Militia 2 is the sequel to the popular Counter-Strike movie, CS_Militia Part 1. What started as a small group project of about 5 people, quickly boomed into a 30+ person production, as The Family God (Director.) strived to take Militia 2 to a higher level than Part 1.
The film follows Russ, a special forces soldier, as he tries to rescue his captured teammate, (Aswell as other hostages.) from a terrorist infested household. Russ plans an attack with his squad members to eliminate the terrorists, but each battle ends in more bloodshed. What had begun as a small search and rescue operation is now a brute struggle of survival of the fittest.
The Film features custom mapping by talented artists Mojo and Outkast, but is based on the official counter-strike map, cs_militia. It also features an original music score by The Family God and voice talent by some of Toronto's best young actors.
After months of hype and dozens of interviews with cast and crew, Militia 2 has been finished. So does Militia 2 live up to all the hype? In two words: Hell Yes. Before I get into the meat of the review I'll start off with some general information on the movie...
- Director: The Family God
Format: Windows Media Format or Divx
Length: 29:03 Minutes including 2 minutes of outtakes
The very first thing you'll notice when watching Militia 2 is the professional presentation of the movie. What do I mean? I mean opening credits with great visual effects and an outstanding music score. You may remember that Militia 1 began with Terrorists running through the sewers of cs_militia screaming about how damn hot he is. You won't see anything even remotely similar to that in Militia 2.
Virtually all the flaws that annoyed viewers in Militia 1 have been corrected in Militia 2. The most striking improvement is the exceptional voice quality. The voice codec Valve included with Half-Life has horrible quality because of the nature of the game: small amounts of data must convey a lot of information. In Militia 2 it's completely different. Professional and amateur voice actors did all of the voice acting in Militia 2, whereas all of the voice acting in Militia 1 was performed in game using the low-quality Half-Life voice codec. In Militia 2 the professional recordings were dubbed in after the "filming" took place.
Another key improvement is the addition of a truly believable and intricate plot. It's no longer "Shoot. Check the cameras. Shoot some more. Throw a flashbang grenade. Show end credits." You'll notice this in the very beginning when the Counter-Terrorists are arguing about the main character's role in the botched rescue mission. There is actual conflict between characters, something unheard of in Militia 1. This conflict is taken even further thanks to the excellent voice acting.
What Counter-Strike movie would be complete without plenty of action, shooting, and headshots? There are plenty of gun battles and one major helicopter battle in the 29-minute movie. The action scenes aren't just about running into a room and slaughtering every living thing in there. You follow the character on his mission and feel the suspense created by stalking around in the basement or in the sewers. You know that something will happen. It's that knowledge that creates the suspense and makes the scenes so enjoyable. There are sneak attacks, grenades flying about, and frantic calls for help from trapped teammates. Visual effects such as Matrix-like slow motion make the gun fights all the more dramatic.
There are also flashbacks to Militia 1, which further the plot and give anyone who hasn't seen Militia 1 a good idea of what led up to Militia 2. There is also a short flashback to another part of Militia 2 that discusses heroism and duty and could really bring a tear to your eye (if you weren't such a tough guy of course) when combined with the excellent music composed by The Family God.
What more could a Counter-Strike player ask for from a movie? I'll tell you what! A helicopter! Yes, that's right: a helicopter. There is a flying helicopter featured in a major battle in Militia 2. It flies, shakes when damaged, and even makes helicopter sounds. Even Valve's Erik Johnson was very impressed with the helicopter and other effects created by Militia 2's skilled mappers, Mojo and outkast.
Speaking of maps, the map Militia 2 takes place in is not the regular csmilitia. It has been modified to give the appearance of taking place at night. There are some nice lighting effects that really polish off the map we are all used to. And best of all, the csmilitia bathroom is featured in the movie!
"This movie sounds far too serious for my tastes! Is there any humor in Militia 2?" There are several funny scenes in the movie. A couple notable ones involve the Scottish Counter-Terrorist and the stereotypical Southern hick Terrorist. They have some good lines that are sure to get a laugh.
"So are there any flaws in this movie at all? You make it sound like a high-budget Hollywood film!" Of course there are some flaws, but they are barely noticeable. There are only a couple instances where the dialog seemed a little odd, like casually saying "goodbye" to a trapped hostage. Other than those one or maybe two instances it's hard to find flaws in this movie.
Militia 2 has continued the legacy of Militia 1, creating high quality movies based on our favorite game, Counter-Strike. So shall I sum up this preview in one line? Great plot, great music, great voice acting, great visuals, great cinematography, and great attention to detail and professionalism. There, I did it. I must give my personal congratulations to The Family God, Mojo, outkast, and all of the voice talent that played a part in the creation of this magnificent movie. Whatever you do don't forget to listen to the outtakes. They are only about two minutes long, but they're pretty funny. And one more thing...the Swat Leader pwns!
Need A Second Opinion? Visit The UKTerrorists Website!
How was the video/audio recorded? A video camera was directly hooked up to the videocard and soundcard. Scenes were recorded to tape, and then captured as .AVI files into the computer.
What software was used to make make Militia II? Adobe Premiere captured and cut the footage. Adobe After Effects did all slow motion effects. Midisoft composed and score, and sound forge (Now in Sony's hands, but at time of writting, was, as far as I understand, owned by Sonic Foundry.) mastered the music/dialogue.
How Can I make half life movies without all that text getting in the way? console command: hud_draw 0
Is The Family God going to release his Milittia II soundtrack? The Family God considers music a very personal thing. He does not intend to release his music to anyone. If by any chance his music is released, it would be sold, not given away.
I spotted a mistake in scene [insert scene here]! Make no mistake, this is an amateur production. Chances are, if you've seen the mistake, we know about it already. There are instances of player-skin mixups, consistency errors, etc, throughout the movie.
Does The Family God and Co. make money off this movie? No, this whole project is 100% volunteer and no financial compensation whatever has been received.
Does The Family God plan to make more in-game movies like this? Some members of the Militia II team have the desire to make another in-game movie, however The Family God himself does not intend to do so. He encourages people in the #militia2 channel,(No longer in operation, and no, it never happened.) to chat and possibly collaborate to make a new movie with other people in the channel.
Why doesn't the helicopter crash in the Militia II map? Why can't I control it? The helicopter used for the movie runs on a set path, just like in the map released by Mojo. The crash scene was a combination of 2-3 maps, creating the illusion for filming purposes.
How long did it take to make Militia II? 5 months
What is The Family God's next movie project? The Family God has been making his own real-life movies for a few years now. He plans to make his own (real life) films as usual. He also does not reveal information about his future projects to anyone.
Where can I find Militia part 1? The Official Machinima.com Website.