Imagine, if you will, that the year is not 2015. Instead, the year is 2525.
Imagine, also, that you do not live on Earth. Rather, you live on Mars, In fact, everyone lives on Mars. The people on Earth destroyed each other in nuclear war hundreds of years ago.
Now, imagine also that you are the first queen of the United Martian Empire. Your armies have conquered the Red Planet in what has become known as the Unification Wars. Those wars ended five years ago, and you were glad for the chance for your people to rebuild.
However, that peace will not last. A strange new species of reptilian giants, whom your scientists have named the "Katur", has begun landing on Mars, falling from the sky in capsules not unlike those used in the early days of the United States of America's space program. Initial negations with the newcomers ended when they slaughtered all your delegates. That was mere hours ago.
Now, you must once again call your armies to war. Your capital city is under siege. You have no hope of holding on in the face of advanced Katur weaponry, but maybe you can hold them off long enough to escape. You can travel to the nearby mining city of Daedalia. Their rich mineral deposits and strong industry will allow you to raise a great army. Then you can go on the offensive, destroying Katur footholds and driving back the interstellar invaders. The present situation is grim, but you're sure you'll get through it.
Warfare 2525 is a real-time strategy (RTS) game. THe control scheme is what one might expect: left-click on a unit to select it, right-click on the terrain to move the selected unit or right-click on an enemy unit to attack. The player collects resources from specific points, resources which may be used to construct buildings, research upgrades, or build military units. Victory in most missions is achieved by either surviving for a time or eradicating the enemy presence in a given level.
All this is what one might expect from an RTS game. Where Warfare 2525 sets itself apart from the pack is in the story, or rather the level of player choice allowed within the story. In Warfare 2525, each mission presents multiple choices which will affect future missions. The effect may be small, such as showing the player an additional line or two of dialogue, or it may be large, such as
I plan to have ten missions in Warfare 2525. The first one or two will serve as a tutorial. The next two or three will establish the Katur as brutal killers. The player won't see very much of the Katur outside of combat, and what little they see will paint a picture of the Katur as merciless killers. During the fourth mission, the player will have to make a rather significant choice, which will affect the game in future missions. The next three missions will show more of both the Katur and humans, fleshing both races out. During the eighth mission, the player will be faced with another choice on the magnitude of the choice in the fourth mission. The last two missions will largely be a reflection of the player's past actions, culminating in the final big choice. A final cutscene will (maybe) play, showing the player the payoff of their actions.
In addition to the three big choices outlined above, there will be a large number of little choices in every mission. These choices' effects will snowball, resulting in a large variety of conditions in later levels. For example, in the first level, a group of civilians will evacuate the city every three minutes, and the government will evacuate at fifteen minutes. At that time the player may keep defending the city, allowing more civilians to escape, or they can end the mission and receive a victory condition. If the player keeps defending, and more than ten groups of civilians escape, then a refugee camp will be present near the city of Daedalia. The player can protect the refugees (or not), which will have consequences further down the line. Many secondary objectives will have consequences of similar magnitude.
Adding to all that choice is a system of brutal/merciful abilities. Many units will have abilities classified as either "brutal" or "merciful". Brutal abilities make the Katur angry at you, paving the way for more conflict, while merciful abilities show the Katur that you're not all death and destruction, paving the way for peace.
So, Warfare 2525 will allow the player to express their feelings towards the Katur through gameplay, and that expression will have consequences later on in the game. It's a game of deciding if the Katur are inhuman monsters like they appear to be, or if they do have some redeeming qualitites.