With games like Valiant Hearts: The Great War and Spec Ops: The Line covering other elements of games set around war, I think it’s nice that some developers are looking at war from a different point of view. It’s getting a little old that in basically all games set in some war-time era, all you do is shoot other characters. When I was checking out Kickstarter, I saw this game, The Sun Also Rises. Before clicking on it, I had a feeling that it was going to be some super pretentious game that is trying to say more than it actually is, but luckily, I was wrong. Let us jump on into The Sun Also Rises, and see why this game is getting my Kickstarter Shout-out!
The game will revolve around events of war, based around the stories of U.S. soldiers, their families, and people from Afghanistan. I like this set-up, because it’s based more around reality, and it doesn’t just drop you onto the battlefield with an assault rifle. It’s like this developer realized that there are more stories based around war that don’t have to happen on the frontlines. Tragic events can happen to people who are affected by the war.
The Sun Also Rises is a narrative-driven adventure game where you play as the characters during the war in Afghanistan. You can choose what to say to other characters you interact with. The main gimmick is that the choices you make during your time playing through the game will affect other people’s games which means that one action you take in your game will change the outcome for another player and vice versa. It’s very interesting, but I do have my concerns about it, but I will talk about it later on in the article.
Besides the story set-up, the best thing about the game is the art direction. It has the same color style as games like Entwined. It has bright colors that have a slight burnt look to the overall color pallet. It gives the game an identity, and it shows that you don’t need to do super realistic graphics to express emotion and stories of the people affected by war. The music is being worked on by a company called KPOW! They have worked on games like L.A. Noire and the Kickstarter hit, The Banner Saga. They are also getting help from collaborating with animator/writer/musician,David Firth, who is probably most well-known for his work on the online flash animation series Salad Fingers.
So, what kinds of concerns do I have about the game? My major concern is with the moral decision-making that is wrapped around the multiplayer aspect of the game. I know war can be an unpredictable force, but why design the moral choices of the game that can affect other player’s games? Will there be an option so you can enjoy the story with what actions you bring upon yourself without someone else’s choice hampering your narrative experience? It just seems like an odd, but interesting design choice. I personally think that if you are taking all of these stories from actual people who were a part of the war in some shape or form, you should stay faithful to those stories. What if this “what I do will affect another player” thing does something to one story and messes up its credibility? I know a lot of games add in those multiple choice answer mechanics, like with Mass Effect 3 and The Witcher 2, but I am confused as to how this will work in this game. That being said, I am still very interested to see how this will all go down.
In the end, this is a very cool Kickstarter project. If you love games like Spec Ops: The Line and Valiant Hearts: The Great War, you should check this game out! It’s currently at over $10K of its $15K funding goal, and will be coming to PCs in 2015. Like I said above, I love that developers are slowly taking that step into making games about war that tell other stories other than some generic “We need to kill the Russian terrorists” storyline or some kind of set-up that is unrealistic like Homefront. Congratulations, Horse Volume, your team and The Sun Also Rises will be getting my official Kickstarter Shout-out!
(If you want to support this Kickstarter, go to this link!)