Published on September 24th, 2017 | by Neil Jordan0
We Preview Planet Of The Apes: Last Frontier
We’re 3 weeks removed from PAX 2017 and still, the show’s ‘after effects’ are making waves. It’s no super-secret that while indie and big game developers and tech companies are on the main floor giving everyone early peaks and first glimpses at the latest games/gear for playing said games, the companies also set-up shop in some of the surrounding hotels in downtown Seattle inviting only a select few gaming fans and members of the press a look at things that are still in development but that the developers have so much faith in (and justifiably so) that they want to get out there just under the Radar a bit so they can get a bead on how it’s ‘red carpet debut’ will turn out.
With the three latest ‘Planet Of The Apes’ films reinvigorating the franchise, great interest has been shown in developing a serious game based on the films. Little did most folks know that behind the scenes, game developers were indeed taking a serious look at this possibility. At PAX, I learned just how serious one game developer really was.
This year, Skewed & Reviewed was invited to meet with the good folks from ‘Imaginati’ to talk about more than just plans for such a game. They rolled out the red carpet and showed us the game itself which they plan to release later this year. Titled “Planet Of The Apes: Last Frontier” the game takes place between the latest two films of the franchise ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ and ‘War of the Planet of the Apes’ just a year after Dawn. The setting is the Rocky Mountain region of the Western United States where a group of Apes have traveled to to build a small community and avoid the Human-Ape war. At this time though, winter is about to set in and food is running dangerously scarce and the apes are forced to venture out and seek food and shelter in the Human settlements of the surrounding area.
This game is NOT your standard play-as-you-go console game. Far from it. It’s taking ‘interactive’ to a whole new level and combining a whole new look and feel to the game that could be described as an interactive cinematic experience. To give you an idea, the game was developed using the motion capture studio directed by the lead actor in the films, Andy Serkis.
Serkis himself is also serving as executive producer for the game and its being produced at Ealing Studios. The game’s developers initially decided that the overall length of the game’s timeframe should be no more than 2 or 3 hours in length but it will be a game with a number of outcomes so it will be playable over and over again.
One of the unique features of the game that goes against the norm is that you cannot explore the surrounding in-game world or control the characters themselves. The game is based on a ‘decision making’ premise. It’s a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ style of control. You are viewing the game and the world within through the eyes of the Apes and the Humans. You are making decisions for the characters in the game that will control how the story evolves and have serious repercussions either good or bad not just for the individual characters but also their respective communities. For every action you will have a certain amount of time to make whichever decision you choose. With more then one player it gets complex where you have to debate with one another for an even number of players. With an odd number of players is when it gets tricky since that extra player can break any deadlock between an even number of players. The developers stated that that one of the major aspects they were intent on in the game’s development was creating a ‘morally ambiguous world’. There will not necessarily be ‘good’ or ‘bad’ decisions. You can make decisions that on behalf of one side or ones that will benefit all parties involved. Arbitrary or diplomatic. War or peace.
This is definitely one of those games that will overwhelm folks in a positive way with how much thought and dedication the creators put into the game as well as how much drive it will bring out of any player or players who are fans of the franchise as well as any newcomers. This is certainly one to keep your eyes on. A game like this, who knows what great influence it could potential have on others and not just ones inspired by movies but perhaps already established game franchises as well.