Apocalypse Now RPG Kickstarter Campaign Launched

Surprising pretty much everyone, a Kickstarter campaign for an Apocalypse Now horror-RPG is now live. The project boasts the blessing of Francis Ford Coppola, and the team that includes renown developers from all over the place, among whom is Obsidian’s Josh Sawyer. The current goal is set at $900,000, which is a considerable sum given that Kickstarter is now past its prime as a platform that easily generates millions of dollars. Still, I will be the first to admit that while I have no clue what to expect from such a game, I am quite intrigued.

Here are a couple of tidbits from the campaign’s description:

Apocalypse Now is a first-person RPG with survival and psychological horror elements.

You will explore the jungles and rivers of Vietnam in first person perspective. You join a crew of “rock and rollers with one foot in their grave”.

It’s like Fallout: New Vegas on acid in the middle of the Vietnam War.

Your ultimate mission is to assassinate Colonel Kurtz, a rogue American officer who is accused of forming a private army and operating “totally beyond the pale of any acceptable human conduct.”

Combat is often your last resort; the wise soldier will avoid the ever-looming enemy at all costs.

Maintaining resources and relationships is key to your survival and your success.

Additionally, a couple of Kickstarter updates are already live. The first one describes a long road from the project’s conception about 8 years ago to its current crowdfunded state. The second one gives us a better idea of what the game is going to be like. Comparisons with games like System Shock, Deus Ex, and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. are made, which is quite encouraging. And the third describes some of the gameplay elements expected to be a part of Apocalypse Now. An excerpt:

AN is a nominally a war movie and game. The film and the game have no shortage of helicopter-borne missiles, service revolvers, spears, and Lance on the forward .50s. The first shot of the film is a treeline being blown back by a phalanx of Northrop F-5 Tigers. On the other hand, AN is considered to be one of the greatest anti-war movies ever made.

It achieves this reputation not by embracing peace but by depicting war as a beast that drives men insane. While the characters and scenario contain their share of hyperbole, a veteran may find an uncomfortable amount of truth within the film.

The game will preserve this balance and create a narrative experience that is about war but that also demonstrates what war does to the human mind.

The game will be played from what we call a “subjective” first-person perspective. This means that Willard’s view is your view, but that you also observe changes in that view due to Willard’s mental state.

Taking drugs or drinking will change this view. In the jungle, Willard’s situational awareness will indicate the origin of sounds. In periods of intense stress, the field of view may narrow, simulating the fight or flight response.

The key activities of the game will be similar to exploration-driven RPGs such as Fallout: New Vegas, but set in the film’s hyperreal Vietnam War setting. You will be assigned to travel up the Nung River in order to terminate Colonel Kurtz’s command. You will be joined by the crew of the PBR Streetgang and tasked with a variety of different missions in service of your overall goal. From there, your choices are your own; you are not bound by what Willard does in the film.

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Val Hull
Val Hull

Resident role-playing RPG game expert. Knows where trolls and paladins come from. You must fight for your right to gather your party before venturing forth.

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