Games

Introducing Periwinkle the Poolboy: Cold Winter

Hello guys I am Periwinkle! A new STAFF Member! I am the Poolboy on Paradise Island! I was really eager to get started. So instead of letting the manager introduce me I will introduce myself. Occasionally when I’m not busy skimming the pool, watching from afar as everyone else has fun and socializes at the tiki bar I go off into my little shed and play twenty year old video games. On some special nights when all the chlorine has been dutifully poured and the pool filters hum majestically free of any rogue speedo bottoms I will write about the games I play and what secret wisdom they hold. 

In this post we cover the 2005 first person shooter and delve into spy stereotypes. 

Cold Winter is a 2005 first person shooter developed by Swordfish Studios and published by Vivendi Universal Games for the PlayStation 2.

Swordfish Studios was a British based video game developer best known for the game, World Championship Rugby. They would later be acquired by Vivendi Universal Games (who also published Cold Winter)

Vivendi was the publisher of the legendary, Half Life 2 and later merged with Activision creating the well known publisher, Activision Blizzard. 

Cold Winter despite its unbelievably lame name is a delight. The best James Bond game that James Bond isn’t in on the PlayStation 2. Your main character is disavowed MI6 spy, Andrew Sterling. You are being held prisoner in a Chinese prison when you are saved by another agent for another spy syndicate that (OFCOURSE 🙄) needs your services. 

My biggest gripe with this game is not its ten-years-too-late-brit-rave-scene soundtrack. It’s not it’s R3 to zoom controls (which is a minor pain in the ass) or it’s over-the-top limb and decapitation physics that are so ridiculous you have to laugh. 

The largest problem I have with the game is it’s over used “Spy gets disavowed/goes rogue” trope. Used over and over again in nearly every major spy movie I’ve ever seen. Being born in the west during the Cold War, I have watched a fuck ton of James Bond and other spy films. All of them feature the rogue agent plot. ALL.OF.THEM. They also all feature the more fun typical espionage cliches and stereotypes engrained in me so deeply now I will never be able to unlearn them. 

Like for example: Every western spy is a perfect shot, wears a tuxedo, USES HIS REAL NAME, **probably** has a drinking problem (??) and can and will seduce everyone in the room. 

On the flip side of the coin every stereotype for counter intelligence is generally: unbelievably stunning Soviet femme fatale that is just as dangerous as she is sultry OR scarred up giant guy henchmen protecting Elon Musk style weirdos. 

As far as stereotypes are concerned these are all pretty good. But are they true? I have no idea. I don’t know any spies and if I did they would be horrible at their jobs…because…well, they’re spies. 

So… luckily for us, dear reader, there is a wealth of education and wisdom at our fingertips. Historians that have dedicated their entire lives to document every move of shadowy figures throughout history all to be used in a blog post about the 2005 video game, Cold Winter. It’s all come down to this, folks. 

Here are some famous spies from Historylists.org

Sidney Reilley

Sidney Reilley or the, “Gentleman Spy” was said to inspire Ian Fleming for his character, James Bond. Known to live an extravagant lifestyle he was eventually caught by the Soviet regime and executed. Sounds like this guy invented the spy stereotype.

Mata Hari

A Dutch exotic dancer and suspected German spy during World War 1. She was ultimately exposed by the French and executed by firing squad in Paris. Later on evidence would suggest that Mata Hari was actually more of a double agent playing both sides. She was 41. Beautiful, dangerous, exotic. Boom. Spy stereotype confirmed. 

Now I could see you start to say, “Well, Periwinkle… That was only two spies from one website. You are horrible at research and you have wasted everyones time.” And yeah – I’d have to agree with you. I’m not a good researcher and chances are this article did waste your time. BUT have we not learned something today?

1.) Don’t be a spy – you’ll probably die. 

Go dust off your ps2 and pick up Cold Winter. It’s a fun, well crafted game. Above average for sure. Unlike my writing. – Periwinkle

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