Soleimani video game set for release as Iran mourns
Iranian gamers will soon have a chance to experience what it’s like to fight the Islamic State and be rescued by slain Iranian military commander Gen. Qasem Soleimani.
General in the Shadows, which is being produced by the Islamic Revolution Center for Digital Products and Publications (MATNA), is a first-person shooter set at the 2014 siege of Amerli in Iraq. The game reaches its climax with Soleimani arriving in a helicopter to save the day.
“Concurrent with the martyrdom anniversary of Hajji Qasem Soleimani, we will announce the release of ‘General in the Shadows’, which is an amazing first-person action game showing the events that occurred during the siege of Amerli,” said Mehdi Jafari Jozani, the director of MATNA.
A trailer for the game has been released, coinciding with other events marking one year since the US drone strike in Baghdad that killed the Iranian commander.
In the game's trailer, the playable character can be seen running through exploding corridors, zip-lining into a watchtower and gunning down waves of enemies.
In the final scene, the protagonist is blown off their feet by an airstrike, before a helicopter lands and Soleimani disembarks in slow motion. He then walks over and reaches down and to help the player to their feet.
The siege of Amerli occurred in 2014, when Islamic State (IS) militants attacked the northern Iraqi town, but failed to capture it. The extremist group then besieged and bombarded the town with mortars and rockets. At the time, the international community feared that the militants would massacre the town's residents.
The siege was eventually broken by a number of different forces, including the Iraqi army, Shia militias, Peshmerga forces, and Kataeb Hezbollah. Also present were advisors from the Quds Force, the branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps that was headed by Soleimani.
Additonally, the fighters received air support from the US, who attacked IS positions, although it is not known if this will feature in the new game.
Jozani has compared the new game to the wildly popular Gears of War 5 and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
On Twitter, one user castigated the game, saying: “I don’t ever want to hear the sanctions excuse again when they have enough to make idiotic games like this. #priorities.”
On the one year anniversary of his death, Soleimani has been the subject of a number of commemorations, including a pop song called 'You Shine', released by British-Iranian singer Hassan Tavakoli. The song features lyrics longing for the slain commander, including: “Everywhere I look, I see your trace. You tried to make the world a better place.”
Before his death, Soleimani was considered by many in Iran as a hero, while others in the Middle East condemned him for his backing and funding of militias in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon; some of whom have been accused of committing war crimes.