While it by no means ends the string of sub-par video game adaptation feature films, the short film PAPERS, PLEASE — based on Lucas Pope’s indie darling Papers, Please — is ten minutes of cinematic gold. Perhaps this is in part to Lucas Pope’s involvement in script writing, but everyone who has played the bureaucratic-based title (and anyone who likes good short films) should take a moment to check out the film.
Currently trending at #11 of YouTube, the PAPERS, PLEASE short film is directed by Nikita Ordynskiy and produced by Liliya Tkach — both largely unknown Russian-based content creators. The actual script was written by both of them and the creator of the base game, Lucas Pope. And that writing should feel familiar to fans of the game — a lot of repeat scenarios and people get representation in the film, as the protagonist checkpoint attendant shuffles through passports.
The short film itself has impeccable costume and set design, even choosing to have the entire script performed in Russian. Of course, English (and other languages) subtitles are available to those not Russian-fluent. Without going too much into spoilers, the quick story does capture the stress of the game, with the protagonist having to make frequent moral decisions on what is permitted past the Arstotzka checkpoint.
All things considered, this has been a big year for the game Papers, Please. With little development news since its release in August 2013, the game was ported to PlayStation Vita two months ago. Besides that, little else is known about Lucas Pope’s next project — Return of the Obra Dinnrecent Twitter posts by Pope — but has let us know that the game is still in active development.
Papers, Please is available now for iOS, PC, and PlayStation Vita. Make sure to check the amazing short film based on the game below: