Evangelise and Conquer

From Penny Arcade comes news of upcoming computer game “Left Behind: Eternal Forces”. It’s a Real Time Strategy, meaning that you have an overview of the situation, controlling people and units as you see fit. This is generally used for war games such as Command and Conquer. It’s described as follows:

Left Behind: Eternal Forces is set in the future when the faithful have been gathered up and ascended to Heaven during the Rapture. In the chaos that follows, the Antichrist has taken the reigns of power at the United Nations and is gathering the countries of the world under his banner. But a small resistance, the Tribulation Forces, have formed to oppose Satan’s legions.

Tribulation Forces! Also, is it me, or is there a tiny bit of a message hidden in that description?

LB:TE has some, um, innovative features:

  • Conduct physical & spiritual warfare: using the power of prayer to strengthen your troops in combat and wield modern military weaponry throughout the game world
  • The first RTS where every unit has a unique identity; every character has a name and a back story, providing 1000’s of hours of interesting reading
  • People are the most important commodity: players must protect the lives of their warriors and recruit “neutral” and even “evil” units to their side
  • Command your forces through battles across the most realistic depiction of New York City in any game
  • Recover ancient scriptures and witness spectacular Angelic and Demonic activity as a direct consequence of your choices. Unlock inspirational content that makes players consider the larger concepts of good vs evil
  • Control more than 30 unit types – from Prayer Warrior and Hellraiser to Spies, Special Forces and Battle Tanks
  • Play multi-player games as Tribulation Forces or Global Community Peacekeepers

Hopefully the power of prayer will follow the results of this recent $2million investigation into its actual healing powers, the results of which showed that people who knew they were being prayed for were more likely to develop complications following surgery. LB:TE could easily incorporate this – simply tell the enemies you’re praying for them (it wouldn’t matter whether you really were). I wonder: would people actually pray to help themselves win the game?

I think this game has the potential to be good fun, but it’s apparently being marketed to ‘the christian market’, as well as being based upon a series of christian novels. This, I should imagine, will suck out all the enjoyment. Can I play as the Antichrist and invade Heaven? Hell’s been done many times in computer games, but fighting elite angels amongst beautiful towering spires could be cool.

A preview includes a shot of smoke rising from the New York skyline. Nice.

I wonder whether the reviews will simply say ‘holy crap’.