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Video Game / Syrian Warfare

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Syrian Warfare (known as Сирия: Русская Буря i.e. Syria: Russian Storm in the creators' language) is a Real-Time Strategy game, created by the Russian developer Cats Who Play, and released for PC through Steam on February 21st, 2017.

The main storyline is told from the perspective of Anvar Amin, who used to be a lieutenant in the Syrian police force at a small town before the civil war broke out. The conflict still hasn't reached his town at the start of the narrative; he even says it merely felt like "something happening over on the TV screen" and was even able to take a leave abroad. Right after he returns, however, the terrorists finally reach his town and murder the police chief with the aid of the traitorous second-in-command. Nevertheless, he is able to mount effective resistance and push the terrorists out of the town. From then on, the story follows his squad's involvement in the war's crucial battlefields, both when they were on their own and after the Russian air force had started intervening in their favour.

By the end of 2017, the game also received a short downloadable campaign, Return to Palmyra, devoted to the battles around the titular ancient city, which was famously liberated from the Islamic State in 2016, then lost, and then retaken again within a year. A year later, it had also received Battlefields DLC, which included both additional missions and the Level Editor allowing the players to create their own scenarios.


Since this is a work with a clear political positioning, remember about Rule of Cautious Editing Judgement when writing about anything not directly mentioned in the narrative.

Tropes present in this game:

  • Bland-Name Product: LiveJournal, the most popular blogging platform in Russia, is represented as "Social Spider". In between missions, the player can read both the entries from Anvar's personal diary (sometimes accompanied by the historical background notes) and the posts on Social Spider, which roughly approximate the way the conflict was covered in the Russian blogosphere at the time: from the Russian opposition bloggers eagerly hoping for the repeat of "the Libyan scenario" and anticipating the domino effect reaching Moscow, to worried posts from the Russian women married to Syrians about their families being torn apart by the conflict.
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  • Faux Affably Evil: Wahid, the traitor from the police force, feigns politeness when he attempts to get his former colleagues Wazir and Anvar to follow him and switch sides, but loses it after he murders Wazir, yet Anvar remains defiant.
    When the new order takes place, we'll slaughter you and your families, fool! Don't you understand that we are backed by the entire world? We have limitless access to money and weapons! How long can you hold out? How can you counter the forces backing us?
  • Gameplay Grading: At the end of each mission, the time taken to complete the mission, the losses inflicted on the enemy and the casualties suffered by your troops are tallied up to generate the number of "command points", which represent Anvar's authority as a commander.
  • Garrisonable Structures: All buildings can be garrisoned. Moreover, they are also separated into light, medium and durable to reflect the protection they offer from gunfire, and their resistance to explosive weaponry. Moreover, while regular infantry will fire from the windows, snipers will seek to take up firing positions on the roof.
  • Last Chance to Quit: Wahid, the traitorous police official, offers one to Anvar's chief Wazir.
    Wazir: Who are these people? (referring to a squad of a dozen gunmen behind Wahid.)
    Wahid: These are my new friends, and, if you'll be smart, yours too.
    Wazir: I don't understand.
    Wahid: Times are changing. These people are the new power here, and I work for them. Now is the time to be free, Wazir! They have money, and weapons, and limitless support from abroad. You have been watching the TV, and you know what's going on: the central authorities are about to fall. I am offering you to join the victors before it's too late. You and your people will be left unharmed. Maybe they will slaughter a couple of Christians in the town to let them know who's in charge, but you shouldn't really care about them anyway. You on the other hand, will be the commander. What do you say?
    Wazir: It didn't take long for you to sell out, did it? Still can't forgive the high command for turning down your promotion to colonel and not transferring you to Damascus? This is your chance to get revenge, Wahid, isn't it? You will not enter the town. Not while me and my people are still alive.
    • After Anvar mounts a successful defence and repels the first waves of terrorists, Wahid contacts him directly through his leftover police radio and makes a similar offer directly to him, threatening to back it up with the arrival of the main forces.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: The fate of police chief Wazir, shot soon after he defies the offer to switch sides in the speech above.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Wahid, the traitorous police official, absolutely doesn't mind if any Christians get killed by the fanatical terrorists he is allied with so long as he gets money and power in the new Syria.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Wazir, Anvar's police chief in the tutorial mission, who is unfailingly polite and makes sure to ask Anvar about how he spent leave in Lebanon.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilised: Since the narrative is told from a loyalist perspective, this is to be expected. The first rebel leader we see does his best to appear reasonable as he makes his pitch, yet still lets slip "his new friends" with limitless foreign backing may kill a few Christians in the town just to teach them a lesson and he doesn't care about that.
  • Smoke Out: Smoke grenades can be deployed to obscure the opponents' vision and thus dramatically slash their accuracy, as well as increase the time they spend aiming, and thus lower their rate of fire. Moreover, deploying smoke grenades at the right time will interrupt the targeting of guided missiles like TOW or Javelin.
  • Stock Footage: The opening of the game has the POV character, Anvar, narrate his story over the real news clips of the early demonstrations and the responses from various politicians on the world stage.
  • Subsystem Damage: Every vehicle is divided into multiple zones that receive damage separately, as shown with two schematics: a side-view and a top-down one.
  • Suicide Attack: Vehicles filled with explosives and driven by suicide bombers appear from the first mission onwards.
  • Universal Driver's License: Downplayed. While practically every infantry is considered capable enough to drive both civilian cars and other light vehicles, tanks and other tracked vehicles can only be driven by the dedicated personnel.


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