Plugged In

New first-person shooter swaps guns for cameras

Plugged In

There's an interesting trend taking shape in the gaming world these days: First-person shooters where the player can't actually shoot anyone.

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Warco (Defiant Development)

An Australian development team has put together a prototype for Warco (short for War Correspondent) -- a game that puts you in the boots of a reporter in the midst of a war zone. Instead of bullets, you're shooting footage via a video camera.

It's admittedly an odd concept. After all, a game about a typical journalist would involve a lot of phone calls, "research" at the corner bar and sneaking in Facebook updates without your editor catching you. But Warco's team, Defiant Development, is made up of former members of the Pandemic Studios team, the now-shuttered group responsible for games like Full Spectrum Warrior, Star Wars: Battlefront and Destroy All Humans!, among others.

The project was first conceived by an Australian journalist who worked initially with a filmmaker. As it evolved, Defiant was brought in to assist.

The video that players shoot as they dodge bullets and speak with the game's NPCs is edited into a news story, essentially putting the storytelling responsibility in the hands of the player, a unique twist that few games have tried.

"It's also about navigating through a morally gray world and making decisions that have human impact," said Defiant's Morgan Jaffit. "It's about finding the story you want to tell, as each of our environments is filled with different story elements you can film and combine in your own ways. It's both a story telling engine and an action adventure with a new perspective."

It's still early in the game's development. So far, the team has only spent four months putting it together and is still searching for a publisher, but the early footage is pretty impressive.

(Warning: Clip contains some salty language.)

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