The Mass Effect series is made up of tons of planets, characters, lore and spans multiple galaxies. The Secret World meanwhile, is a game that truly puts the ‘massive’ into Massively Multiplayer Online. While this means that they have huge appeal, it also means that these games offer plenty of quirks to make fun of too.
Welcome to Orochi Park is one such game that highlights and builds on those quirks, describing itself as a parody of Mass Effect and The Secret World. Sure to resonate with fans of both series, we spoke to game director Anima Chambers to find out more.
Introducing: Welcome to Orochi Park
Welcome to Orochi Park is described by the team as the “most advanced Twine game ever made” and promises the chance to “choose between hundreds of narrative and strategic paths.” Players assume the role of Templar-Marshal Celestine as the world is decimated by occult weapons, invading Illuminati forces and “something terrible” that has awoken in the deep, blue depths of the sea.
From the game’s over the top narrative, it’s easy to see how the game embraces the “tension” between The Secret World‘s Lovecraftian and MMO themes. In an email, Chambers explains that although the game has a very rich lore, “when you spend [hundreds of hours in a game] you also pick up on things that conflict,” and The Secret World‘s mix of themes “is an experiment that hasn’t always worked.”
Meanwhile, the game’s Mass Effect inspirations seem to come more from the character side of things. For example, Kelly Chambers makes an appearance in Welcome to Orochi Park (as ‘Kelly from Mass Effect’) and she is “sentient and aware of her prior mistreatment.”
The game director explains that this stems from romancing the character in Mass Effect 2 and 3 as a female Commander Shepard and “getting annoyed at how little screen time she got compared to the major character romances like Liara.”
And yes, Welcome to Orochi Park will feature romance too, even taking into account Mass Effect: Andromeda‘s gay romance missteps. Templar-Marshal Celestine is an “unquestionably” queer female protagonist, Chambers tells me, rather than the character being “queer-optional.”
“Andromeda’s issue was that it gave its queer characters only token representation. Orochi Park is not trying to do as much as ME so can focus on what it has. There are only two romance options, and both are women.”
In addition to offering decent LGBTQ representation (Celestine isn’t “defined” by her sexuality) Welcome to Orochi Park could also be a shining example of a female character too. Celestine’s job is just to keep everyone on-track and “this creates other forms of tension and conflict than just sexual. This is the key complaint many have about male vs female characters. Men get defined by goals or talents, women get defined by gender. I’m trying to avoid that,” says the developer.
As the game’s development team is still tweaking the strategic balance of the game and voice acting is set to be implemented between 2018 and 2019, it will be a while until Welcome to Orochi Park is released. But considering how much players have put in to The Secret World and Mass Effect universes, the time will always be right for a game that can have a bit of a laugh about such serious titles.
Welcome to Orochi Park will be released in 2019 on Windows PC and Mac. A demo will be released in August, 2017.
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