The Controversial Video Game About the Iranian Revolution Will Be Out Soon

The Iranian government has a less nuanced view of the events depicted in '1979 Revolution,' and has branded it propaganda.

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Jul 13 2015, 2:30pm

As nuclear talks between the US and Iran are finally, maybe nearing a deal, a game about the Iranian Revolution that's defined the current relationship between the two countries is finally gearing up for release.

1979 Revolution, which is helmed by former Grand Theft Auto developer Navid Khonsari, has resurfaced with a new trailer and a Steam Greenlight page, where players can vote to get it into the Steam store.

1979 Revolution is based on actual events and real testimonials. It follows Reza, an aspiring photojournalist who'll have to make life and death decisions on the streets of Iran during the political turmoil that eventually overthrew the US-supported Shah of Iran and established the Islamic Republic of Iran we know today.

The new trailer gives us a first real look at the highly ambitious project that was first announced in 2011. Given its focus on narrative, characters, and dialogue, it's not surprising that the trailer makes 1979 Revolution look a lot like one of developer Telltale's adventure games, which specializes in interactive, choose-your-own-adventures based on popular properties like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones.

Giving the player limited time to make a critical choice, for example, as you can see briefly in an interrogation scene in the trailer, is a typical Telltale device. Hopefully, 1979 Revolution will do a lot more, and there are a few promising bits of gameplay in the trailer that show the player helping wounded protesters and taking pictures.

1979 Revolution received a lot of media attention when it was first announced, but failed to meet its crowdfunding goal of $395,000 on Kickstarter in 2013. Khonsari, who experienced the revolution first hand during his childhood, said that the project will continue even after the Kickstarter failed, and it's great to see that it's finally getting close to completion.

The Iranian government, which has a less nuanced view of the events depicted in 1979 Revolution, has branded it propaganda, and Khonsari a spy. The game's main concept artist, who was working out of Iran, has since been forced to flee the country.

Also like a Telltale adventure game, 1979 Revolution will release episodically, with the first episode—Black Friday—due out this fall.