WarGames is returning, only, instead of a movie, the experience will play out more like an actual choose your own adventure game. Get ready for #WarGames, billed as "The series that watches you," by checking out its first trailer.
Interactive storytelling isn't exactly new. You could even argue that video games, in general, are a form of interactive storytelling. More recently, though, various studios have started dipping their toes into new ways of exploring that kind of free-flowing narrative. Netflix, for instance, has a couple of series out right now geared towards kids that let them choose where the adventure will head next by simply pushing a button. On the video games front, one of the most noteworthy versions of this is Sam Barlow's Her Story, an interactive series of live-acted videos wherein the "player" is supposed to search for clues, listen to cues and determine the truth behind a missing person case.
Barlow is at it again with #WarGames, yet another live-acted series that will task the player with following threads and helping craft the story. It's being billed as an interactive video series, and it'll be here on March 14. Based on the above trailer, it looks like #WarGames is quite a bit more ambitious than Her Story, boasting multiple actors and set pieces rather than one woman sitting at a table. The series will roll out as six episodes on iOS and Steam, and you'll also be able to play it online through either Vudu or Eko. For those who prefer to game on consoles, it looks like #WarGames will be heading to Xbox One, though no date for that version has been announced.
If you missed the 1983 original, WarGames is the story of a teenage nerd who, looking for some new video games to play, accidentally hacks a military supercomputer. We've all been there, right? Anyway, Ferris Bueller goes on to trigger what he believes is a video game version of a thermonuclear war, which the U.S. government ends up taking very, very seriously.
The new version of #WarGames goes a bit darker. The main protagonist, Kelly, is seeking vengeance (presumably for something that happened to her parents) and forms an international hacking group set on helping bring about world peace. Something goes wrong, obviously, and the youngsters find themselves setting off a chain of events that could spell real trouble for international relations. According to the series' description, players will get to influence the story by switching between video feeds of the different characters. Apparently the game "learns" from your choices, and the outcome will be shaped by what you choose to do. At present, it's unclear if the player is supposed to be a casual observer or perhaps one of Kelly's hacker friends.
We're all for unique gaming experiences and #WarGames certainly seems to fit that bill. If it does well, we might even have an emerging new genre on our hands. Look for it on March 14.