You won’t have to wait long to see how the creators of Not Tonight tackle American politics. PanicBarn and No More Heroes have revealed their “political dark comedy” title Not Tonight 2 will be available on Steam February 11th, with a console version coming later in 2022. A final PC beta launches January 28th. As teased early on, the game continues that Papers, Please-style focus on checking IDs as a bouncer while throwing in minigames — and, of course, addressing US political issues head-on.
The game centers around Kevin, Malik and Mari as they travel across an ‘alternative’ US to save their friend Eduardo from deportation. As with the first Not Tonight, the sequel doesn’t pull punches – it examines climate change denial, anti-immigration policies, American religious views and the pitfalls of capitalism. While there are certainly silly parts (such as serving poutine in a Canada-controlled Montana), the aim is as much to make you think about sensitive issues as it is having fun.
The series is, in some ways, a criticism of the games industry’s aversion to politics. Heavyweights like Ubisoft will claim their games aren’t political even when that’s clearly not true, and others will simply steer clear of politics altogether. PanicBarn’s game effectively challenges developers to embrace political commentary — that is, to risk alienating some customers in the name of making a statement.
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