Other than the Cubs winning the World Series, Chicago has been in a world of hurt lately – quite literally, with its escalating violence and horrific murder rate. The city's infamous south side must make for a perilous place to live and raise a family, which is exactly the premise behind Culture Shock Games' upcoming We Are Chicago, due for release early next month.
We Are Chicago follows the story of a young man named Aaron a week before graduation. It hasn't been easy for him, and "having grown up in the tumultuous south side of Chicago, the only constants in Aaron’s life have been his family and the community around him." But lately things have gotten worse and now his best friend is missing, so "as Aaron’s world unravels, players will have to uncover who he can trust, and what’s really going on in the neighborhood. As tension grows and divisions become stronger, Aaron will find himself challenged to figure out the truth, and how to protect his family and the community that he loves."
In keeping with its realistic first-person presentation, the game's narrative goal is to be completely authentic to the Chicago experience. We Are Chicago lets players explore the local area and converse with the protagonist's family and friends, using "conversation-driven choices to uncover what’s truly happening in Aaron’s neighborhood." Instead of capitalizing on sensationalist headlines, the story has been created from first-hand interview accounts as well as the real-life experiences of the developers who grew up in the city's south side themselves. According to lead programmer Michael Block, "It was very important to us to accurately portray the character’s struggles, while allowing players to interact with and see Chicago through a different viewpoint than often depicted."
We Are Chicago is nearing completion on Windows, Mac, and Linux, and is currently scheduled for release on Steam on February 9th. Part of the proceeds will be donated to two charities empowering at-risk youth in impoverished or underprivileged communities, All Stars Project of Chicago and Reclaim Our Kids. To learn more about the game, visit the official website for additional details.