Almost 40 years after the release of Francis Ford Coppola’s legendary Apocalypse Now, fans are going to get to experience the action from their own perspective for the first time as Coppola’s American Zoetrope production company looks to release a video game based on the film.
Do not get too excited just yet: The game is not expected to be released until 2020.
That long wait is due in no small part to the amount of thought and attention to detail the designers are putting into the game.
It is not going to be simply a blood-and-guts, first-person shooter or anything like that.
“The legendary director is planning to develop a ‘psychological horror’ role-playing game,” CNN reports. “Players will see the world through the eyes of Capt. Willard, the U.S. officer played by Martin Sheen in the film who embarks on a mission to assassinate Marlon Brando’s renegade Col. Kurtz.”
Sounds like Coppola has changed his mind about video games https://t.co/33sfpasb6c
— Polygon (@Polygon) January 25, 2017
Coppola and crew are looking to raise a good bit of the funding to design and produce the video game through the popular crowdsourcing website Kickstarter.
Part of the reason Coppola chose to use his own production company and raise funds through Kickstarter is so that he could maintain creative control over the project and help ensure that it did not slip into the formulaic predictability common of many of the big video game developers.
“I learned quickly that the major game publishers have modeled themselves after the big Hollywood studios, in that they’re driven to make risk-free, formulaic, tent-pole projects that fit easily into a specific genre,” The Verge quotes Coppola as saying about the project. “So I wasn’t surprised to hear that these companies weren’t ready to take on Apocalypse Now in the way we wanted to make it.”
Coppola is indeed taking his first foray into video game design seriously, as would be expected of such an earnest and meticulous director. He has assembled designers from the teams that created Fallout: New Vegas, Battlefield, and Far Cry, among other video games.
‘Apocalypse Now’ Video Game: Coppola Launches Kickstarter Campaign for RPG Version of His Vietnam Classic https://t.co/1toouGaJFV
— Grantl Sepp (@IcHeisNichtOtto) January 25, 2017
“We’re making a first-person perspective survival and horror game with strong roleplaying elements,” reads the description of the game on the Kickstarter campaign page.
“No open world. No long walks. No twitch shooting. All tension. All tactical decision making. Some outcomes determined by Player skill and some by Character skill. Psychological decision making in your dialogues with other characters.”
The creators also note that the game will have “a heavy emphasis on an RPG-like narrative with branching outcomes.”
“You will explore the jungles and rivers of Vietnam in first person perspective. You join a crew of ‘rock and rollers with one foot in their grave’… It’s like Fallout: New Vegas on acid in the middle of the Vietnam War.”
Coppola hopes to raise $900,000 through the Kickstarter campaign. He’s off to a good start, with pledges already totaling nearly $150,000 just a few days in.
Digital copies of the video game are available as a reward with donations starting at the $35 level, and physical, boxed copies of the game are available starting at the $95 donation level. There are a whole bunch of other perks and digital extras thrown in at most levels, of course.
The $10,000 “Willard” pledge level comes with too many perks to list here, but highlights include getting to design an in-game item and receiving an “Actual Prop from Apocalypse Now set (Physical & Large).”
The prop alone almost makes it worth it.
The game is, predictably, already stirring up a great deal of hype, but Andrew Liptak at The Verge is careful to point out that video games funded through Kickstarter have somewhat of a rocky history. Everyone knows Apocalypse Now has a bit of a jinxed past itself.
“Apocalypse Now famously had a difficult production and this project is an ambitious one with plenty working against it,” Liptak writes.
“The history of Kickstarter-funded games is long and full of failed projects, ranging from Neal Stephenson’s Clang or the dinosaur survival game Stomping Land. Even if a game is completed, it can still have considerable problems, such as Mighty No. 9. It’ll be interesting to see just where an Apocalypse Now game will end up (they’re predicting October 2020 for a delivery date), but $25 seems worth it for a game that will let you drop acid just because you can.”
Oh, yeah, did we mention that if you want to you can just have your character take acid and ride around in the boat staring at the forest? Well, you can. It’s all in the game.
[Featured Image by Mario Tama/Getty Images]