    October 28, 2008

    I can overlook the Aryan porn star whose name, “Axis” is a thinly veiled reference…

    But wow, a Viking Jesus is too much.

  121. #121 Richard
    October 28, 2008

    Generally I think nude graphics patches are crass but I’m looking forward to one for this game.

  122. #122 Faid
    October 28, 2008

    Should have been called “Boobs For Jesus”.

    Seriously, this is way surreal. Are we sure it’s not a hoax of some sort?

  123. #123 The Chemist
    October 28, 2008

    @Scarbcake,

    Hey! This twenty-two year old happens to miss adventure games. Alas! My kingdom for a new Monkey Island sequel!

  124. #124 Alverant
    October 28, 2008

    From all the descriptions of Heaven I would think it would get rather boring quickly.

  125. #125 Arno
    October 28, 2008

    Bloody hell, each page takes ages to load! Do they want me to die of old age by the time I have finally checked all of the details on that freaking site?

  126. #126 Robert S.
    October 28, 2008

    I wonder if Axis has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If you know what I’m saying.

    Long legs, minis, heaving cleavage, corsets, silicone lips – who knew there was this much eroticism in heaven? Guess the game makers knew their market.

  127. #127 davidstvz
    October 28, 2008

    Just to clarify (some have already mentioned it), this game is not “real” or free-roaming 3D. You’re stuck in one place at a time simply looking around (like viewing a 360 panaroma). Interesting art though.

  128. #128 Robert S.
    October 28, 2008

    Alverant, I was just thinking about that this morning, listening to Nick Cave’s great new CD. On once song Lazarus get raised from the dead and is kinda pissed off because he didn’t ask to be raised from the dead and has had enough of the dog-eat-dog world. I mean, isn’t there some element of relief to the idea that when you’re dead, you’re dead. Not that I’m in a hurry or anything … but, you know?

  129. #129 rberr
    October 28, 2008

    Best parody ever! There’s even a Bride clas(if a player & character love each other very much & get married…).
    Interstingly angels are limited to the speed of light.
    I’m totally playing this game.

  130. #130 Ryan F Stello
    October 28, 2008

    I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that their models of what a human should look like seem plasticy and fake.

  131. #131 Lee
    October 28, 2008

    they seem to have the important things covered

    “Seamless Intergation of cut scenes.”
    “…Intreging, meaningfull game play.”
    “Unigue animated game cursors.”

    and don’t forget:
    “animated lens flares”

    (spelling errors/made up words all courtesy of them.)

  132. #132 Draconiz
    October 28, 2008

    Yay, you got my email!! Thanks for posting this PZ

  133. #133 MH
    October 28, 2008

    Robert #126 “I wonder if Axis has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If you know what I’m saying.”

    I know what you’re saying, but as Jesus’ todger is longer than Axis is tall, it’s going to be a very unusual relationship. Kind of like the relationship a adolescent boy might have with a Barbie boll.

    {cringes}

  134. #134 YetAnotherKevin
    October 28, 2008

    You have to admit this game looks a lot better than the Noah game from a few months back.

  135. #135 pixelfish
    October 28, 2008

    The Flash animator for that site doesn’t understand the utility of the loading animation, I see, or how to set one up that measures how long til the site actually loads. (Mine repeats multiple times, and cycles through the percentages again and again and again.)

    Also…Heaven? Tacky. It’s like….Heaven, designed by Donald Trump and Hugh Hefner.

  136. #136 Zak
    October 28, 2008

    From what I can gather, it looks like an alien world with super advanced technology. Seems to be less about the Christian god and more about ancient aliens (who are apparently all blonde) that created Earth with a big machine..

  137. #137 Robert S,
    October 28, 2008

    Interesting point, Zak. I wonder, does everyone magically turn Caucasian, too, when they hit the pearly gates?

  138. #138 Kraid
    October 28, 2008

    Tulse #118:

    Now hell is where all the slutty hot chicks go.

    Initially after reading this, I was tempted to deny the holy spirit, jump in a handbasket, and wait. But then I began to think about it. Paradoxically, being surrounded by the hot prudes in heaven–the endless titillation without satiation–that would eventually become hell for me. So if I went to heaven and then heaven became hell, would Axis become one of those slutty hot chicks?

    I don’t really know where I’m going with this other than to say that I still hold out hope for that virtual woman being my naughty nun in a fairytale kingdom designed by real-life delusionals.

  139. #139 blueelm
    October 28, 2008

    Nah… in heaven or hell it’s the same as earth. Slutty ugly chicks service you while you wish you had some one else.

  140. #140 normalityrelief
    October 28, 2008

    I must say, it’s fortunate that spelling and grammatical errors are not sin-worthy in the eyes of Jesus, because as impressive as this site is as eye candy, it’s rife with them!

  141. #141 normalityrelief
    October 28, 2008

    I posted too early … for those without the patience to make it through all the spelling errors, know this: Heaven is right near an asteroid belt between here and one of Jupiter’s moons. Let’s start directing NASA in that direction!

  142. #142 YetAnotherKevin
    October 28, 2008

    “Even better would be a game where you pick your god/ pantheon, and you have to compete all the other religions in order to take over the world. An all-out war between the Roma-Greek, Viking and Hindu pantheons could be very epic.”

    There is a game something like that, called dominions. Each race has a “god”, called a pretender, IIRC. You can send out prophets to sort of push your “dominion” into other’s regions, thereby creating conditions more favorable to your side when you attack. There are lots of highly customize-able gods and a dozen or so races. Interesting game design, with some limitations (best way to play is a sort of PBEM setup), and the Worst User Interface Ever. Maybe it’s gotten better in later versions. Also, free (as in beer) demo / limited version for windows / linux / mac.

    I’m in no way affiliated, just picked it up a few years ago, liked the design, and thought it was apropos.

    If you’re still reading…

    http://www.shrapnelgames.com/Illwinter/DOM3/DOM3_page.html

  143. #143 DanM
    October 28, 2008

    ooh…building an army and assaulting the throne…now that’s a game I’d play. Ah well.

  144. #144 Moggie
    October 28, 2008

    Why does an “arcangel” (sic) get higher billing than Jesus? Jesus really needs a better agent.

  145. #145 Richard
    October 28, 2008

    Capital Dan said:
    Tell me about it. Apparently, Axis, although quite bouncy, had lost the use of her leggs.

    I’m sure it’s all very sad. Or, at least it will be just as soon as we figure out what a legg is.

    http://www.leggs.com, of course

    -Richard

  146. #146 Nemo
    October 28, 2008

    Where are people seeing “Bride Class”, etc.? I can only find this for the Creatures.

  147. #147 karen
    October 28, 2008

    I can’t get past the the characters, especially Axis, who look like they were made using Poser software, and that the skin, hair, clothing and lips were purchased from one of the various online marketplaces selling Poser add-ons. The whole thing comes across as cheap, cheesy, unimaginative, and generally unappealing.

  148. #148 Moggie
    October 28, 2008

    #98:

    I see the game is PC-only, not Macintosh compatible. Hmmm. Heaven isn’t Mac-compatible? Doesn’t sound like Heaven to me!

    Since the Mac OS X kernel is called Darwin, what do you expect?

  149. #149 SASnSA
    October 28, 2008

    Obviously lust is only a Deadly Sin? when not used in the service of the Lord

  150. #150 Kagehi
    October 28, 2008

    Had the thought a while back of like.. a mix between that old movie, where you could see the “aliens” when wearing special sunglasses and a kind of anti-faith game. Premise would be that someone discovers that, while heaven and hell is still a toss up, there really are nasty things out to get people in the world, disguising themselves as priests, politicians, etc. The “virus” that allows people to see them gets released into the wild, causing the world population to see them. The **truly faithful** conclude that this is some sort of conspiracy to undermine their faith and fall for the lie handed to them by a group of these invaders. A new drug they can take, called simply “faith”, enhances their ability to “believe” anything they are told by these leaders, to the extent that they even “see” them as normal people.

    You would have two paths in the game. Take it on faith that “faith” is a good thing, and fight for the dark side, or stop taking it, and see the truth. And, just to make things real fun, other than or sort of occasional distortion on the edges of your vision, while taking the drug, which still lets you see the “demons” hiding among the supposed faithful, you will have to “learn” the true nature of the enemy as the game progresses. And, of course, that means a lot of lying monsters, giving grand speeches about how everyone is out to destroy religion, and you must fight, verses the other side, which is campaigning to make known what the enemies true goals are.

    It would have to be done real cleverly, so that fundies can’t tell their are actually fighting for the wrong side until the end, when what ever was actually planned happens (maybe a sort of end of the world type thing, where all the invaders “beam” up, having destroyed humanities ability to fight against them, while leaving the duped “believers” behind to die in the toxic wasteland left over from the wars.) But, think you get the point. They want to keep putting out crap like this, most of it cheaply made, badly coded, with horrible game play (or just lame copies of fair game play that went out of use 10 years ago), then lets make an anti-”all the god stuff it true” game, which has the production quality and real play on the level of Halo, Half Life, etc. And hammer home the fact that, if you keep listening to people that will lie to you, your not serving good, and worse, you might not be working for who, or “what” you think you are (presuming you believe the mythology in the first place).

  151. #151 Andrés Diplotti
    October 28, 2008

    pixelfish @135

    The Flash animator for that site doesn’t understand the utility of the loading animation, I see, or how to set one up that measures how long til the site actually loads. (Mine repeats multiple times, and cycles through the percentages again and again and again.)

    That’s a hint that you have to give over 100% to get to Heaven.

  152. #152 ?? ?????
    October 28, 2008

    I’m too lame to check, so someone please tell me…is Heaven full of angry embryos?

  153. #153 Blake Stacey
    October 28, 2008

    It’s a bad sign when “animated lens flares” are listed as a game feature.

    Every enthusiastic video game needs to wear at least fifteen pieces of lens flare.

  154. #154 Blake Stacey
    October 28, 2008

    It has a fairly elaborate web site, but it fails to say how you play the silly thing (I suspect you don’t get to form an army and assault the throne of heaven…).

    Hey, now that you mention it: the second two books of His Dark Materials would be awfully difficult to adapt as movies (and we certainly shouldn’t trust them to the people who did the first one). . . .

  155. #155 Brandon P.
    October 28, 2008

    There’s no way in Hell they’re going to get the usual 15 year old boy demographic to play this, so why sex it out like that?

    Maybe the sexing up is precisely to attract that 15-year-old male demographic.

    Personally, I think Axis looks above-average for someone of European descent, but I prefer darker-skinned chicks.

    Speaking of dark skin, I have to agree with the silliness of all of Heaven’s denizens being of a Scandinavian phenotype. Never knew the Middle Easterners who came up with the idea of Heaven in the Biblical sense were into blonde hair and blue eyes.

  156. #156 Brandon P.
    October 28, 2008

    As for the game itself, how the hell am I supposed to play it? There’s no discussion of gameplay mechanics on the entire site at all. And where are the coconut-eating tyrannosaurs?

  157. #157 Ray
    October 28, 2008

    I liked the part where the walls of Heaven were ‘composited’ of ‘presious’ stones. And the booth-babes were attractive, though they looked kind of stuck-up.

    You know, this is a bad time to be a Christian.

    All the best. Enjoy Toronto.

  158. #158 dark-kiki
    October 28, 2008

    Bride class? Come on guys! A nun may be known as a bride of Christ.

    Laughed my ass off when the spouse creature show me this link.

  159. #159 dark-kiki
    October 28, 2008

    First post and I have a bloody typo. NOOOOOOOOO!

  160. #160 o_0
    October 28, 2008

    rdriley: “they need a good whacking with a +2 great sword…”

    Holy Avengers +5. Get with the program here.

    MH: “They do apparently have giant winged cows, which I imagine taste like a cross between beef and chicken.”

    -.- its obvious that they would taste like Buffalo wings!

  161. #161 John B. Sandlin
    October 28, 2008

    If that’s what heaven’s like, I ain’t goin’.

    JBS

  162. #162 Crudely Wrott
    October 29, 2008

    I’m late again so pardon me if someone else has noticed this from “Concept Artists” from the “Game Concepts” menu. Ahem . . .

    “World class concept artists Stephan Martinier spearheaded the awesome task of concepting out the look of the game.

    “His unique ability to pull magical concepts out the air proved to be stunning.” [All sic.]

    Yeah, I’ll say. But what is with all the legs and lips and Nordic features? These are mundane “concepts.” The only thing to recommend such inclusions, such stunning ability to tease out the salient representations of a realm hidden from our close inspection, is that such inclusions make Americans comfortable and increase sales.

    And what is all this about Streets of Gold? Any engineer worthy of his hire (subtle dig) knows that gold is a lousy material for road building. It wears away under even moderate abrasion and stress. And abraded particles, gold dust, floating about would be hard on any electronic equipment. In large enough quantities it might clog the pores of the elect, ala Goldfinger. One would certainly have a taste in one’s mouth. At least, that’s what I’m “concepting.” (Eat it, spell checker!)

    But, hey. It’s got a good beat, it’s easy to dance to. I’ll give it about a 73.

    I did kind of like the music.

  163. #163 42 towels
    October 29, 2008

    “Custom 3D engine made with Bink Video”

    Bink Video is, well, a video player. They have created 3d from something that is 2-dimensional. Sounds like either a lie, or an insane misunderstanding of the game which they themselves are creating. This is more Myst than Halo.

  164. #164 kcrady
    October 29, 2008

    Well, I don’t know about Hitler, but Albert Speer and Joseph Goebbels apparently made it. In the footage for Jesus (under “Characters”), there’s even what looks like massed troops or crowds in a Nuremberg rally.

    I kinda hope this “game” (seems more like some kind of tour to me–play the Simon Says button-pushing toy right, and the Pearly Gate will open, or whatever) becomes really popular among the wingnut set.

    Christian: “See this awesome game! That’s what Heaven’s gonna be like! God rules!”

    Atheist: “So, what you’re saying is, the Starship Enterprise could kick God’s ass.”

    C: “Huh?”

    A: “Michael’s the biggest, most badass angel, right? He has weight, so that means he’s made of matter. He wears armor, so that means he’s not naturally invulnerable. And he’s limited to light speed. I mean, he can’t even make Warp 2! Yeah, he’s gonna try to take on the Enterprise with a fucking *sword!* Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! And Heaven is made of stuff like gold and gemstones. Can you say ‘Can’t take a phaser hit?’”

    It will also serve quite well as a masturbation aid for sheltered Christian boys denied access to conventional girly pics. “Do the splits for me again, Axis! YesyesyesYES!”

    Seeing the pics of “Heaven” made me think of how much better it would be if you got to play Lucifer staging a breakout from that totalitarian nightmare, like an FPS version of The Great Escape. Oh well…

    Apart from the Christian mythology, there are some things that annoy me, mainly examples of massive ignorance on display:

    1) Nobody’s getting to the asteroid belt in a “modified Space Shuttle.”

    2) Nobody’s gonna send *one guy* on a long-duration space mission to the asteroids. And it’s not like they can just kill off Joshua’s crew in the opening cut-scene to get them out of the picture. As Red Blooded ‘Murikans, where else could they end up, but…Heaven?

    3) Heaven is in the Asteroid Belt? Since the angels are limited to light speed, that means Yahweh is just a local tyrant who can’t extend his reach past our little stellar neighborhood.*** Those lucky bastards in the next Galactic arm over don’t have any “Jesus” or his minions demanding that they bend their tentacles in submission before him.

    ***This would actually make a kind of sense out of a weird recurring theme in the Bible: Yahweh’s tendency to disappear for centuries or millennia at a time. E.g., 1,000+ years between Cain/Abel and the Flood, a few more centuries between the Flood and the Tower of Babel, more between Babel and Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, about 400 years from them to the Exodus, etc., on up to the 2,000+ years since Jesus said he was going to come back Real Soon Now. If Yahweh has to cart his jewelry-box Borg cube around at light speed, maybe he’s going back and forth in a little empire a few hundred light-years across.

    4) So Axis was a crippled girl that Jesus magically healed so she could get to enjoy a lifetime of dancing, etc.. And Joni Erickson (for all her faith and devotion to Jesus and spreading his “gospel”) had to spend her life in a wheelchair drawing pictures with her teeth. Way to go, Jesus.

    5) Picturing an asteroid belt as some vast, clogged field of flying rocks that’s incredibly dangerous to fly a spaceship through is a common sci-fi trope, even if it is a scientific groaner. OK, we can suspend disbelief if it’s a fictional asteroid belt like the ones in Star Wars. But the real one? In *our* solar system??? Don’t these guys know that we’ve sent several space probes sailing right through without any asteroid danger at all?

    6) They don’t even get the Christian mythology right. Only the Cherubim (the four beasties) are portrayed in the Bible having wings. All other angels are portrayed as human-sized men, sometimes with fancy day-glo robes that shine like lightning.

    6.1) And everybody ought to know that the descriptions of Heaven from the Book of Revelation (where they get their golden streets, weird creatures, etc.) are symbolic. I mean, not even fundy Christian wackaloons believe that the End Times is going to be like a Godzilla movie, with giant multi-headed monsters crawling up out of the ocean, right?

    6.2) And where’s the Biblical support for the notion of gymnastic Wagnerian Uberfrauleins prancing around in Heaven? I can look up Bible passages (Jeremiah, IIRC) where Yahweh inveighs against pretty long-necked girls mincing around with bangles around their ankles. He just hates that kinda stuff.

    6.3) There are several Biblical passages that very specifically say that humans can’t ascend to Heaven on their own. “Flesh and blood shall not inherit the Kingdom of God,” “No man hath ascended unto Heaven but him who came down from Heaven,” etc. Not to mention the Tower of Babel story. If we can get there in a “modified Space Shuttle” what do we need Jesus for?

  165. #165 Arnosium Upinarum
    October 29, 2008

    “(I suspect you don’t get to form an army and assault the throne of heaven…).”

    Awe, shit. I can’t play Satan and command my legions of fallen angels? Where’s the fun without that? GOTTA have a CONFLICT for a GAME. And REALISM too. It’s in the bahble, ain’t it?

  166. #166 snibwig
    October 29, 2008

    As someone who has had a chance to be a player, tester, modder (one who makes add-ons and new levels for games) and eventually professional designer of video games it gives me a certain amount of pleasure to know that if this has ANY FOLLOWING AT ALL there will be a nude/sex mod made by the community eventually.

    If I have anything to say about it, it will be a gay nudie/sex mod though because that’s just more appropriate I think in this case.

    I can just see mods named things like “Jesus REALLY loves you!” or “Holiest of Holies” or “Heavenly Hotties!” or “Angels Gone Wild!” now.

    I suspect they have no idea what they’re getting themselves into…

  167. #167 Stahlbrand
    October 29, 2008

    I just want to say that commenters in this post refered to JtHM, Valkyrie Profile, and Nick Cave. I love you guys, all that taste and brains too.

  168. #168 DrFrank
    October 29, 2008

    @snibwig #166
    it gives me a certain amount of pleasure to know that if this has ANY FOLLOWING AT ALL there will be a nude/sex mod made by the community eventually.
    Alas, if it’s all pre-rendered (as it seems to be), then a nude/sex mod would be close to impossible.

    On the other hand, the comedy redubbing suggested earlier would almost certainly be possible.

  169. #169 Andrés Diplotti
    October 29, 2008

    This game needs a better soundtrack. What about a reworking of “Cheek to Cheek”?

    Heaven, I’m playing Heaven.
    What the heck are all these letters Hebrew and Greek?
    I’m so bored with the peacemakers and the meek
    And there’s nothing I can do with this blonde chick.

  170. #170 Johnb300m
    October 29, 2008

    LOL! Are you kidding?

    I’ll just play SPORE instead.

  171. #171 snibwig
    October 29, 2008

    @DrFrank #168

    Wow, you’re right. This game is even more half-assed than I had previously thought. I looked at more of the videos and if they seriously can’t even give you a character avatar and the ability to walk freely within their environments, then we’re pretty much just looking at a pretty Myst clone and as an industry I’d like to think we’ve progressed beyond that.

    I guess they’ve grown tired of fighting against progress in science, health care, and education and have decided to try to push video games back into a previous era as well.

    Bring on the comedy voice-overs! :) Maybe we can make a YouTube contest out of it or something.

  172. #172 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 29, 2008

    LOL! Are you kidding?

    I’ll just play SPORE instead.

    Fallout 3 ftw

  173. #173 Scott M
    October 29, 2008

    So let me get this straight…the hero lands in Heaven *somehow* and meets people and angels and gets to look at the pretty eye candy…

    And accomplishes what? Where’s the conflict? The drama? The entire point of telling s story?

    From the “messages” from Axis, it sounds more like a chance to frame a bunch of sermons. “God is a healer. He wants to heal.” Well what’s stopping him? Lots of people have asked, but they’re still in hospitals, ICUs, and “Doomed to Die” wards.

    And I find it laughable that the people who make this seem to take it so seriously.

  174. #174 Jared
    October 30, 2008

    Haha!

    I love the mythical beasts they include. Shouldn’t these beasts be something god wiped out in the flood or some ramble like that?

    I love “The Saint” as well. She has some amazing tumbles. I know my next gaming purchase.