Today in “really unexpected and baffling news,” a new developer announced the return of the infamous cancelled shooter Six Days in Fallujah.
Highwire Games, the new developer, announced the game’s revival in a post on the Six Days website, saying it’d spent six years “building unique technologies and game mechanics that bring players closer to the uncertainty and tactics of modern combat than other video games have explored.” The game will be published by Victura.
Six Days was originally intended to be a survival horror, with the “horror” being not zombies or disease but the horrors of war. As the name suggests, the game is about the Second Battle of Fallujah, a major event in the Iraq War. Reports from the original creators said they took inspiration from real US Marines and Iraqi civilians who were involved, and their intent was to tell the stories of the terrible things that happened during the battle. Creative director Juan Benito told Variety that they wanted to make “the first war documentary that was a video game.”
That may have been the intent, but it was not well-received. The game was originally announced in 2009 — the Stone Age, more or less — and was almost immediately beset by controversy. Given the enormous loss of life in Fallujah, many criticized it for glorifying what happened, essentially turning the event into a military shooter like Call of Duty or Medal of Honor.
Shortly after the game was announced, the original publisher, Konami, backed away and refused to have anything to do with it. Six Days has basically been silent since then.
However, the new developers are putting the game out there with the story and intent unchanged. The announcement features a quote from a former Marine who proposed the idea, who said video games “can help all of us understand real-world events in ways other media can’t.” Perhaps that’s why the game has been remade as an FPS.
We’ll have to see if the reality of the game turns out to be the Spec Ops: The Line-style hard-choices war documentary game it’s intended to be, and if it’s still as controversial now as it was when it was first revealed. It’ll be released sometime in 2021.