Filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola is kickstarting a video game based on his classic 1979 Vietnam war film Apocalypse Now!
Copploa’s American Zoetrope will co-produce the game, and they are looking to raise $900,000 to do it. According to the Kickstarter page, the game will be “an immersive, psychedelic horror [role-playing game].” It will be developed by a talented team of people who have worked on games such as The Witcher, Fallout: New Vegas, and Star Wars Galaxies.
Apocalypse Now depicts the horror and spectacle of the Vietnam War through the character of Captain Benjamin Willard, an American tasked with the assassination of Colonel Walter E. Kurtz.
The game is an interactive recreation of Willard’s journey, as seen through a survival horror lens in which players with limited resources face unspeakable terrors.
By choosing how to react to these situations, each player molds a unique version of Willard within the loose confines of the film story. You are Willard and your actions will determine his fate.
Your mission begins in Saigon, where Willard is holed up in a dingy hotel. Audio and visual distortion evoke Willard’s emotions and past experiences. The game provides you subjective access to a character who is already nearly insane.
Unlike a traditional RPG, the emphasis is not choosing dialogue, but rather actions and postures. Combat draws from survival horror to emphasize combat avoidance and stealth. This is not Call of Duty in Vietnam.
You will quickly learn that the gun-blazing solo war machine of other shooters would not have lasted long in the real Vietnam. Instead you will find rewards for proceeding cautiously and managing limited resources with care. Willard is your responsibility; make him an adept soldier and you will command respect in the jungle.
Brutalism and hubris will bring about severe repercussions affecting your relationship with those around you, especially the crew of the PBR Streetgang (aka the Erebus). Your actions can endanger or empower them and will affect how they view you and their willingness to aid you.
There is also a war of resources. Food, water, first aid supplies, anti-malaria medicine, drugs, ammo, weapons, mission information, and gasoline are all vital to your and Willard’s success. While in U.S.-controlled territory, you can find resources through exploration, interactions with allied forces, completing side missions, scavenging from hostiles, and supply drops.
Once the Erebus crosses under the Do Lung Bridge, the reigns of control are sheared away. American influence is replaced by something more primal, all ending in Kurtz.
The world of Apocalypse Now is full of compelling, disturbing, and potentially useful characters. You will recognize many of them from the film, but we’ll be adding new ones in collaboration with our partners at American Zoetrope. Our goal is to immerse you in a tale of drama, magic, and horror.
It’s estimated that once it’s funded it will take three years to complete, and as a longtime fan of the film.
“Forty years ago, I set out to make a personal art picture that could hopefully influence generations of viewers for years to come. Today, I’m joined by new daredevils, a team who want to make an interactive version of Apocalypse Now, where you are Captain Benjamin Willard amidst the harsh backdrop of the Vietnam War. I’ve been watching video games grow into a meaningful way to tell stories, and I’m excited to explore the possibilities for Apocalypse Now for a new platform and a new generation.”
Don’t forget to check out the teaser trailer below.