Remember Too Many Cooks? The 2014 short created by Casper Kelly for Adult Swim shook the internet with its uncanny recreation of 1980s style TV intros. Of course, the intros soon devolve into something far darker. Well, Kelly has teamed up with write Nick Gibbons to create a new short, Final Deployment 4: Queen Battle Walkthrough. The new short takes the form of a “Let’s Play” style walkthrough for a fictional first person shooter with the ridiculous title Final Deployment 4 and then…well, I’ll let you watch the (not-work safe) clip for yourself.
Still here? Are you okay? First, let’s talk about how perfectly observed the first section of Final Deployment 4 is. The opening action scene of the walkthrough really does look like something out of a mid-2000s first person shooter; one of those sci-fi soldiers/space bugs games like Resistance or Gears Of War. The streamer character, Blair Trigger, is sadly not too far from actual streamers, with an obnoxious personality and cracking barely humorous jokes. The achievement trophies, mirroring those meaningless achievements awarded in XBox and PlayStation games, are also spot on. Finally, the idea of a alien war game that eventually looks at a soldier’s depressing return home, done in real time, is hilarious; turning the drudgery of putting price tags on pill bottles for eight hours is a brilliant dark gag.
What makes Final Deployment 4 really sing however is the second half. The walls of reality start to crumble when Blair Trigger’s reality turns out to be simultaneously a Sims-style life simulator, a fighting game and a Grand Theft Autoesque open world adventure. Then slowly, the Russian nesting doll of game universes loops in on itself until reality falls apart. It’s weird, brilliant and a good reminder to always back up your saved data. While it may not shock as hard as Too Many Cooks did nearly four years ago, Kelly and Gibbons have created a worthy follow up.