We Asked A Real Military Officer To Rank The Accuracy Of These Bubsy 3D Levels

For years, games have strived to emulate what it truly feels like to wage war. Half of this challenge has been improving the graphics that create photorealistic weapons and battlefields, while the other half has been mission design: asking the player to do things that a real soldier might do. We wanted to see how far games have come, so we asked former Lt. Col. James Roderick—who boasts over thirty years in the US armed forces—to rank the accuracy of these levels from Bubsy 3D.

Level 1: Claws for Alarm

“We’re doing… oh, we’re doing… what’s this? Bubsy 3D? I’m not much of a gamer, I admit, but I assumed we’d be looking at Call of Duty or something. But no, this is fine, you’re the experts. So uh, right off the bat, we appear to be playing as some sort of anthropomorphic cat on a brightly colored alien world, which is very unlike my personal experience. There are these little collectible atom things floating everywhere? I’ve never been ordered to collect little floating atom things. Okay, so now Bubsy is being fired upon by enemy forces, but they’re just cartoon aliens. Oh, you can run right past them? They can’t move? That’s… oddly specific at best. I also can’t help but notice Bubsy was crushed by a falling pillar in the ending cutscene. Is that supposed to be a joke?”

Accuracy rating: 0/10

Level 4: Woolie Bully

“Are you sure this was intended as a serious war simulation? It all seems a bit frivolous. Well, okay, if you say so, we can keep playing, but I have a feeling my chain is being yanked around a bit here. Okay, so Bubsy seems to have survived the falling pillar unscathed. In the levels we skipped, was there anything about Bubsy waiting for Jack to show up with the goddamn helicopter, and Mikey is fucking bleeding to death, and you can hear them out there looking for you because they know you’re around here somewhere, and goddamn it where is Jack with that fucking helicopter? Or are we just in some sort of… math… realm? And you have to dodge bolts of… acid, or something. Well, chemical weapons violate the Geneva Conventions, and I’m lucky enough that I’ve never encountered them on the field, but frankly I doubt I’d be able to simply jump over them.”

Accuracy rating: 0/10

Level 7: Das Bobcat

“We’re underwater now? I’ve never personally been trained for that, but I’ve never heard from a diving unit that there are extra oxygen tanks in the water that you can swim through to refill your gauge. We try to stay pretty well-equipped in the armed forces, so I think divers wouldn’t go underwater without more than enough oxygen already on hand. Is that… is that a shark with the head of a dog? And wait a second, this level’s called ‘Das Bobcat?’ Is Bubsy fucking German?”

Accuracy rating: 0/10

Level 18: The Final Stretch

“Oh, so the goal of this game is to overthrow the leader of a foreign government? Yeah, we used to do that shit all the time.”

Accuracy rating: 10/10

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