In 2017 a game was released for PC simply titled “Walden, a game.” As suggested by the title, it is indeed a game about Henry David Thoreau and his time at Walden Pond. The idea of a game where you play asThoreau and receive visits from Ralph Waldo Emerson seemed to be the pinnacle of metacommentary on video game characters. Little did we know that that it wouldn’t end there. No, now we have the opportunity to play as someone even more philosophical who’s also the son of God: Jesus Christ.
“I Am Jesus Christ” is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a game where you play as Jesus Christ. This title has actually been in the works for some time. Personally, I remember when it was first announced back in 2019 and wondering if it would ever see the light of day. Well, it looks like someone moved the boulder in front of the tomb, because he has risen. Here’s the original trailer below which let’s you see Jesus, in first person mode, heal an old person, make fish out of nothing, and look at other people who were nailed to a cross alongside him.
It should be noted that this is not supposed to be something satirical or poking fun; this is a legitimately serious attempt at trying to make a Jesus Christ simulator. Or if not a simulator at least an honest try at telling his life’s story through the medium of a video game. I mean, Noah had his own games, so why shouldn’t Jesus? Remember “Super 3D Noah’s Ark?” The actual Noah’s Ark game that was running on the Wolfenstein 3D engine? That was a thing! So why shouldn’t Jesus get a first person shoot…um…miracler?
Developed by SimulaM and PlayWay, “I Am Jesus Christ” is far from finished. Right now the prologue, taking place in Nazareth, is all that’s set for release on December 1st. The rest of the game is slated for release sometime in the year of our lord, 2023. While SimulaM hasn’t really had much to their name in terms of game development, PlayWay has released some popular titles including “House Flipper” and “Thief Simulator” amongst others. Both studios are based in Poland, a country which has become a relative hotspot for game development over the last few years. CD Projekt Red, the developers of “The Witcher” game series and “Cyberpunk 2077” hail from there. Not to mention Blooper Team, the developer that’s in charge of the “Silent Hill 2” remake.
It’s easy to take potshots at Christian themed media, especially when many of them can be incredibly heavy handed with their morals and philosophy; it can be a bit much. However, you also have tastefully done projects like Martin Scorcese‘s “The Last Temptation of Christ.” Is it a bit much to compare an independently developed video game like this to a Scorcese film? Yes, but it’s only to state that this kind of topic can be done well with the correct artistic vision. Let’s be honest though; it looks just a wee bit over the top; as evidenced by the more recent trailer that somehow manages to outdo the previous one in terms of …everything.
Now Jesus is wandering around a city and manipulating water, doing telekinetic carpentry, and featuring just stellar voice acting. Again though, to be fair, it seems like the developers are really making a heartfelt effort to express their faith. As long as they’re not doing it at the expense of others, it’s fair play. Also, considering that the default animation and rendering model for characters is a t-pose, don’t we actually have Jesus to thank for everything?