Since the days of the arcades, the Area 51
games have been brainless bughunts: find the aliens, shoot the aliens. When game designer Harvey Smith was hired a few years ago to work on the next iteration of the franchise, he began to despair at the lackluster story elements in the game. As he put it: "Area 51 just bored the sh-- out of me, and I was like, 'How can we make this interesting?'"
As MTV News reports, frustrations with politics both in the United States and abroad led to a solution that required months of convincing executives to see implemented. Blacksite: Area 51
will feature a new and more poignant story, as the aliens become poor American citizens put in harm's way
. "Wait, what if they are terrorists we helped create? What if the people supporting us in our fight against the terrorists aren't completely clean either? What if they're sending us after them now, but what if 10 years ago it was safe for them to create them?' ... So what we have in 'BlackSite' is a delta-force assassination squad hunting down and killing members of an Army training program. So on American soil, Americans are fighting Americans, basically."
The game is intended to be enjoyed regardless of subject matter, but Smith hopes that gamers will accept a title that even touches on some of the issues that popular television shows deal with on a regular basis. What do you think about this? Is there room for politics in gaming, or do you just want to shoot stuff?