A very unique game slipped onto Steam last December in the form of Zulu Response – a team-based, first-person combat game in which you can play as Zulu or British combatants in the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War.
This is being developed by a relatively unknown Australian studio, Web Interactive Solutions, who has partnered with British military author Damien Lewis for the game, presumably for historical accuracy.
Gameplay revolves around skirmishes between the two sides with Rorke’s Drift and Isandlwana confirmed as battle locations, with other real-world battlefields promised to be added later. There is also a planned single player mode focusing on the British side of the story, while the multiplayer will focus on eight-person battles (four versus four) as either the British or Zulu.
In the multiplayer, each side has access to detachments to bolster their forces, with the Zulus having an advantage in numbers while the British’s inferior numbers are bolstered by their use of firearms.
This excerpt from the game’s official website lays the detachment concept out quite nicely:
When playing as a Zulu, a player has up to 11 warriors and 120 reserves they command around the battlefield. Each British player has 6 soldiers and 10 reserves they command. Master the art of tactical co-ordination as you command your soldiers to form up in a line and serve volleys of fire from their ranks. As a Zulu, command your warriors to attack a British position or co-ordinate an attack with other players or an awaiting Impi.
At the moment Zulu Response isn’t available to buy until later in the year, and won’t be a complete game when it is as it will launch initially as part of Steam’s Early Access programme. The game will be purchasable as a work-in-progress that will (hopefully) be updated to a final version some day in the future.
Ironically, there is currently no support for playing the game in Zulu, as so far only English supported. We think the developers have missed a trick, quite honestly; we’ll be sure to contact them with the suggestion.
What do you all think about this? Here at the htxt.africa offices, we’re a bit torn – some of us feel this is amazing as South Africa is ripe as a videogame setting – we often discuss what a Grand Theft Joburg would and should look like – and we’d like to see more games based on our current situation and our history.
Others of us, meanwhile, are a bit hesitant as our history is rather, shall we say, troubled, and there is a sense that a game like this may be more inflammatory than educational.
What say you?