“What if” scenarios are always a fun way to spice up game night. For instance, what if the Russian Revolution happened in 1896? And what if the cause of the revolution was an alien invasion? One scenario is in 1C Game Studios’ upcoming large-scale action adventure, The War of the Worlds: Siberia. According to director Albert Zhiltsov, “We’ve always dreamed about making a ‘What if?’ kind of game.” And so, despite its fictionalized alternate version of late 19th-century Earth, it’s at least the studio’s idea of what could have happened. But what exactly do we know about the gameplay, story, release date, etc.? Let’s find out in our The War of the Worlds: Siberia — Everything We Know article.
What is The War of the Worlds: Siberia?
The War of the Worlds: Siberia is an upcoming action-adventure set on an alternate 1896 Earth. Developer 1C Game Studios is currently developing the game and draws inspiration from H.G. Wells’ classic sci-fi novel, The War of the Worlds. While the novel tells the story of a Martian invasion of England, the game wants to tell an alternate version of the alien invasion in Siberia.
Set in 1896, The War of the Worlds: Siberia will portray the events of a Martian invasion on Earth. It’ll follow several characters on the run from panic-stricken Petrograd, who’ll take after classic 19th-century Russian archetypes. As they arrive in Siberia, their safe haven, they are met with an unexpected turn of events that changes the entire course of history.
The official storyline on Game Press reads:
In an alternate 1896, Earth was the target of a massive Martian invasion. The War of the Worlds: Siberia takes place in Russia, where several characters attempt to save themselves by fleeing panic-stricken Petrograd and head for the eastern end of the Russian Empire.
It’s interesting because, in 1896, Russia had yet to undergo its historical revolution. According to director Albert Zhiltsov, the alien invasion story they would like to tell can also be a catalyst for the revolution of 1917. Thus, it’s possible that the studio will want to tell a story set in an alternate timeline. A “what could have been” take infused with sci-fi elemental properties.
The game’s official website reads:
The game's events take place in the Russian Empire, during the first year of the Invasion. Players will encounter remarkable characters, visit picturesque locations, dive into dramatic cinematic scenes, and face arduous challenges.
Andrey Shumakov adds that the studio’s inspiration was to curate “emotionally resonant, narrative-heavy games” and that their aim is to tell “an interesting and believable story, introduce the player to a cast of colorful characters, and immerse them in a large-scale spectacular adventure.”
There are certainly plenty of expectations to go around. However, now that the specifics of the story aren’t quite clear yet, all we can do is cross our fingers and hope that the vision the studio is gunning for translates seamlessly on launch day.
For now, we don’t know much about the gameplay, except that it’ll feature a large-scale adventure, tell a compelling story with colorful characters, and generally offer an immersive experience. The gameplay will have stealth features and “spatial puzzles.” It will also have shootout encounters featuring “dozens of weapons,” including machine guns and black powder pistols.
The official key features on Game Press read:
- Thrilling action/adventure experience
- Unique setting of the Russian Empire under the rule of alien invaders
- An intricate story with memorable characters who represent classic archetypes of 19th-century Russia
- Shootouts with dozens of weapons, from cap-lock rifles and black powder pistols to the Maxim machine gun
- Stealth elements and spatial puzzle
Developer 1C Game Studios is currently working on The War of the Worlds: Siberia. However, it seems the development process is still in its very early stages, seeing as they are still recruiting to expand the team. On the official website, the studio calls on all applicants, saying:
War of the Worlds: Siberia is a very ambitious project that was quite difficult to venture upon. It’s a challenge for an independent game studio, so we are expanding our team and inviting specialists to our office in Moscow.
The journey to create War of the Worlds: Siberia didn’t just start recently, though. Scriptwriter and author Sergei “SerB” Burkatovskiy says that the idea came about nearly 20 years ago during the 2005 Video Game Developer Conference. Since then, they have focused on learning from other developers – watching their works and making games of their own, including the free online tactical shooter Caliber and the combat flight simulator IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad. After adequate preparation, the studio is now ready to bring to life The War of the Worlds concept in Siberia.
Developer 1C Game Studios has released an announcement teaser trailer that you can watch here. It shows the Siberian snowy landscapes in full glory, followed by what seem to be flashbacks to a difficult time. There’s very little to pick apart in the trailer, with very little detail on the story or gameplay. However, it does pique one’s interest in finding out more about what this “alternate history” take on the alien invasion in Siberia has in store for us.
Release Date, Platforms & Editions
Developer 1C Game Studios has yet to announce a release date. So, we don’t know when to expect it to hit the stores. It’s unsurprising, seeing as they are still recruiting and expanding the developing team. The same goes for the platforms and editions, which we currently have no information on. Since the studio’s website says they will announce the release date and supported platforms later, you may want to keep track of future updates on it while we also keep an eye out and let you know as soon as any new information comes up.