Publisher Lesser Evil and Finnish developer Rockodile Games announced their upcoming game "Death from Above."
The game is an arcade-style drone simulator set during the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. The player takes on the role of a drone operator belonging to the Ukrainian military and tasked with "fighting enemy forces, salvaging valuable equipment, and restoring crucial communication lines."
It'll enter early access on PC via Steam soon and a Kickstarter campaign has just been launched with a €25,000 goal. No stretch goals have been shared for the moment. The Kickstarter campaign aims to raise funds to collaborate with Ukrainian artists and musicians to improve the game's visuals and sounds.
The split for the funds' allocation is as follows: 40% for music, sound design, and voice-overs, 20% for art, and 20% for programming and development, with 20% going to Kickstarter fees and taxes.
If funded, the developers will be able to "improve the visuals and narrative by creating intro and outro scenes with illustrated backgrounds and voice acting in Ukrainian and English. Additionally, it will feature original Russian voice-over for the in-game enemies."
The developers also provided the reasoning why they wanted to tackle this theme:
"Our game takes place during a serious and tragic real-life event, but we hope that our game is able to bring some fun and relief to players when they try it. While we embrace controversy and difficult conversations, we don’t believe in controversy for its own sake or the sake of sales. We engage in these topics because we are convinced they are essential and that the power of video games can be a tool for political and social activism. Death From Above is no exception to that. Also, we’re proud to help spread the message of support for Ukraine defending itself! "
30% of the proceeds from Steam sales of Death from Above will go to Ukrainian charities, and after the developers break even, that percentage is going to be increased to 70%. The charity partners that will receive the donated funds are Army of Drones and Come Back Alive.
Below you can watch a trailer and read about the game's key features.
- Interplay between operator and Drone: After you deplete your drone's ammo, you must return to your operator's position to rearm. Risk trekking deeper into enemy territory for a quick and easy top-up, or stay at a distance to assure your survival!
- Clear the Ukrainian steppe of Russian invaders! Seek out, bomb, and destroy HQ camps, vehicles, and military depots; stay focused, and switch between top-down and third-person perspectives to maximize your impact!
- Take over control towers to restore communication lines! Patrol the area, neutralize defenses, then bring in the operator for a successful mission!
- Recover stolen washing mac-*ahem*...Precious hardware! The invaders are always on the lookout for any hardware they can grab. Keep on the lookout for any stragglers and recover this precious resource!
If you want to read more about developers supporting Ukraine, you can read our interview with head of Microsoft Flight Simulator Jorg Neumann about the release of the Antonov An-225 "Mriya".
Full Disclosure: the author of this article backed the game on Kickstarter as soon as it was available.