Forty years after its critically-acclaimed debut in theaters, Apocalypse Now will be made into a video game by developer American Zoetrope, as well as a few notable industry insiders.
The original film was based on the 1899 novella by Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, and takes its audience on a journey through the horrors of the Vietnam War through the eyes of Captain Benjamin Willard. From book, to film, and now to game, the story’s director Francis Ford Coppola gave his perspective on the game’s development.
“Forty years ago, I set out to make a personal art picture that could hopefully influence generations of viewers for years to come. Today, I’m joined by new daredevils, a team who want to make an interactive version of Apocalypse Now, where you are Captain Benjamin Willard amidst the harsh backdrop of the Vietnam War. I’ve been watching videogames grow into a meaningful way to tell stories, and I’m excited to explore the possibilities for Apocalypse Now for a new platform and a new generation.”
The team that Coppola alludes to consists of Rob Auten, lead writer of series such as Gears of War and Far Cry, Montgomery Markland, who has been lead producer on Wasteland 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera, Lawrence Liberty, who has been executive producer and director of The Witcher and Fallout: New Vegas, and Josh Sawyer, design director for Fallout: New Vegas and Pillars of Eternity, advising the game’s design.
Working with American Zoetrope, the team aims to create a game that lends itself more to survival horror rather than the action tropes most commonly present in video games that have focused on the Vietnam War. Besides the dangers of the jungle, the game will also take players into the mind of a Vietnam soldier who is on the brink of madness.
Besides elements of resource management and stealth, the Apocalypse Now will also contain role-play mechanics, offering the player choices that may deviate from the story’s original plot. The choices that players make may also affect Willard’s reputation with other characters or factions within the game.
The Kickstarter for the game has already started and has a $900,000.00 goal. In the event that goal is met, the team believes the game can be in early access by 2019 and have an official release in 2020. Stretch goals also include the possibility of the game coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and possibly even VR.