Fancy something mildly disturbing? Ever wondered what it would be like if Lost and Silent Hill collided? Then you'll be wanting to take a look at The Chinese Room's new game coming exclusively to PS4, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture. The 'post-event' vibe in the trailer feels like there's some sort of menace just around the corner. What is 'the loop' that somebody was trying to close on the computer? These are questions raised by the brief trailer and we're sure you want to know more too.
The developers of the critically acclaimed Dear Esther have been talking about the game and how they approached Sony. Dan and Jessica, co-directors at The Chinese Room had this to say:
"It’s all about the end of the world. You play the role of a scientist, trapped in the very second of the apocalypse, and the game is about discovering what has happened. You do this by exploring a large open-world environment, and interacting with the objects, places and people you find to gradually unlock and put together the story."
So what can you expect? Well, we can promise you that Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture will be powerful and deep, highly immersive and with an absolute focus on your emotional journey through the world. It’s non-linear, with a dynamic and adaptive environment, so this is about your story, a really individual experience that breaks away from the on-rails nature of lots of story-driven games into something that you have a visible impact on.
There’s also a really cool thing you can do which makes the game really different and makes this process of exploring the story something you could only do in a game, but we’re keeping that secret for now. Expect a reveal about that in due course, but we’re very excited about it and can’t wait to show it off."
Keen to keep the game open to a wide audience, the developers have kept the controls simple, but that doesn't mean the overall experience doesn't have to be dumbed down as we often see with 'casual' games.
"Like Dear Esther, the new game is all about the story. It uses simple gameplay – basic exploration of a first-person world – so it’s very friendly to people without a lot of game experience. But it’s not casual in the classic sense – this is a deep and immersive game."
The team were inspired by Sony's willingness to publish risky projects like Journey and The Unfinished Swan.
"When we started making Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, we knew we wanted to make a console title. We also knew that Sony were committed to pushing really interesting indie and experimental work, and figured they’d be into the ideas we were putting together. In a completely idealistic and high risk move, we forgot about the idea of a Plan B, put together a prototype and approached Sony Santa Monica. They were just shipping Journey and Unfinished Swan and we thought we’d have a lot in common in terms of ideas about story, gameplay, player experience."
We've been noticing indies flocking to Sony's next-gen machine of late and with a new wave of proven PC studios inspired by their past output and willingness to accommodate smaller studios' needs, we imagine things are only going to get better for fans of all things imaginative, emotive and original - everything we want from next-gen.