Free Stuff: Air Force Drops Bombs on Gamers

Okay, so they may not be the greatest games ever published, but the U.S. Air Force is serving up the full versions of three Midway PC titles – and they are absolutely free:

  • The Suffering
  • Area-51
  • Rise & Fall: Civilizations at War

It’s undoubtedly part of the USAF’s recruitment effort, since the download site links over to Do Something Amazing, the flyboys’ marketing presence on the web.

And, hey, including Area-51 in an Air Force promo is kinda creepy and cool at the same time, no? Somebody at HQ has a sense of humor.

Big Thanks to: GP reader Paulrus…

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  1. Shadow Darkman Anti-Thesis of Jack Thompson says:

    "We officially deny that there is a secret government complex in any location by the name of ‘Area 51.’" -Attempted word-for-word quote from a magazine ad for Area 51



  2. JC says:

    When it comes to video games, even depiction, there is usually some form of user input to verify age to eliminate liability. That is why it is questionable, especially since the ESRB does take things seriously. As I recall, the army does its recruitment early on, so people under 18 are likely to visit such websites, so no user input would make me curious as to what can be done against them. They may have some disclaimer where I’m not looking though.


  3. SeanB says:

    Wow… the internet is full of so much sarcasm you guys cant even recognize it anymore.

    I hate to think that /sarcasm filters are actually required in todays watered down society.

  4. VideolandHero says:

    I don’t know about the other games, but in Area 51 inbetween levels an ad comes up and runs for 10-15 seconds.

    — Official Protector of Videoland!

  5. VideolandHero says:

    That laughable FMV lightgun Area 51 was the best arcade game ever.

    — Official Protector of Videoland!

  6. Shahab says:

    Btw, does anyone know how the ads are handled in this game?


    Also, to whom ever maintains this site, could you implement something like youtube has where when someone replies to you you get an e-mail about it?


  7. Shahab says:

    I think this is a good idea if done right. I mean pirates will pirate no matter what but some people who pirate today are just too poor to pay. If the ads weren’t too intrusive I’ll bet a lot of people would do this. The great thing for the company is that instead of selling the game and never seeing more moeny, as long as a people are still playing your ad-supported games you still get paid by advertisers!

    I think the smart companies will begin more offerings like this, as broadband penetration goes up more people are able to direct download a game and then if you pay nothing you get to play if you look at the ads, or you can pay a small amount, like 50 cents or $1 for 1 day of ad free play or you can pay them $20-30 and you own the game. Alternatively you could go to the store and pay $49.99 and get the box with really nice color manual, beautiful disc holder, and a few extras thrown in, collectable kind of stuff or in-game weapons or pets or whatever.

    This is my Manifesto.

    Companies could make a lot more money that way and get around some of the piracy.

  8. Shahab says:

    How is "no age verifcation" questionable? While some companies may actually enforce the ESRB ratings they are not legally enforceable ratings. The rating system we have here is a voluntary system sponsored by the industry to help parents make informed decions about the games they allow their kids to play, nothing more.

  9. Zerodash says:

    I don’t recall why Area 51 would have been rated M (been a few years), but I wonder if the game was cleaned up to T-rated levels.  I only remember you killing aliens and mutant things.  However, David Ducovney (sp?) from the X-Files is in this game…and he is the most lifeless, zombie actor money could buy.

  10. Anthrax says:

    Downloading Area 51, looks sorta neat. Marilyn Manson also supposedly did voice work for it, that’s pretty cool too.

  11. th3flyboy says:

    I know that the USAF also sponsored the free release of Full Specturm Warrior, so why isn’t that there. As for Area 51 and what that has to do with the USAF, a simple google search of the term "area 51" or "groom lake" would easily tell you why it’s related. The suffering though, that i’m not sure why thats there, maybe the gore to make sure you can handle it, but rise and fall i guess because its about war.


    oh and JT has already lost his ability to practice law, i wonder what the USAF would do about him speaking up about this, probably something involving use of force and a specops team, or a CIA rendition team.

  12. JC says:

    He can’t sue. It isn’t illegal to distribute such titles. The only questionable thing is no age verification.

  13. SeanB says:

    So the government is distributing Violent Games, for free, to anyone without age verification….

    Holy Shit. JT Get’s to sue the government this time!

  14. Harry Miste says:

    These games look a bit odd… why are they tied into the Air Force?

    XBOX LIVE GamerTag: Harry Miste | Steam ID: Harry Miste | PSN ID: HMiste | Can’t join the USAF because he’s 14. Also lives in Melbourne.

  15. ronnoc says:

     I’ve been playing The Suffering (and watching ads every 2 minutes) for a couple mounths now.  Yay for free stuff.

  16. Weatherlight says:

    Well I finished downloading it and am installing it now, time to check out the ads, but I would hope that your being sarcastic.


  17. Haggard says:

    Depends on the adverts in question. If it refuses to let you start your PC unless you join the Air Force then I’d say people have a right to be worried.

  18. turdevo says:

    area51 is tasty for me too

    full speed here too (380KB/s )

    dunno if already alerted by GP but also US Army did it with Full Spectrum Warrior time ago…

  19. Paulrus says:

    Infinity Ward would have to be pretty stupid to allow their cah cow to be released for free. These are games worth about $10-$20 and have average reviews, so it makes sense to give them away.

    I’m an attention whore. So visit my DevaintArt and feed my ego. Feed the whore.

  20. shobidoo says:

    good point videoandhero. Something tells me if JT gets scent of this he’ll go on a field day and insult the USAF.

  21. VideolandHero says:

    I don’t care if there are ads, I’m thankful for free games.

    EDIT: Hey, Area 51 is rated M, why aren’t people complaining about kids getting access to M rated games?  LOL!

    — Official Protector of Videoland!

  22. Spartan says:

    More good stuff.

    I wish they had that one game called "grey" (I think) I had it about a decade ago and it was a very cool alien game. I believe it was made by Westwood.  



    "The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" – Herodotus

  23. Haggard says:

    Wasn’t The Suffering already available free, ad-supported?

    Anyway, seeing if I can install Area-51 (I’m British – let’s see them make me join the USAF!)

  24. Quarantine says:

    I haven’t played the other games, but why are they offering Area 51? It’s far from being realistic. Your character jumps like he’s wearing gravity boots.


    "Because this town is under the stranglehold of a few tight eyed Tree Huggers who would rather play Hacky Sack than lock up the homeless" — Birch Barlow

  25. Weatherlight says:

    "Midway’s Area 51 is now available to download and play for FREE as an ad supported game. This is a full version with no time expiration sponsored by the US Air Force."

    I guess some people cant read the description of the game. Its ad supported. And unfortunetly yes it triggers a false positive with some virus scanners, due to the way they added the ads to the game. But still its a free game.


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