As Orwell's Animal Farm Is Dated for December, Its Creators Speak of Its Relevance in 2020

As Orwell's Animal Farm Is Dated for December, Its Creators Speak of Its Relevance in 2020

Written by on | OpenCritic

Orwell's Animal Farm is an upcoming adventure game based on the famous work by George Orwell, and we now know when to expect it to launch. The allegorical adventure game hits PC and mobile on December 10, seemingly unafraid of Cyberpunk 2077 even as so many other games have moved out of the way. We previously covered the reveal of Orwell's Animal Farm back in August.

In the game, players form alliances with some animals over the others,  changing the course of the game's farm. In gameplay terms, this means players will "devise strategies to balance resources, defend the farm, and keep the animal population happy." Players will cultivate, subvert, or sacrifice different animals on the farm and see different political strategies play out, guiding the farm animals through seven years of "Animalism." You can build defenses against the human enemy, survive the changing seasons, and manage the various relationships that play out over the course of your tenure as the farm's overseer, eventually seeing as many as eight different endings.

The game is being developed with the endorsement of the Orwell estate and, in the eyes of its creators, could not arrive at a more important time. Both the project founder and the game's writer spoke thoughtfully on the book's lasting resonance and how the game seeks to capture that spirit in a turbulent political environment. First, hear from the project's founder, Imre Jele:

“I have long wanted to explore how, through video gaming, we could design an experience which immerses the player in Orwell’s vision. As the project has come to fruition in 2020 it has felt increasingly vital to bring Orwell’s study of inequity, power and control to a new audience. As I watch world events unfold - Brexit, Trump, Putin, Orban, Erdogan - and see numerous leaders use tactics from the populist, nationalist playbook: it sometimes feels like Animal Farm is not fiction, but reality.“

As for the writer, Emily Short, she too spoke of the game's unfortunate relevance: 

“Animal Farm tends to be remembered for how its powerful characters destroy the truth through gaslighting, hypocrisy, corruption and greed – all distressingly recognisable to people living through the political events of 2020. But the book also says a lot about why altruistic characters support horrible outcomes, and how values like hard work, cooperation, and loyalty can be warped in obedience to unsound goals. Video games are powerful at telling stories about systems and enabling ‘what if?’ questions. My goal was to capture Orwell's very relevant observations in a form that players can explore.”

To further link the political adventure game to the real world, the team has released this new trailer encouraging everyone to vote.

Orwell's Animal Farm arrives on PC and mobile next month, December 10. 



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