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Overview

Released on November 22, 2004, the 41st anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination, JFK Reloaded challenged players across the world to take part in "the world’s first mass-participation forensic reconstruction." Players are scored on a scale of 0-1000, although it is possible to have negative points. Points are awarded depending on how closely they recreated the actual assassination in factors such as shot fatality, shot timing, number of shots, etc., as well as losing massive points if, for example, JFK survives or Jackie Kennedy is killed. In the original release of the game, players could enter a contest to win up to $100,000. Upon entering the contest, players would begin the simulation and have their score uploaded to the game's website. On February 22, 2005, the competition closed as a user obtained a high score of 782 out of 1000. A prize of $10,712 was awarded and the simulation was re-released with the competition mode disabled.

Gameplay

Although played from the first person perspective, JFK Reloaded can't really be called a first person shooter. As the game starts, players find themselves viewing Dealey Plaza through the eyes of Oswald on the 6th floor of the Texas Schoolbook Depository. Players aim their crosshairs using the mouse, but are unable to move as in most first person games. Clicking the right mouse button allows players to look through the rifle's scope, and clicking the left mouse button fires the weapon. The simulation begins as the president's motorcade turns onto Houston street, roughly 28 seconds before the first shot is fired. After the simulation begins, players are free to act.

Replay and Ballistics

After the simulation has been completed or times out, the player is able to view an instant replay of the events. A handful of different viewing options are available, or the player can choose their own camera angle. Replays can be paused, rewound, or viewed in slow motion. Additionally, a slider allows players to quickly jump to specific moments of the replay. Once the player has ended the replay, a ballistics summary is presented that allows players to rotate the president's limo and view the ballistics of each round fired. A fired bullet's approach stage of its path appears as a green line while purple lines represent the part of a bullet's path where it has ricocheted. A yellow line indicates when a bullet has gone through something or someone and a red line represents a bullet that killed its target.

Controversy

Due to its graphic depiction of a famous presidential assassination, JFK Reloaded has attracted a great deal of controversy. Senator Edward Kennedy, brother of the late president, obviously condemned the game, which was later called "despicable" by the senator's spokesperson. Hardcore videogame hater and senator Joseph Lieberman has also spoken out and was "sickened by the game," according to his spokesperson.

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