I’m not a history enthusiast. I’ve never had an interest in how borders formed or what wars were fought and for what cause. I tend to focus on their effects rather than their journey. So it was quite a surprise for me to find an alpha build for Children of Liberty in my inbox earlier this week from Latana Games. As a resident of Boston, a city with such rich historical importance, it seemed only right for me to venture into the world of the dire colonial struggles my nation’s forefathers endured. Perhaps I could take some appreciation away from the whole experience.
Children of Liberty is set at the head of colonial America’s grave endeavors. The Red Coats are impeding on the colonists’ right to freedom, and a revolt against the onslaught is being lead full force in the name of liberty. You play as one of the four Children of Liberty and are charged with infiltrating British bunkers and sabotaging opposing directives. Stealth and platform puzzle solving are your devices for accomplishing this goal. Taking advantage of both two dimensional and three dimensional plans, you slink your way into enemy headquarters and silently take down each guard in your path.
As you successfully foist your way through each hideout, more of the true story of America’s birth is revealed in fully voiced cutscenes. Featuring the voices of a slew of fellow game developers and voice actors (including Sarah Elmalch of Gone Home and Ashley Burch of Hey Ash Whatcha Playin’ and Borderlands 2), Children of Liberty boasts historical accuracy from primary resources including foley from actual artifacts from historical sites, to fully engulf you in the time period. Historians will take note of iconic players in America’s construction, such as Paul Revere, Benjamin Church, and Samuel Prescott, and you will get to see the roles they played during the Revolution as Children of Liberty’s vivid art style brings them to life.
Taking advantage of classic two-dimensional caricatures, Latana animates its cast within a computer generated world. The two styles compliment each other in both atmosphere and gameplay, as each plane is used to give areas depth of field, in a style reminiscent of Paper Mario with a fixed, horizontal camera. Even areas with little attributes such as storage rooms and docks feel fleshed out and real, despite the flat, cartoonish characters. The added mood lighting brings even more personality to every set, be it deep in a wine cellar or breaking dawn in the city streets.
While Children of Liberty is still too early in development to have a release date, Latana Games has met its five-thousand dollar goal and will be appearing at PAX East 2014 to show off more gameplay footage. You can play an early alpha on their site and follow future development with their Youtube channel. The game shows a lot of promise from both the community backing and the team’s ambition towards the project. Let’s hope we can relive history soon.