As we draw past the halfway point of 2018, it’s become quite evident that the Western genre has picked up popularity once again. This time in the form of video games with the monumental Red Dead Redemption 2 and even smaller titles like Wild West Online. One thing to note from these games, however, is the fact that they all put players in the perspective of a cowboy. This land is my land, developed by Game-Labs on the other hand, will be putting players in the fur crafted boots of a Native American protagonist. With the game’s goal being to fight back the Western colonization.
This Land is My Land is being developed by Game-Labs, a Ukrainian based development studio who is known for games like the Ultimate General series and Naval Action. Development team lead, Dennis Khachatran spoke about how the protagonist isn’t from a specific tribe of Native Americans. But rather, he’s actually a representative of all the oppressed tribes during the Western colonization era. This includes the Chickasaw, Cherokee, Lakota, Cheyenne, Apaches, Navajo, Shawnee, Shoshone, Mohawk, Utes, and any other unnamed tribes.
The game also heavily relies on stealth, due to the protagonist facing superior technology. Logically, a tribesman would have trouble going head-on with a knife at someone with a rifle.
The player will also be able to scavenge and harvest from enemy camps. Not only to liberate their own homeland but to also acquire better weapons and gear. That includes Western classics like revolvers and muskets. Which is quite a cool concept, a Native American with modern weapons? The game’s map while not as large as a game like Redemption 2, compensates for it with a procedural generation which resets on every new game. So as to add replayability to the game and keep the content fresh as well. Dennis added that the idea came to him due to noting that there weren’t any games that allowed players to have a Native American avatar. Excluding Deadliest warrior I suppose.
The studio credited German author Karl May as an inspiration for this game. A very popular German author who was best known for his stories on the Native Americans. Europe has often sympathized with the Natives regarding the events of colonization and the American civil war. It became often enough to spawn a new genre of film called Red Westerns. Red Westerns are basically movies about the 17th-century colonization which depict the current Americans as a hostile force. As antagonists essentially. The game has confirmed that no women or children will be present since the Native women and kids have been moved further west. While the invading side’s women haven’t traveled as of yet. This is due to the frontier being a dangerous place in its current time.
Although a unique concept, the game has begun citing controversy already. Whether that be from Americans claiming that once again the Natives are being depicted as victims when they were actually ruthless. Another side voicing issue with how all the tribes are simply represented by one person. Something that shouldn’t be possible given the diversity in different tribe beliefs and methodologies. The US market most likely isn’t even an option for Game-Labs to begin with possibly. Assuming people aren’t able to look past the game’s political aspect to try it out, but all will be clear in due time. This Land is Mine plan to release in the first half of 2019.