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Doyathinkhesaurus? 1916 = Trenches'n'Dinos

THE REAL MONSTER IS MAN, etc

Here’s a clever wee indie FPS we somehow missed last year, but now it comes accompanied with the news that a full-blown remake is on the way. I’m going to say a few words to you. Let’s see how you feel about them.

World War 1. Dinosaurs.

Which, admittedly, makes 1916 – Der Unbekannte Krieg (‘The War You Never Knew’) sound like a bit a of lark, as opposed to the gruelling fear and confusion it really entails. It’s a game that tell itself – albeit within the slightly awkward confines of Unity – better than I perhaps can, but the summary goes like this. You’re a soldier in the trenches of World War 1. Almost everyone else is dead. You are shocked, alone and the trenches seem maze-like and endless. And there appear to be hungry dinosaurs roaming them. Dinosaurs like to eat meat, right. So that means you, or… well, there are quite a lot of your friends’ corpses lying around, aren’t there? The rest, I shall leave to you.

It’s a haunting and bewildering experience, even if it is on the rudimentary side, and that’s why its Danish (former) student team are expanding 1916 into a full game – one which increases the monster’n’survival content as well as the psychological aspect.

An interview on VG247 sets the stage for what’s to come from the new version of 1916. Telltale quote, I think: ““He took a first person avoider game – in which the object was to be killed by dinosaurs and escaping via a ladder – to one lonely, deranged soldier’s quest to find his lost squad, and along the way the horrors of WW1 were seen through his eyes. Airplanes become flying lizards, tanks become giant maggots and so on. The fact that all the monsters are in the soldier’s mind, that is brilliance at work!” Much more here, including piccies of some of the planned foes.

It puts me slightly in mind of the Shellshock: Vietnam games, which isn’t a particularly good thing (especially not the woeful sci-fi of the second game), but the idea that it’s all in the soldier’s mind puts it into far more interesting territory, and even a little in the vein of Amnesia. We won’t know if the concept can stretch to a full game until next year, but I for one am very keen to see Jurassic Park in World War 1 come to pass.

You can play a browser-based or downloadable version of 1916, originally released last March, here.

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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