Burden of Command, an upcoming tactical RTS game by Green Tree Games LCC that hopes to mend the genre’s ludonarrative disconnect, has a new teaser providing a first look at gameplay.
RTS games require a certain level of disconnection to function, which often comes at the cost of narrative development. Burden of Command rejects this notion, with the developer making a concerted effort to embed players in the consequences of their actions.
Players assume the role of a Captain of the Cottonbalers, a U.S. Regiment fabled for its war contributions. The game takes place across several battles during World War II, from Morocco to Berlin. Threading in the psychological complexity of Regiment command, players must balance the respect, trust, and personalities of its comrades.
By threading in the narrative into its systems, the title tasks players with not only managing morale, but also the war itself. The game features a strict permadeath system, with deaths having an adverse effect on morale. Psychology is not a one-way path, however. Players can manage certain tactics to demoralise the enemy to surprising results. In terms of the actual combat, Burden of Command ensures its tactics and warfare remain entrenched in historical realism.
Military historian Professor John McManus, official chronicler of the Cottonbalers, has playtested and advised the developer. By combining this expert knowledge with satellite imagery, period maps, historical reconnaissance, and primary source accounts, the project is as realistic as it can get.
OnlySP spoke to the game’s director, Luke Hughes, as part of the Indie Highlight Reel last year, and more details of the title are available in that mini-interview.