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With your help 'Apocalypse Now' could become a video game

'Wasteland 2' and 'Fallout: New Vegas' veterans are taking Francis Ford Coppola's epic to Kickstarter.
Timothy J. Seppala, @timseppala
January 25, 2017
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Apocalypse Now was a landmark achievement of cinema. Garnering near-universal praise since its 1979 release, director Francis Ford Coppola's Vietnam War epic has left an indelible mark on the cultural landscape, launching countless careers and impacting just about every form of entertainment since. Especially video games. Now, a veteran group of developers wants to put you in Captain Willard's (Martin Sheen) boots as he hunts Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando) in the jungle and witnesses the horrors of war first-hand.

Concrete details are scarce, but the Kickstarter pitch is as follows: It's a psychological horror game that will "blend a cinematic narrative with roleplaying game mechanics." This doesn't sound like a typical run-and-gun first-person shooter at all. What's more, you'll be able to make choices that diverge from the movie's narrative, said decisions will cascade and supposedly result in a story that's pretty unique for each player. Lofty goals, to be sure, but if any development team can pull it off, maybe it's this one.

Veterans from Wasteland 2, Torment: Tides of Numeria, Fallout: New Vegas and Pillars of Eternity have a hand in the project. Given how well received (and crowdfunded) the first two in that list are especially, coupled with help from Coppola himself and his American Zoetrope production company, Apocalypse Now might deliver an interactive experience the movie deserves.

The game is still a ways out, with early access planned for 2019 to coincide with the movie's 40th anniversary and a full release scheduled for 2020. Before that, however it needs to reach its $900,000 crowdfunding goal. The source material was infamously caught in production hell, with its hardships depicted in the documentary Hearts of Darkness. Martin Sheen had a heart attack on-set, directing and editing the movie damn near broke Coppola, a typhoon destroyed sets and Marlon Brando showed up to work extremely overweight.

Video games aren't immune to these sorts of problems either, especially crowdfunded ones. Just ask DoubleFine Productions, for instance. A behind the scenes doc will be available for folks pledging $65 and up, but in this case, the developers not tempting fate seems like a good idea.

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