Will Smith finally picked a game to star in, and... it's a free-to-play survival shooter?

Lightspeed Studios, best known for co-developing PUBG Mobile, and Will Smith, best known for slapping comedian Chris Rock on live television, have teamed up for a free-to-play open world survival shooter called Undawn.

Jokes aside, Will Smith is one of the biggest movie stars in the world, an Academy Award winner (and 4-time nominee) whose films have earned nearly $9 billion worldwide. Except for a Fortnite skin, this appears to be Smith's first real videogame role, and if I were to picture him as the face of a game I guess it would be something a little more grand—like Keanu Reeves in Cyberpunk 2077, or Liam Neeson in Fallout 3, or one of the many Hollywood actors who have performed in the Call of Duty series.

Instead, Will Smith is now the face of a free-to-play mobile shooter that's also coming to Steam. So, yeah, I'm as confused as you are. Go ahead and watch the star of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air wordlessly deliver a smackdown on some monsters making trouble in his neighborhood in the trailer above.

We first heard about Undawn in 2019 (it was originally called Dawn Awakening) but it's finally on the brink of release: the free-to-play multiplayer survival game launches on June 15 for mobile devices and on PC. If you need a refresher on what it is, exactly, read on:

"In the post-apocalyptic world of Undawn, survivors have split into different factions each with their own rules of survival," reads a press release sent to PC Gamer (which, no joke, contained the words "Get Jiggy" in the subject line). "During their daring adventure, players will encounter legendary survivor Trey Jones played by global movie star Will Smith. Trey will act as a guide to help other survivors navigate the world four years after a global disaster." 

It's a little hard to say what's in the actual game—the official site immediately gets busy tantalizing you with a list of rewards you get for pre-registering, like consumables and several different types of in-game currency. The Steam page is a little more to the point, showing off shooting, monsters, resource gathering, base building, and vehicles. It also shows a very cluttered mobile game HUD, so I'm not super optimistic it'll be enjoyable on PC.

As for Will Smith, he does fit into the world of Undawn pretty well, though mostly because he looks quite a lot like his character Robert Neville from 2007 zombie apocalypse film I Am Legend. I'm a little suspicious that Smith's character doesn't talk in the trailer, or even make noises like "ugh" or "uff" while running, sliding, and bashing monsters. Did he just lend his looks, and not his voice, to the game? I guess we'll find out on June 15.

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.