Konami recently announced that they will be partnering with game developer Atomic to put together a game based on the conflict in Fallujah which claimed the lives of 38 soldiers and 1,200 insurgents. The core narrative of the game will be drawn from video, photos and first hand journal accounts of troops who were involved in the conflict.
Rather then wade through the murky political right and wrong debate that surrounds the ongoing war, Atomic hopes to lend the game more towards historical insight and focus more on the stories of those who experienced the fight first hand.
“Our goal is to give people that insight, of what it’s like to be a Marine during that event, what it’s like to be a civilian in the city and what it’s like to be an insurgent.” Atomic Games president Peter Tamte said.
More then a dozen Marines will be featured, telling their stories, as part of a series of documentary style interviews. The scenes will be triggered through game play as the player encounters the men’s in-game avatars.
While I’m not much a fan of war games, (stemming from a FPS deficiency rather then an ideological mandate), this seems like a very interesting and ambitious project for Konami. With actual U.S. Marines serving as consultants on the game the details and emotions Atomic is planning to incorporate will be under the highest level of scrutiny before any game reviewers ever get a taste of the action.
Still, there is a reason that so many war games tend to stick to the tried and tested stomping grounds of WW2. Playing a game about a war that people are still dying in could leave a bad taste in the mouths of some players. Also, people rarely sympathize with Nazi’s.
As expected there has been some rustling of feathers over Konami’s plans with a few military members going so far as to publicly denounce the game and seek to have it banned.
I suppose only time will tell if Konami’s gambit pays off. The game has the opportunity to either be a moving depiction of war and those who fight, or an uncomfortable thorn prying into a wound that hasn’t been given enough time to heal.
GamePolitics reports that the game will be available for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. A multiplayer component is rumored to also be in the works.
Written for Scrambled Pixel on 4/8/09.