Developed by Imaginati Studios, a new games division of The Imaginarium — the performance capture studio with Andy Serkis at the helm — Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier is set a year after the events of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, but prior to those of War for the Planet of the Apes. The standalone title will be executive produced by Serkis and launches on PC, PS4 and Xbox One later in the year.
According to IGN, Last Frontier follows a group of apes who have broken away from the rest of the pack. In doing so, the faction has migrated to the Rocky Mountains, seeking refuge from the war that’s pitted man against ape. As winter looms and food shortage becomes an issue, the apes are forced to descend into a valley owned by humans.
Akin to the films from which the story is derived, morality is a storytelling hallmark. There are no black or white answers, and players will experience this very truth by taking control of both humans and apes. Thanks to the Last Frontier’s standalone nature, these characters can either live or die based on player choice. As games of this type would have it, multiple endings are also contingent on how both sides are played.
As opposed to other games that have thrived in this genre (i.e., titles from Telltale and Quantic Dream), players only control a character’s choices. Therefore, the usual expectation of exploration and puzzle solving will not be ventured in Last Frontier. Without any direct control over the game’s characters, the team at Imaginati are aiming to achieve “a closer intersection between games and films.”
For roughly two-three hours of the game’s runtime, players will make choices every 15-20 seconds. These choices fall under physical actions or conversational decisions. As such, there are a myriad of ways in which any one scene can diverge, delivering different results per playthrough. Imaginati founder, Martin Alltimes, explains this approach with the following:
“The pace of the storytelling is just super-intense compared to any of these other games. There’s no opening and closing drawers, no searching through inventories. It’s all about you making choices that affect relationships with other characters and, in the long term, how those relationships play out, and how the story plays out. It’s a creative risk, but when we talked to everyone on the team, they really believed in it. It would have been very easy for us to copy what had gone before.”
You can check out the game’s announcement trailer and gameplay below:
Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier releases sometime this fall. Do you think this could change the stigma surrounding movie tie-in games? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.