Earlier today in an article published by IGN, a new cinematic adventure game that aims to fill the gap between the second and third instalments of Andy Serkis-led Planet of the Apes trilogy was announced. Subtitled: The Lost Frontier, the game is being developed by a new games division of The Imaginarium – the studio responsible for the trilogy’s amazing CGI effects – and is pretty much the perfect method of translating such a narrative-led film series into a game.
You see, game genres like third-person shooter, hack and slash, and brawler simply wouldn’t do justice to the heavy emotional weight these celebrated films have built up over the course of six years. Take into account the fact that Caesar and his devout following’s intention isn’t to engage in all-out warfare, and it makes sense to present The Lost Frontier’s story in an adventure game format.
Everyone thought Caesar’s tale would be brought to a close in this summer’s war for the Planet of the Apes, and although this new game from the Imaginarium will follow an entirely new group of apes, they’d be fools not to put him in the game. From the footage released so far, The Lost Frontier looks to be just as dark, heavy, and just generally thought-provoking as any film featured in the trilogy, except this time we can expect to be making the difficult decisions ourselves.
It follows the Telltale format, sure, but these guys are technical geniuses. The Lost Frontier – in a similar vein to the Uncharted series – will take full advantage of some of the most cutting edge performance capture methods around. This means believable character and animation, all “directed” in a similar capacity to the movies thanks to the nature of it being an adventure game.
What really excites me about this game’s use of this process is what it will possibly achieve in terms of facial animation. After all, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who felt that the uncanny valley had been successfully leaped by the time War for the Planet of Apes was released. We’ve reached a point where Caesar IS Andy Serkis, and if the Imaginarium can do even half as much for games as they did movies on the big screen, gamers are not only in for a compelling narrative, but visual marvel.
Of course, it’s early days. And there’s still lots we won’t know about Planet of the Apes: The Lost Frontier. For the time being, it’s the type of experience that is at the very least an exciting one, and a game that will hopefully succeed in filling out some worthwhile story gaps in between one of the 21st century’s greatest movie franchises. Simply put, we’re already going bananas for more Apes.