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This Cancelled Shooter Just Got Revived By Ex-Halo Devs

One of the most intense battles of the Iraq War was once turned into a video game, and now it has resurfaced. Six Days in Fallujah, a tactical first-person shooter based on a historic 2004 battle, is expected to release on PC and consoles in late 2021, the game's publisher and developer announced on Thursday, Feb. 11.

The game was originally under development by Atomic Games during the height of the Iraq War, but was cancelled after facing negative backlash. For a long time, it looked like this was one realistic military shooter that fans would never get to play. Now the game is coming back with a new developer, Highwire Games, as well as a new publisher, Victura. Highwire is led in part by former Halo and Destiny staff Jaime Griesemer and Marty O'Donnell. Victura's CEO is Peter Tamte, who was vice president of Bungie when the original Halo was released.

In the game's official announcement, former Marine Sgt. Eddie Garcia said, "Sometimes the only way to understand what's true is to experience reality for yourself," Garcia, who proposed the original idea for Six Days in Fallujah in 2005, continued: "War is filled with uncertainty and tough choices that can't be understood by watching someone on a TV or movie screen make these choices for you. Video games can help all of us understand real-world events in ways other media can't."

Six Days in Fallujah hopes to be "the most authentic military shooter to date," according to the official announcement. To reach that goal, game developers reportedly worked with more than 100 Marines, soldiers, and Iraqi civilians who were in Fallujah during the battle. These people have shared their stories, photos, and videos with the development team. The game will also provide "original documentary interview footage" to give voice to those stories, the press release said. Additionally, game developers said that more than three years have been spent building "unique technologies and game mechanics" to give players the immersive combat experience than any other video game.

The U.S. military has described the Second Battle for Fallujah as "some of the heaviest urban combat U.S. Marines have been involved in since the Battle of Huế City in Vietnam in 1968." During the several weeks of fighting, coalition forces suffered 110 casualties and about 600 wounded and killed or captured about 3,000 Iraqi insurgents; it's estimated that thousands of Iraqi civilians were also killed, according to Brittanica.

"It's hard to understand what combat is actually like through fake people doing fake things in fake places," Peter Tamte said in the press release. "This generation showed sacrifice and courage in Iraq as remarkable as any in history. And now they're offering the rest of us a new way to understand one of the most important events of our century. It's time to challenge outdated stereotypes about what video games can be."