Six Days in Fallujah, the upcoming tactical first-person shooter developed by Highwire Games, has received a new gameplay trailer. Many have been waiting for details of its gameplay to assess the potential issues surrounding its subject matter.
The new trailer depicts US marines entering the city of Fallujah during the Iraq war, and includes video footage of interviews with both US marines and Iraqi civilians who experienced the real events. Exhibiting its realism-oriented, squad-based gameplay, players will enter a city that is procedurally generated, creating a battlefield that is different every time you enter it.
Six Days in Fallujah was originally supposed to release in 2010, but was cancelled by the then-publisher Konami due to the controversy of portraying the Iraq War. However, the game was announced to be back in development last month, this time being developed by developer Highwire Games.
Having released Golem in 2019, Highwire Games consists of former Halo and Destiny developers including Jaime Griesemer and Marty O’Donnell.
Creative Director Jaime Griesemer and Peter Tamte of publisher Victura sat down for an hour-long conversation with IGN, in which they elaborated on the press release statement: ‘The game gives these stories voice through gameplay and first person accounts captured in original documentary interview footage.’
Jaime Griesemer said: ‘I think one of the reasons why people are reacting so strongly is because, when you imagine what this game could be, you imagine a military shooter campaign, characters that are made up, and situations that are written by a team of writers that did a lot of research. That’s not what this game is at all. […] We’re taking these testimonials and we are trying to present them as a documentary would.’
The interviews included in the gameplay trailer, then, give a good idea of how these first person accounts will appear between gameplay sections. Jaime also said: ‘Our goal is not fun. Our goal is empathy.’
Many have criticised the mixed messages in the marketing of the game, and also in the gameplay when compared to the message that the developers are seemingly trying to convey.
The contradiction of attempting to tell the stories of a horrific real-world conflict in an entertaining shooter raises many questions of what the medium is capable of, and how to handle such sensitive subject matter.
On being asked about the importance of reviving and publishing Six Days in Fallujah, Peter Tamte said: ‘These Marines and Iraqis trusted us with their moments of truth, ultimately. That’s what it comes down to.’
Six Days in Fallujah is expected to release in late 2021 on current and next-gen consoles, as well as PC. For more news on upcoming game releases, keep updated with Informed Pixel. Don’t forget to check out our Facebook or Twitter pages!