‘Apocalypse Now’ Is Becoming A Videogame

Entertainment

Francis Ford Coppola has given game developers the greenlight to turn his acclaimed 1979 war film, “Apocalypse Now,” into a videogame. And not just any first-person shooter either — “a psychedelic survival horror” game, as executive producer Lawrence Liberty told Ars Technica.


Players will take on the role of Capt. Benjamin Willard, played by Martin Sheen in the film, as he travels up the Nung River into Cambodia to find the mysterious Kurtz, a Army Special Forces colonel who has gone mad. Now AWOL, Kurtz has organized his own tribal milita, which worships him like a god.

Willard’s mission? Terminate. With extreme prejudice, of course.

If you’ve never seen the film, stop reading this now. Go watch it. Then come back when you have hair on your chest. Meanwhile, even if you’ve seen it, the trailer provides a nice refresher.

As you can see, turning this beautiful work of art into a game is inane. Apparently, they couldn’t get rights to “The Deer Hunter.”

Whatever. The game’s Kickstarter page, which includes a video showing off the prototype, is aiming to raise $900,000 to make a PC version of the game. If it raises $2.5 million, PS4 and XBox One versions will also be released. There’s even talk of a VR version. Sigh.

If you’re looking to blow people away, this might not be your top choice. “We are making a survival horror experience,” Liberty explains in a promotional trailer. “I want to make a game where you can sit on the boat and drop acid if that’s what you want to do.”

Or as Coppola himself puts it, the game is “about not getting killed rather than being a killer ... until you meet Kurtz.”

No doubt you’ll be able to surf as well. (Unless you’re Charlie. Charlie don’t surf.) What you won’t be able to do, apparently, is play the game as Kurtz, who has gone, as one character put it in the film, “totally beyond the pale of any acceptable human conduct.”

That would have been kind of fun. Maybe in the sequel? Meanwhile, the prototype is shaping up nicely. A few stills:

Screenshot from video game promotional material.

Screenshot from video game promotional material.

Screenshot from video game promotional material.

Screenshot from video game promotional material.

Screenshot from video game promotional material.

Screenshot from video game promotional material.

Screenshot from video game promotional material.

Screenshot from video game promotional material.

Thirteen Marines have been formally charged for their alleged roles in a human smuggling ring, according to a press release from 1st Marine Division released on Friday.

The Marines face military court proceedings on various charges, from "alleged transporting and/or conspiring to transport undocumented immigrants" to larceny, perjury, distribution of drugs, and failure to obey an order. "They remain innocent until proven guilty," said spokeswoman Maj. Kendra Motz.

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Arizona Army National Guard soldiers with the 160th and 159th Financial Management Support Detachments qualify with the M249 squad automatic weapon at the Florence Military Reservation firing range on March 8, 2019. (U.S. Army/Spc. Laura Bauer)

The recruiting commercials for the Army Reserve proclaim "one weekend each month," but the real-life Army Reserve might as well say "hold my beer."

That's because the weekend "recruiting hook" — as it's called in a leaked document compiled by Army personnel for the new chief of staff — reveal that it's, well, kinda bullshit.

When they're not activated or deployed, most reservists and guardsmen spend one weekend a month on duty and two weeks a year training, according to the Army recruiting website. But that claim doesn't seem to square with reality.

"The Army Reserve is cashing in on uncompensated sacrifices of its Soldiers on a scale that must be in the tens of millions of dollars, and that is a violation of trust, stewardship, and the Army Values," one Army Reserve lieutenant colonel, who also complained that his battalion commander "demanded" that he be available at all times, told members of an Army Transition Team earlier this year.

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According to an internal Army document, soldiers feel that the service's overwhelming focus on readiness is wearing down the force, and leading some unit leaders to fudge the truth on their unit's readiness.

"Soldiers in all three Army Components assess themselves and their unit as less ready to perform their wartime mission, despite an increased focus on readiness," reads the document, which was put together by the Army Transition Team for new Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville and obtained by Task & Purpose. "The drive to attain the highest levels of readiness has led some unit leaders to inaccurately report readiness."

Lt. Gen. Eric J. Wesley, who served as the director of the transition team, said in the document's opening that though the surveys conducted are not scientific, the feedback "is honest and emblematic of the force as a whole taken from seven installations and over 400 respondents."

Those surveyed were asked to weigh in on four questions — one of which being what the Army isn't doing right. One of the themes that emerged from the answers is that "[r]eadiness demands are breaking the force."

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If you've paid even the slightest bit of attention in the last few years, you know that the Pentagon has been zeroing in on the threat that China and Russia pose, and the future battles it anticipates.

The Army has followed suit, pushing to modernize its force to be ready for whatever comes its way. As part of its modernization, the Army adopted the Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) concept, which serves as the Army's main war-fighting doctrine and lays the groundwork for how the force will fight near-peer threats like Russia and China across land, air, sea, cyber, and space.

But in an internal document obtained by Task & Purpose, the Army Transition Team for the new Chief of Staff, Gen. James McConville, argues that China poses a more immediate threat than Russia, so the Army needs make the Asia-Pacific region its priority while deploying "minimal current conventional forces" in Europe to deter Russia.

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As the saying goes, you recruit the soldier, but you retain the family.

And according to internal documents obtained by Task & Purpose, the Army still has substantial work to do in addressing families' concerns.

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