The director of Rockstar’s premiere franchise, Navid Khonsari, has spilled some details regarding his next game, and it’s not a GTA sequel; rather, he’s delving into the genre of historical fiction with 1979: Revolution, a new game set during the infamous Iranian Revolution of the late seventies.
While the GTA games are notable for being rather tactless and juvenille in their presentation, Khonsari, himself Persian, is seeking a more serious, respectful tone with 1979, seeking to portray the conflict accurately and with a sense of moral ambiguity, while at the same time hopefully maintaining the excellent gameplay that he achieved with the GTA series.
Personally, I think the project (based on concept alone at this point, as their are no screenshots or video, and even the consoles it’ll appear on are a mystery at this point,) is extremely promising, and an interview with Khonsari (posted below,) leads me to believe that 1979 could be a potential game changer for the way narrative in video games are handled; while recent titles like Heavy Rain have proven that video games can be a viable platform for genuinely mature, intelligent storytelling, most games still have story lines that make Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Commando look like Macbeth by comparison. Now, I’ve long agreed with veteran game designer and Doom creator John Carmack’s assertion that “story in games is like story in porn” (i.e. unnecessary,) and some of my favorite games have had little-to-nothing in terms of narrative, but Khonsari’s ideas about his new game have the potential to move gaming out of the machismo obsessed, jingoistic, “dude-bro” centric mentality that have been propogated in recent popular titles. Games are maturing as a form of media, and it’s about time their story lines move onto subject matter more serious than teenage power fantasies.
(video via Russia Today)