I have been a gamer all my life, and have noticed some settings & perspectives which have been neglected over the years. As popular as World War II is as a basis for a game, for example, it rarely sees you take up arms as a bog standard German soldier in the Wehrmacht – something I pointed out on this very blog. I have not played much of the Assassin’s Creed series, but I have always admired their willingness to take advantage of this shortfall, thereby creating a world which has rarely, if ever, been experienced by gamers. Crusades-era Middle-East, Renaissance-era Europe, American Revolution, the 18th Century Pirate Republic… It’s all damn good stuff. Hopefully, they will tackle the French Revolution at some point, as this is a similarly ignored period of history (in gaming terms) that also perfectly represents what Ubisoft’s series is about. However, this got me thinking of other rarely-tapped environments, and I came up with the following…
The year is 1798. Revolution has swept across the colonies of America, toppling the Ancien Regime in France, and Europe is aflame with the passionate ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity. In Ireland, the rebellious United Irishmen prepare to follow the example set by Jefferson et al, seeking to free their island from the rule of George III. The Battle for Ireland is about to begin…
You play Gabriel Hogan, a founding Methodist preacher’s son, driven by ideals of egalitarianism and freedom. Your character quickly gains the trust of the Defenders as a result, and the earliest part of the game sees you aiding them as they raid houses for arms in 1793. At this point you are barely 20 years old, but your passion, athleticism and intellect set you apart, and when the Society of United Irishmen link up with the Defenders, the United Irishmen leaders begin training you to become their most important operative. You must conduct espionage, free prisoners, train volunteers, seize equipment, plant false intelligence and conduct assassinations – you must be the thorn in England’s side, if the Republic is to triumph.
Then, in May of 1798, the Rebellion begins outright. For almost 6 months, the Irish Rebels and the Crown’s Forces clashed, across the length and breadth of the country – and you will be right in amongst it, desperately trying to provide the outnumbered and outgunned Irishmen & women with any advantage you can possibly give them. The rest of the time you’ll be in and around your base in Dublin, raising funds, snooping around Dublin Castle for info, bumping off particularly meddlesome individuals, and generally acting the maggot.
That’s the setting and extremely vague storyline in essence, anyway. The gameplay will be that of an action-RPG and hopefully would be playable in both Third and First Person – Third Person for a lot of the roaming around and cutscenes, First Person for a good bit of the combat and other specific instances that show up during the narrative. The game would involve customised weapons, gained skills, and side missions in order to gain cash – some of these will be on behalf of the establishment, so you will have to weigh up just how badly you need the money versus just how much of a dent your reputation may take with your brothers-in-arms.
Oh yeah, there will be a Reputation system too – in combat situations you will be able to scare the shit out of soldiers et al if you reputation is high, but on the flipside you will be more prone to discovery during infiltration. That goes for the basic moral system too – be a dick and rob fucking everyone, kill whoever you like, and you’ll have lots of money to buy/customise weapons, but also everyone will hate you and try to kill you. Help as many people as possible, risking poverty as you do so, and you might find that in certain scenarios NPCs will help your character out.
Basically I’m just thinking out loud (can you do that with the written word? I mean, I’m not actually saying anything verbally) but the game will be heavily influenced by the aforementioned Assassin’s Creed games, Dishonoured, Far Cry 3, Operation Flashpoint, and Pacman.
Ok, maybe not Pacman.
Solidarity, brothers & sisters… ★