Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 Vietnam War epic Apocalypse Now is being adapted into a video game, with the developers seeking financial support through crowdfunding.

The project launched on Kickstarter a few days ago with a funding goal of $900,000, with plans to extend the campaign through the game’s official website, ultimately aiming for $5,000,000 over three years, making it one of the more costly crowdfunded games.

Should it be funded, the Apocalypse Now game will be an official adaptation of the film, with a production team drawn from the worlds of both film and video games. Coppola is helping to produce the game through his company American Zoetrope, while experienced video game producers Lawrence Liberty (Fallout: New Vegas, The Witcher series) and Montgomery Markland (Wasteland 2, Torment: Tides of Numenera) are on board as executive producer and director, respectively. Finally, the game is being written by Rob Auten, known for his work on the Gears of War and Battlefield franchises.

This all-star team is working on a game that, like the film, promises to subvert expectations. Apocalypse Now is billed as a first-person survival-horror experience with strong roleplaying elements. As such, combat is being considered a last resort, with the gameplay focus firmly on stealth, strategy, and dialogue choices.

The desire to make a game that breaks free from the first-person shooter mould is a driving force behind the decision to crowdfund, as the development team feared that going through traditional avenues of funding and production would result in a perversion of the game’s vision. Something of that vision, the tension and creeping sense of horror, can be witnessed in the teaser trailer embedded below.

Apocalypse Now has been in pre-production for eighteen months, and the team at Erebus, LLC has used that time to craft a considerable breadth of design documentation. The game has been in active development for approximately three months.

The film was a contemporary adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s novella Heart of Darkness, which has often been cited as one of the key influences on Spec Ops: The Line. If this new game can capture and heighten the same harrowing atmosphere, it should prove to be something very special indeed.

The project is expected to release in October 2020, with an Early Access version expected in 2019.

Damien Lawardorn
Damien Lawardorn is an aspiring novelist, journalist, and essayist. His goal in writing is to inspire readers to engage and think, rather than simply consume and enjoy. With broad interests ranging from literature and video games to fringe science and social movements, his work tends to touch on the unexpected. Damien is the former Editor-in-Chief of OnlySP. More of his work can be found at https://open.abc.net.au/people/21767

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