Sony Computer Entertainement Japan just partly unveiled the game that was previously identified as “Panopticon“. It’s a multiplayer “rescue” action game to be released in 2014 now officially titled Freedom Wars. The game is in development at Sony Japan Studio exclusively for PS Vita.
The title’s story brings us to a devastated Earth in the near future (PT Era 102013. Don’t ask me how this is “near” future, I’m going by Sony’s official words here). Humanity survived by withdrawing to a megalopolis named Panopticon. However due to the depletion of natural resources the government is extremely strict and sentences a large number of people to imprisonment in order to have an easier time managing them.
Those imprisoned are called “criminals” and condemned to forced labor. They have to take part in a war strangely named “volunteer work”. In order to earn their freedom the criminals have to fight every day in a continuous conflict to rescue the “citizens” and to compete for resources.
In the dystopian megalopolis everyone is strictly controlled. The full trailer (that you can see at the bottom of this post) compares the present and the future, showing how in 2013 in London there are 4,200,000 surveillance cameras, while in Panopticon in PT 102013 there are 12,984,450,000 electronic eyes watching over the population. The number of criminals has also increased to a mindblowing 126,659,683. They are apparently found and judged by an automated system. The percentage of criminals found innocent by the system is zero.
War deaths have also increased from today’s 107,800,000 to 1,240,500,000, while gun ownership ratio has gone up from 0.25% to 3.5%. The life of a worker also seems to be pretty hellish, as the average number of daily work hours in Panopticon is 18. Strict population control policies seem to be in place, as the percentage between males and females sits exactly on 50/50%.
While the future it paints is bleak, Freedom Wars seems to be an extremely interesting title. In addition to the details mentioned above and to the trailer, Sony also unveiled the first few screenshots (judging from one of them the game seems partly based on the Yahoo Maps service, possibly including an Augmented Reality component) and a piece of key art that you can see below. More details and assets are scheduled to be revealed on May the 23rd and May the 30th.