Separating Nuclear Union from the Post-Apocalyptic Wasteland

Though Nuclear Union is clearly inspired by hits like Fallout, its story and mechanics set it apart from the rest of the post-apocalyptic pack.

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We've seen plenty of postapocalyptic nuclear-strike games in the past, but 1C's upcoming role-playing game, Nuclear Union, takes a slightly different approach than most. The story begins during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, with the majority of the narrative and gameplay taking place in an alternate, modern-day Soviet Union.

Rather than pit the player against warring factions and tribes, Nuclear Union is rooted in a world where the Soviet government and the underlying infrastructure have survived an attack from the United States and have reemerged from their underground bunkers. Their primary goals are to rebuild and survive in the harsh landscape of their new capital, Pobedograd.

1C hails from Moscow, the approximate real-world location of the fictional Pobedograd. That, in addition to their plans to incorporate prototype Soviet weaponry, should bolster their approach to a pseudo-authentic alternate history. Weapon upgrades are in the works, but unfortunately, Nuclear Union is in such an early state that there wasn't any combat on display during 1C's Gamescom demo, let alone weapon customization.

The main character, a nameless Soviet officer, may be accompanied by up to two party members. You'll have the power to decide whom to dismiss or accept into your ranks, according to the FAQ on the Nuclear Union website. There's also mention of moral choices and branching paths, though it's noted that the protagonist shall forever remain on the side of "good." When we asked 1C about the identity of the antagonist, they were quick to play the "we can't reveal further details" card. Interestingly, based on prior comments relating to the unknown status of the US government or its citizens, it's safe to assume the forces of "evil" will have origins within the surviving members of the U.S.S.R.

The most interesting element during the demo was the appearance of physical anomalies, Nuclear Union's version of environmental puzzles. The impact of a nuclear attack doesn't just destroy life and mangle buildings; such a profound expulsion of energy also disturbs the forces of nature, creating pockets in space with their own gravitational fields. They don't pose a direct threat to the player, and are completely optional, but resolving anomalies rewards you with items and special abilities. By manipulating objects orbiting the core of an anomaly, you can neutralize its gravitational field and gain access to the prize within. Just make sure you watch your back while doing so, lest you risk attack from the hordes of mutants roaming the land.

Most of the enemies in Nuclear Union are hulking, bipedal beasts, but there's no shortage of freakishly sized spiders and other real-world creatures lurking about. The story will lend itself to face-offs against other Soviet survivors, but 1C was unable to elaborate on this at the show.

With so many details and features still in the dark, it's too early to accurately delve into Nuclear Union's combat and story, arguably the two most important elements of any RPG. The footage and info provided by 1C recall elements from the Fallout and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series, but the survival of the Soviet Union is an unconventional and welcome twist in a subgenre rife with cliches. 1C's current plan is to ship Nuclear Union for PCs sometime in 2013, with the possibility of console releases down the road.

Discussion

178 comments
shawnAU
shawnAU

showing the unpolished look and gameplay of an eastern european production (if the setting wasn't a giveaway).

commander1122
commander1122

and the bottem line....i still miss stalker 1 gameplay....especially underground level....look sweeeet....

vishisluv7
vishisluv7

Yikes. Animations are choppy, textures blurry...Transitions from one stance to another play like separate little movies with an obvious gap between. This is alpha footage I assume? Releasing footage while the game is in this shape is a bad idea.

wurn
wurn

3rd person view, how boring! Otherwise i have to be honest i'm more excited about Survarium than this game but it does resemble Stalker so i'll keep a look out for it.

MindlessTeef
MindlessTeef

Seems promising, but I would much rather have S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2! :(

xReikenx
xReikenx

Looks like someones trying to combine STALKER and Fallout.

pcostix
pcostix

IMO no one top's eastern European post apocalyptic games.

 

If you compare STALKER series or Metro2033 to Fallout3 nad NV, you can say that "Western(US) pos-apocalyptic are arcade game, and eastern(Soviet) are pos-apocalyptic simulators".

 

Eastern games generaly are a bit bugy though.

v_14
v_14

It looks like an updated version of the engine that was used for the game title S.T.A.L.K.E.R. But that doesn't mean that it's gonna be a straight rip off...

 

ziegd
ziegd

Looks like a STALKER re-boot. On the plus side, eastern European developers usually turn out games that are more challenging than their western counterparts, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

virus10101
virus10101

Stalker + fo3  messup :D 

Maybe it's still in alpha .... but all those bullettime is horribly boring after the fifth time.

Mah .... for me this title at the moment is only at "a nice try" level. 

fzd88
fzd88

Man, those character models look horrible - similar to low-poly RTS games. All those DirectX shaders and atmosphere can't hide the horrible production value. This title has bargain bin and terrible game-play written all of it. 

kengi_ikazuchi
kengi_ikazuchi

Sound just like another STALKER game.  I'll pass.

Advocate
Advocate

Another game that blames the end of the world on America.  Pathetic. If you like this sort of thing, then good for you.  They should just come out with a game named "Blame America" and be done with it.

chechak7
chechak7

Fallout 3 and S.T.A.L.K.E.R

moisan4
moisan4

Stalker 2 being cancelled was the worst news to come out of the gaming industry in 2012, I was so disappointed. If someone else can make a great clone I won’t complain, I could care less what the games called, so long as it’s similar to the Stalker series. In fact, I wouldn’t mind half a dozen releases of Stalker clone games in the next couple years, if their great games of course.

 

pcostix
pcostix

This game definitly got my atention. It looks like it is going to have a great atmosphere.

 

Like in STALKER I hope that I can feel like a loner in a destroyed world as I'm thriving to survive, no Fallout3 or NV gave those feelings.

 

Definitly looking forward to it.

xsonicchaos
xsonicchaos

it'll be a stalker kind of game, but in 3rd person, with awkward controls and bad graphics. this game will suck baboon behind.

Godendag
Godendag

I don't know, I mean, it looks cool and everything, I loved Stalker, but "complete" and "oblivion lost", not the original. But russians always release half finished games, with more bugs than a 47 year old alabama prostitute. Maybe after some months, this game will be playable.

 

blackothh
blackothh

i really dont like spiders........

dark_sith_
dark_sith_

If done right, this could be eastern Fallout. I hope they optimize the game, and don't rush it before polishing everything. 1C is known for some unpolished releases.

joshhi
joshhi

Did sound good until "freakishly sized spiders". D-:

I better dodge the heart attack and not play this game.

margevich
margevich

in russia, YOU are wifebeater

Ofrst
Ofrst

Seems interesting enough, perhaps looks too much like S.T.A.L.K.E.R. but all games of today looks like each other, just look at CoD, MoH, BF and other US propaganda games.

Screen shots look nice, somewhere in the rank of Fallout NV, some even better.  I work in gaming industry, so think that I'm competent to say that all together looks good. Anyway, I don't understand why are some comments so rude, maybe because of the story and destiny of the USA in game. If they put some US enemies guess that western part of the world would not even try to play it. That's the reason I can't wait to play it. regards from Croatia

pcostix
pcostix

 @v_14 If it's a straight rip off... It's fine by me.

pcostix
pcostix

@fzd88

This games(pos-apocalyptic) are not suposed to be bright and colorful.

 

It's suposed to be a depressing world!!! Never had a complaint about graphics or graphics options in STALKER or Metro2033.

stan_boyd
stan_boyd

 @fzd88 Seriously, you are complaining about a games graphics when its still pre-alpha phase?

jwisner
jwisner

 @Advocate Interestingly the alternate history they give has the USSR making overt preparations for imminent nuclear exchange and full mobilization, the US taking the first shot - but with conventional weapons- and the USSR making the first escalation to nuclear exchange.  It paints neither side as righteous in the timeline provided; this timeline also follows the contigency plans of the US and USSR in the event that the embargo was not lifted and the missiles not removed. 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_missile_crisis

 

The timeline also clearly states the originating cause of the crisis to be the placement of these missiles in Cuba without making equivocations, though to be fair it would be understandable to mention US placement of missile bases in Turkey.

batarel
batarel

 @Advocate I get your point, but I have to point out two things: (i) America is not the USA, it is the whole continental covering North America, Central America and South America, wich makes me wonder if U.S citizens (not americans, that is wrong too) are even taught basic geography. (ii) the U.S government playing bully has spread war and misery all over the planet. However, I agree with you, it should've been something more like a world war type of event, but human savagery is the same no matter where it comes from.

ZERO_X02
ZERO_X02

 @Advocate

 Who else has the military might to pull off such a feat? We get to pick from Russia, China, India, and the US. Usually the only one of those choices that isn't reprensented in post-nuclear apocalypse games is India, but Middle-Easterners tend to be the villian in modern war games, so meh.

stan_boyd
stan_boyd

 @Advocate Well if the cold war had continued and the russians hadn't pulled back their missiles during the cuban missile crisis then america would of nuked russia don't you think? Now look at it from the perspective of a russian citizen, do you think they believe they are the bad guys?

moc5
moc5

 @moisan4 me too.  I am really hoping this game is stalker in many/all ways.   Stalker was the perfect RPG all around.  Why change perfection?  I guess you cant really.

stan_boyd
stan_boyd

 @Godendag Well there is no release date set, they say hopefully 2013 so I am sure it will look alot better before released.

wascallyrabbit
wascallyrabbit

 @Ofrst Thank you for proving that Americans aren't the only group capable of ignorance. 

timmy0001
timmy0001

 @Ofrst I'm from the US and I'd play this game or any other with the US as the enemy, providing the game was fun and had an interesting story. That's a bit of an unfair generalization.

stan_boyd
stan_boyd

 @moc5  @moisan4 STALKER? Perfect? Please share whatever you are drinking with me. The game was good and had great concepts but the execution wasn't all there, the STALKER games had more bugs than a bethesda game.

Ofrst
Ofrst

 @wascallyrabbit I have nothing against Americans, I even cooperate with some good people from USA, and love to work with them, they're professional and serious, but big majority of US gamers are really hypocrite and you must admit that games with US enemies are rare and not so popular. I already killed tons of virtual Russians, Germans, Chinese, Africans, Mexicans, probably I forgot someone. Most popular games in the USA are Battlefield and CoD, really great interesting story, and cool stupid linear gameplay. This game is not even near completion, and you can't say it is "shit", "fucking joke" or "always in the mood to kill some russians".

 

Link to shocking Chinese game

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/17/glorious-mission-chinese-video-game_n_863166.html

Ofrst
Ofrst

 @timmy0001 I said "I guess", not  "I'm sure", you should know meaning of words better, you are one from the US.

Advocate
Advocate

I am trying to get it removed as we speak. :D

West123
West123

 @Advocate  wow that's really passive aggressive..u should get that checked out lol

stan_boyd
stan_boyd

 @moc5  @moisan4 I agree, if it had the money  backing it I'm sure it could of been polished to perfection. Unfortunately instead it just felt like the beta of what could of been the best game ever made, which isn't a bad thing, its impressive how even with all its flaws it was still so amazing.

moc5
moc5

 @stan_boyd  @moisan4 The perfection to which I was referring is 'the game that cannot be outdone'.  I'm pretty sure no one can top the stalker premise or story, and one would be hard pressed to make any significant improvements on its game play.  If stalker had Bethesda's money behind it before it released and the Deep Silver crew were calling all the shots, I believe that the stalker games would be in the history books as the RPG to beat across all demographics.  'Aint nothing like the real thing.'

stan_boyd
stan_boyd

 @moc5  @moisan4 Oh for sure, they were great games, just your choice of wording was wrong :P Even though the bugs were easy to overlook, they were still their so perfection wasn't quite the right word ;)

moc5
moc5

 @stan_boyd  @moisan4 Yeah it was buggy and a bit too short but the combination of post apocalyptic/horror elements along with a stark, drastic atmosphere gave a real feeling of the end of the world.  It really brought the immersion level up so high it that it forgave the minor bugs easily.  Not to mention the best RPG story I've heard.  The shear fascinating anticipation of what was behind the anomalies in the Zone that literally brought the whole environment to life and scared the crap out of you at night and made you twitchy, nervous during the day was amazing.  I've never seen that in any game before.  The realism with the weapons, ammo , and shooting were right on the mark without being so real it was boring.  The fairly intuitive ai was and still is among the best ive seen in a game to date.  So yeah, I can forgive it a few short comings. :)

Ofrst
Ofrst

Just say what you think about game without underestimating and offends, that's it, it's not hard if you are normal and polite.