Those who love the smell of napalm in the morning will be happy to know that Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece Apocalypse Now will be made into a video game. Coppola himself gave his blessing to developer American Zoetrope in a statement on the project’s Kickstarter, saying that he was “excited to explore the possibilities for Apocalypse Now for a new platform and a new generation.”
According to the crowdfunding page, the game will be an “immersive, psychedelic horror RPG,” which will thrust players into the shoes of Captain Benjamin Williard as he heads into the wilds of Vietnam searching for Colonel Kurtz and his missing troops. The game won’t follow Apocalypse Now‘s story about Williard’s odyssey through the jungle to the letter, but instead, the development team will try to give their own spin on things in an alternative retelling of the famous tale.
Though the words “alternative retelling” may send shivers down the spines of some Apocalypse Now fans, a look at the names working on the game should raise hopes and maybe even a few eyebrows. Gears of War writer Rob Auten is on board, as well as Pillars of Eternity director Josh Sawyer, and Lawrence Liberty, who was an executive producer on The Witcher. To top this list off is Montgomery Markland, whose success in launching Wasteland 2 on the crowdfunding platform should give the new game some serious Kickstarter cred.
There will be decisions to be made aplenty too, although it won’t be done through dialogue as in more traditional RPGs, but rather through actions and postures. Combat will be a part of the game as well, though it will be more about avoiding stand-up fights and sneaking around enemies than mowing down Viet Cong. The emphasis will be mainly on the survival horror aspect of war and, according to the Kickstarter page, “is not Call of Duty in Vietnam.”
These gameplay elements, as well as the team behind American Zoetrope, should inspire confidence for fans of Apocalypse Now. The fact that it won’t be a faithful retelling of the classic film gives some of the most creative minds in modern gaming a lot of room to play with as they explore the story of how Williard goes slowly mad on his search for Colonel Kurtz. Though donating to a Kickstarter project is always a gamble, it seems unlikely that backers of this one will be disappointed.
Apocalypse Now has no release date yet.