American McGee, the twisted mind behind games like Alice: Madness Returns and Akaneiro: Demon Hunters, is working on a new game based on the Oz universe created by L. Frank Baum – OZombie.
The game follows Dorothy’s great-great-granddaughter as she arrives to OZ, now an island in the Pacific Ocean, as a refugee “from a world on the brink of ecological and societal collapse.” She then joins Tin Woodsman and Lion to battle a demented Scarecrow and his mindless armies.
“As a kid I was a huge fan of Robert Heinlein’s stories,” American McGee writes on the game’s Kickstarter page. “There are several ‘Heinlein themes’ that I like and want to explore: Individual liberty and self-reliance, the obligation individuals owe to their societies (and vice versa), the influence of organized religion on society – and the tendency of society to repress nonconformist thought.
“Hence, ‘zombies’ are destroying Oz in a mindless (heh) fashion, without thinking of the future consequences of their actions. The fact that they are ‘zombies’ or that their leader is obsessed with ‘brains’ is less about the traditional ‘brain eating’ concept of zombies and more about mindless conformist behavior.”
OZombie will feature a narrative-driven single player mode, followed by a multiplayer mode, which can only be unlocked after finishing the single player experience.
Watch the game’s Kickstarter video and early concept art below.