[SPOILER WARNING NOW FOR SPEC OPS: THE LINE. But you really, really should play the game. Tour the content on the easiest difficulty level if you have to.]
Part of playing to 100% completion and unlocking all achievements in a game often means beating games at the highest difficulty level. Sometimes, my memories of beating games at their respective highest difficulty levels are fond. For example, finishing the last campaign in Left 4 Dead on “Expert” difficulty is still one of my favorite gaming memories, while beating Crysis 2 on “Supersoldier” mode with a fully powered Nanosuit and complete awareness of how to approach the game’s combat puzzles fulfilled my power fantasy. Other times, my memories are less kind, such as the sour aftertaste of using an exploit to progress through Bayonetta on “Non-Stop Climax” mode or how rote the experience felt beating Resident Evil 5 on its highest difficulty level. I like to think that I’ve now played enough games that I can beat most games, no matter how hard. After all, I’m part of the Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare “Mile High Club.” I’ve beaten Halo: Reach on “Legendary” difficulty by myself. No game should be beyond my ability to complete.
For all that might, for all the enemies who have died because I pulled the trigger, I chose poorly. Frustrated, I selected to use the mortar and rained fire on my enemies. From a computer display similar to the “Death From Above” sequence on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, I burned my enemies with white phosphorus. As the white dots on my screen stopped moving a pull of the trigger at a time, the camera panned to one more group of white dots that I had to eliminate. They moved differently than the other white dots, and they were penned in what looked like a holding area. The game wouldn’t let me continue until they too fell, so I pulled the trigger until those white dots disappeared too.
Those particular white dots were civilians, and I had just massacred them.