Fans of good video games and good television are in store for an exciting November. Future Man, a new series about a video game that recruits someone to save the world debuts on Hulu on Nov. 14. But, is the Biotic Wars video game from Future Man real? It certainly seems inspired by real-world video games you can play.
The series is a sci-fi comedy with a number of high-profile executive producers including the hilarious Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Josh Hutcherson plays the lead, Josh Futturman, a janitor at a herpes research clinic who feels he’s capable of so much more than simply living day-by-day with his parents and playing video games. Unfortunately, video games are all he seems to be truly good at. The one he’s best at, which nobody else has ever beaten, is Biotic Wars. It's not a real game in its exact form, but it has attributes that serious gamers will recognize.
When Josh becomes the first to beat the game, he’s visited by two characters from the game: Tiger the resistance leader and Wolf the super-soldier. They tell him that the game wasn’t just for fun, that the dystopian simulation was actually the future: 2162. The video game was a device that was sent back in time meant to identify the person with the ability to save the future.
If that general plot line feels familiar to you, good — it should. As Josh says in the trailer when he hears it explained to him, “That’s The Last Starfighter. That’s the exact same plot as the movie.” That similarity was by design, and it’s not the only one. References will abound in this new series. TV Guide reports that, at the TV Critics Association Summer press tour, Rogen said he took inspiration from the '80s, '90s, and beyond. “It's inspired by a lot of the science fiction movies of the last 30 years," Rogen said. "But more than anything, it's kind of like a journey. We want the show to exist in a world where all those movies are real.”
While the series aims to evoke feelings of films like The Terminator, for Hutcherson, filming felt like The Hunger Games at times. In an interview with Collider, he elaborated “Scale-wise, there are moments where it felt bigger than some moments on Hunger Games,” he said. “It’s interesting because me, Eliza [Tiger], and Derek [Wolf], the three of us have a very tight relationship, so in a way it is echoing memories of The Hunger Games cast’s relationship. Never the same, of course, but beautiful in its own way.” And, just like the series was inspired by other film and television, Biotic Wars seemingly has its own inspiration from other video games.
(To start, it has a sort of similar name to Bioshock, though similarities end there as Bioshock takes place in the past.) Biotic Wars is a shooter game (it flips between first and third-person). While not explicitly stated, fans can assume that the ESRB would rate the game M for mature. Meaning, "[the] content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.” After all, Josh does get used to taking skull trophies in the game.
While there are lots of games that feature third-person shooter perspective or an M rating though, this game clearly references an entire video game series: Gears of War. Not only do both focus on dystopian human futures, feature lots of blood and gore, as well as have third-person perspectives — they also have eerily similar weapons. The Gear’s series most iconic weapon is without question the Mark 2 Lancer. Basically, an assault rifle with a chainsaw attached. Biotic Wars has the X-28 Psycho-Blaster, which appears to be a shotgun... with a chainsaw attached. It's also worth noting that Biotic Wars and the real game Halo have many thematic similarities as well.
So while you may not be able to play Biotic Wars, as cool as it may seem, you can play the newest edition of the Gears of War series. Gears of War 4 released last year to positive reviews, according to Metacritic, with an average score of 84 percent. So if you didn’t play it then, now’s your chance to play it, and get hyped for the Future Man's 13-episode first season.