Warner Bros. Pictures today unveiled an original, online, multiplayer first-person shooter / RPG game playable in the 3D virtual world Second Life. The largest and most expansive Second Life game ever launched in support of a film release, “I Am Legend: Survival” transports players into an eerie replica of over 60 acres of New York City set in the chaotic year preceding the movie. The future of mankind hangs in the balance as players choose to play in either of two rival factions, uninfected and infected. Uninfected characters must fight to survive as they desperately seek the cure for the terrible virus that is destroying mankind. Infected characters have only one objective: to stop uninfected characters at all costs.
The game features player-customizable avatars loosely based on characters in the film and New York City-based environments that change and expand over time, and supports both voice and text chat for in-game multiplayer communication. The game is available as a free download from IAmLegendSurvival.com on October 12, 2007.
“I Am Legend: Survival” is inspired by the upcoming feature film I Am Legend, starring Will Smith as Robert Neville. A brilliant scientist, even Neville could not contain the terrible virus that was unstoppable, incurable, and man-made. Somehow immune, he is now the last human survivor in what is left of New York City and maybe the world. For three years, Neville has faithfully sent out daily radio messages, desperate to find any other survivors who might be out there. But he is not alone. Mutant victims of the plagueThe Infectedlurk in the shadows watching his every move waiting for him to make a fatal mistake. Perhaps mankinds last, best hope, Neville is driven by only one remaining mission: to find a way to reverse the effects of the virus using his own immune blood. But he knows he is outnumbered and quickly running out of time.
“I Am Legend: Survival” features:
Custom registration portal and Orientation Island: People can join “I Am Legend: Survival” through a custom registration portal that will take their Second Life avatars to a virtual Orientation Island. The Orientation Island gives both new and existing Second Life players a thorough game play overview, with practice tasks and access to online FAQs and game support. Player’s avatars will be able to acquire clothing, equipment and the skills they require to play the game. Orientation Island will also contain an “Operations Base” where players can meet and socialize, find out about upcoming events and shop for optional accessories fitting the “I Am Legend: Survival” theme.
Unique player factions and classes: Players can play in two rival factions–infected and uninfected–and as one of four different classes: infected humans, infected dogs, uninfected humans and police dogs. Each class has their own style of game play and unique abilities.
Community Game Play: By working together with other players, individuals choose to be part of the horror or part of the hope and help determine the final outcome of the game. The open-ended game play experience allows players to create their own “I Am Legend” mythology. Players will be encouraged to participate in the official “I Am Legend: Survival” blog.
Adaptive Environmental Degradation: The virtual New York City setting is meticulously crafted and, just as in the movie, the environment will degrade as time passes. User game play patterns and community input from the blog will shape the abandoned city and directly affect how and where the buildings and streets will decay. Players will be able to experience the end of civilization as Will Smiths character, Robert Neville, experiences it.
Environment expansion: Players begin the game on Orientation Island and will be able to explore Central Park, Coney Island and Chinatown. The final game play area, Columbus Circle, will open on November 16.
“Virtual Worlds provide an excellent platform for action games with a heavy social component,” said Sibley Verbeck, CEO of The Electric Sheep Company. “The experience of ‘I Am Legend: Survival’ in Second Life allows players to immerse themselves within the conflict of ‘I Am Legend’ the movie while interacting with geographically dispersed players. The social aspects in Second Life contribute to a highly interactive and unique gaming experience.”
Second Life is a 3D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has surged. Like the Web, all but the basic infrastructure in Second Life is built by the people who populate it. The world itself isn’t considered a game, rather an immersive environment. “I Am Legend” the game will provide a stimulating encounter for current virtual world residents and a unique introduction to the ‘world’ for new residents.