Let loose the fowls of war - Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken

Dear fellow fowl,

As you know, I have long served at the pleasure of our leader, Putzki, after he subjugated all of the species under the rule of the penguin. I have engaged in black ops missions, earning prestige as I rose in favor in his penguin army following each successful mission. My life has been content -- up until now.

Yesterday, while on a mission abroad, I encountered a young chicken who reminded me of myself before the war; before those troops snatched me up so many years ago and strapped me to a jetpack in the name of duty. My mind raced, taking me back to my youth, questioning everything I had done up until now. Slowly, the rage inside me grew, made tangible by an audible pulse quickening as I realized what I had been doing in the name of Putzki. The soundtrack of my life was suddenly more somber than the patriotic score I recalled. And I was pissed.
%Gallery-133996% I distinctly recall the fear and horror of those days before a lifetime of war and pillaging had exercised it out of me. I now have a new outlook on life: the beautiful blue skies, almost cartoonish vibrance of the world has crept back into frame. I now see the world as a lively, beautifully animated place, not the grey, desolate wasteland Putzki's training drilled into me.

Today, I declare war on our leader and his totalitarian regime. The star I had been branded with so many years ago -- a sign of my allegiance and service to our "great" leader -- shall no longer herald the wave of destruction and subjugation it has in the past. That young boy I encountered not only gifted me with a bandana to cover that horrible scar, he gifted me with something much, much more: a sense of self and feelings of hope. Most importantly, he gave me a new target to focus my rage on: Putzki.

But, as my time in Putzki's army had taught me, emotion has no place on the battlefield -- one that calls upon a soldier's environmental navigation and platforming skills. In my haste to usurp our tyrannical ruler, I was captured so soon into my one-man revolution. I was to waste away in a cell with some cardinals for the rest of my years, I was told. However, my determination would see me out of that cell. (Uh, you probably knew that considering you're still reading this.)

My cardinal brethren taught me of the brain bug, a small creature who enjoys the vast, hot expanse that is the penguin cranium. Throwing them at the right angle (in this case, through the bars of my cell), I deployed them within proximity of the guard outside my cell. With the littlest bit of brain to latch onto, these creatures turn the penguins into my puppets, allowing me to use them against their fellow soldiers or simply off themselves. Employing both scenarios during my escape were almost as satisfying as the escape itself.

With their help, along with the aid of cardinals I freed along the way, I vaulted, ducked and ran onward to freedom. On my way out, I encountered a giant missile depot ... and kinda accidentally fired one missile off. I mean, you try not hitting an inviting red button next to a giant cache of missiles. For all I knew, it could've been the Instant Escape button!

But I digress. My final test before emerging from the prison (which was actually part of a larger underground installation, I might add) was the exercise yard. Several attempts to go it alone proved that I wasn't chicken enough to make it through. There were just too many armed penguins guards. Luckily, my new cardinal comrades came to my aid. Watching them pulverize guards and leap into the fray without fear only served to embolden my initiative. My resolve was strengthened. I pushed through and that's when I found a jetpack.

So I took to the skies, straight for Putzki's prized zeppelin. The sky was a lovely shade of blue that day, not a cloud in sight, instilling me with hope for a brighter future than the blood-soaked one I currently had to trudge through. "The ends justify the means," I told myself. I wouldn't let a few dead penguins get me down. I charged forward, reveling in the freedom of movement that only jetpack technology could provide. As good as I am at platforming, I now know that the chicken was always meant to fly; I'm a natural in the sky. My prowess proved that.

Scores of soldiers deployed from a ventilation shaft on the top of the zeppelin, putting an end to my sight-seeing tour, but they were not enough to stop me. Having spent so much time on ground, I was eager to spool up my jetpack's chain guns -- and it felt good. The independent movement of the jetpack and free aim of the machine guns make all come together in a package that is as equally offensive as it is defensive. I strafed away from pursuers, pulled off air maneuvers while dodging missiles and turned several pilots into nothing more than a pile of feathers and broken dreams. I was once Putzki's most beloved soldier, but now, in the air, so powerful and graceful, I became his most feared enemy.

Yet, I am but one rooster and find myself at a stall. After the zeppelin raid, I almost reverted back to a state of limbo. I'm now aimless, in need of a new point of interest to continue my campaign. But I cannot do everything alone, as my stint in jail proved. So I need your help. I need you to sign up, to vow that you too will take an oath to end Putzki's oppressive rule. I need you to feel the burning rage within I feel.

Throughout lush, tropical jungles and underground in dank, industrial installations they hide, these penguins. I will fight those I once fought beside using a variety of weapons, from pistols to assault rifles. I will find the appropriately colored key cards for their corresponding doors. I will not give up, and I will laugh as I spill buckets and buckets of penguin blood, reveling in the almost cartoonish carnage of it all. I will free Albatropolis from the icy-cold grip of the penguin!

It is my declaration to you, my fellow fowl brothers and sisters, that I will earn us our freedom. It will not come easy, but I can say that not for a single moment will you question your decision to fight for Albatropolis. What I promise is adventure (with a lot of platforming segments) and the reward of knowing you've slaughtered so many penguins that you're not even really sure penguins exist anymore. Join me and together let us bring the war to the penguin!

Hardboiled Chicken

P.S. I've also got, like, ten very specific co-op missions that one person (and one person only) could really help me out with, so if you're interested let me know!

Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken launches on PSN next month.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.