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Hu Is Rising

Similar titles

Cyberpunk 2077, The Fifth Element, Blade Runner

Look

First and third-person

Genre

Open world RPG

Why Guangzhou?

China’s third-largest city is within striking distance of Hong Kong, which has long overshadowed Guangzhou as the go-to destination for books, films and games. But Guangzhou is a striking port city in its own right complete with a bustling inner-city. Walk the streets and you’ll gaze up at enormous skyscrapers designed to be gawked at; in its showiness, its swagger, Guangzhou feels like a technological powerhouse and an example of what modern China is all about. Imagine it in fifty years.

High Concept

In 2080, China is the world’s superpower. Cars skip across the sky a la Fifth Element and towering skyscrapers brush fluffy white clouds. By day, our hero Hu works a monotonous corporate job on the 65th floor of a nondescript skyscraper. She’s a digital memorialist who sorts through the online identities of the deceased and preserves the best memories for loved ones. It’s a ten-a-penny role akin to the modern-day supermarket cashier.

To keep afloat, Hu has to work nights. When darkness descends, she slips into an aerial car and zips across the Chinese skyline, picking up the richest of the rich (only wealthy clients can afford this mode of transportation).

One evening, fate strikes. As Hu is dropping her passengers off, they commandeer her car, and demand information on a recent profile she memorialised. They want the person expunged from the internet completely, a criminal act punishable by imprisonment. Hu complies but is then forced to continue working with her new accomplices, who turn out to be members of the Triad.

Hu quickly rises in the ranks of the organisation, accruing more riches than she could ever dream of – but at what cost?

Hu Is Rising offers up a science fiction setting that takes inspiration from the ultra-urban settings of Blade Runner and Fifth Element, while reflecting on the pace of technological change in the world. Is our drive to live a life in symbiosis with technology coming at a cost to our happiness?

Artwork by David Tilton