Indie developer thechineseroom received plenty of attention for their experimental PC adventure Dear Esther, but the UK studio is ready to start again with Everybody's Gone to Rapture.
This next PC project of theirs is the spiritual successor to Dear Esther and utilizes the CryEngine 3. Set in an open world, Everybody's Gone to Rapture is also in first-person and set in rural Shropshire just an hour before the entire world ends.
Don't expect any combat here. Instead, the game revolves around exploration in a gorgeous, real-time environment whose beauty evokes a sense of disquietude. Sounds pretty familiar, right? Unlike Dear Esther, however, players should be able to interact with the world around them in a more tangible manner. In short, Rapture adds more elements, expanding the world beyond just the player.
Creative director Dan Pinchbeck describes the feeling they wanted to create:
"It really made me want to do stuff like that more and more and go, ‘You know, I want to be able to allow the player to manipulate the world. I want the player to feel like, actually, this is a space that’s evolving and changing’. I think with Esther you generated most of that sense of foreboding pretty much by yourself, and I really wanted a world where you actively feel like something is going on, because it actively is going on."
Much of Rapture remains a mystery at this point. We know that the game will feature six characters, though we're not sure if they'll even be people at this point. Regarding the cast, Pinchbeck explains:
"They're almost kind of memory traces of people that were there. How we represent them, and whether we do full-on character builds or whether we do something more symbolic, we're still kind of chewing around with."
Also uncertain is whether the story will allow players to actually prevent the apocalypse. Will it be about changing fate or going with the flow? Pinchbeck isn't telling.
Another interesting part of Rapture is the 60-minute time limit. The game is obviously designed for multiple playthroughs, and players will get a small taste of the world each time. It's a pretty big world too, and running "diagonally from one corner to the other" might take you about 20 minutes.
Thanks for spotting this gem, Shadow of Death.