Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hero on the Hudson



By now I'm sure you're all very much aware of US Airways Flight 1549, which was attacked by a vicious flock of birds and forced to make a crash landing in the Hudson river. You've read all the reports, seen the interviews with passengers and learned all about pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger. You might even know that the entire flight crew received the Master's Medal of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators because "This emergency ditching and evacuation, with the loss of no lives, is a heroic and unique aviation achievement."

Personally, I'd like to think performing an emergency landing that didn't result in anyone dying wasn't a "unique" achievement - maybe pilots could try not killing anyone more often? But I'm not here to write about that. I'm here to tell you all about Hero on the Hudson.



It's a very, very straightforward game. You take on the role of Captain Sullenberger just as the engines have cut out. As the plane hurtles towards the Hudson, it's up to you to keep it level by pressing the left and right arrow keys.

As you get nearer and nearer to the earth, this becomes more difficult, but liberal button mashing will usually keep you right.



Keep the plane level and you'll make a safe crash landing. People will congratulate you, the passengers will climb out onto the wings and applaud you, and NBC will plaster your face across their news reports for the next week.



Fail and, of course, none of those things will happen. You and your plane will simply sink into the mud of the Hudson river (which is surprisingly deep), where you will no doubt disintegrate long before anyone can brave the sewage laden riverbed long enough to pick out your incompetent carcass.

Aaaaand... that's it. I suppose I shouldn't expect more from it - I mean, should I be looking for a second level where Sully tackles gang bangers in the rough streets of Manhattan? It's a single event that is condensed into the simplest game possible, and I know I shouldn't really rag on it for that. But...

But it's just so simplistic! Surely landing a plane into a river is harder than this!



And I'm pretty sure this defies the laws of physics! Shouldn't the wings be breaking off at this point?

The story of Flight 1549 was one of the few happy news items to come along in recent months (well, it's happy if you're not a goose.) It's a story of the best kind of heroism, when a guy who knows his job and knows what to do in an emergency doesn't panic or worry, but stays calm and professional, saving his plane and everyone on it. It deserves more than this!



Sully deserves more than this! It was cooked up quickly in an attempt for the folks at Tasty Play games to look edgy and hip. Well, it's not hip, God damn it! And what the hell does "Tasty Play" mean, anyway? Aww, who cares - I've played games on a website called Booty Arcade, I can deal with Tasty Play.

Regardless, Hero on the Hudson is a poor game. Too short to hold your attention and too boring to be a time waster, it resides in that no man's land of games you'll play once, think, "Well... that was all right" and promptly forget about until someone points it out to you at work and you say, "Yeah, I played that. It's kinda rubbish."

Yep - that particular no man's land.

1 comment:

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