A compelling proof of concept demo promises players the chance to play as a war correspondent and finally allows them to claim that they've "covered wars, you know."
Journalism is a rarely touched topic when it comes to video games. Sure, there's the odd journalist protagonist, who might, on occasion, stop to take a photograph or two while they're not busy slaying zombies or repelling insidious alien invasions, but very few developers seem to see any gameplay potential in the profession itself. Australian outfit Defiant Developments does, however, and their upcoming title Warco puts players in the shoes of titular heroine Warco, a war correspondent.
Judging by the above footage, the game kind of plays like a cross between Battlefield and Pokemon Snap. Dropped into an active war-zone with only a camera and a flak jacket between them and all manner of bullets and exploding ordinance, the player must capture the resulting violence on film, without missing important events or ending up a casualty themselves. When the battle ends and the dust has settled, the game shifts to the editing suite, where players craft the raw footage into a cohesive news report, which can then be shared online. Very few games makes warfare scary, mainly because the player is quite often cast as a bullet-spewing terminator. The vulnerability of Warco's protagonist, as well as the fact the player is tasked with recording violence rather than causing it, might just add some emotional depth to the crowded wargame genre.
The game is being written by author Tony Maniaty, who wrote Shooting Balibo, a book about the deaths of six newsmen in East Timor, and Robert Connolly, director of Balibo, a movie based on the same event.
Warco is being partially funded by Screen Australia and Screen New South wales, no word a release date as of yet.