XCOM-inspired strategy games are common now, but We Are The Caretakers - unveiled today - stands out from the crowd with its afrofuturist stylings and environmentalist bent. Developed by Heart Shaped Games (formerly of Hero Generations), it has players managing a high-tech response force, protecting the massive, energy-generating animals that power your civilisation. As well as strategic management and turn-based tactical combat, players will have to act as diplomats as well, trying to keep the people as happy as the turbo-rhinos. Below, a short teaser trailer.
While most other games with an environmentalist core have leaned towards the more realistic, simulation-oriented side of things, it's great to see We Are The Caretakers applying it to such a striking sci-fi setting. Not being set on our Earth, it has allowed Heart Shaped Games (with the help of former Blizzard artist Anthony Jones) to come up with some gorgeous character, costume, creature and architectural designs. It's as far from being a world of gruff kevlar-clad soldier-men as you can get, while still being a tactical squad-based game of management and combat.
While there's going to be a narrative core holding the game together, Heart Shaped Games aim for We Are The Caretakers to be replayable, with the structure of each campaign being procedurally generated. They'll be launching into early access later this year and continuing development for another 9-12 months (at least) after that. The initial debut version will offer "a replayable and polished single scenario mode", but they'll be building on that foundation, filling out the campaign and adding new factions and environments.
We Are The Caretakers doesn't have a release date yet, but it will be making its initial debut in early access this year. You can find it here on Steam or its official page here. If you're lucky enough to be at PAX East, you can play it at the show right now.
Disclosure: RPS pal and semi-regular Xalavier Nelson Jr. is the narrative lead on We Are The Caretakers. He also did narrative work on Hypnospace Outlaw, and is also writing interactive fiction adventure Can Androids Pray. He's basically everywhere at all times now, and probably has another half-dozen projects I don't know about yet.