When it came out earlier this year, Dear Esther was something of a revelation; a non-combat, exploration game set in the Outer Hebrides which sought to tell a hugely atmospheric, if not necessarily scary multi-layered narrative. It was also available for just £1.7.4/$2.99 in the Steam Summer Sale; there will be no excuses here.
Thankfully, developers The Chinese Room have sore eyes after basking in the glory of one of 2012′s best indie titles and have now turned their backs to the light; secluding themselves in their dark (and possibly dank) chambers while they hammer out another atmospheric gem for us all to absorb with our senses. The name of said gem? Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture – a spiritual successor to Dear Esther.
Developed using CryEngine 3; Dear Esther was created using the aging Source Engine which powered Half-Life 2 and its Valve ilk, the title of the game leaves little to the imagination.
Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture plonks the player in the shoes of someone navigating rural Shropshire, with just one hour (of real-time) to go before the world ends. Like its predecessor, Rapture is a non-combat affair with a focus on exploration, light-puzzle solving and immersing yourself in tightly woven narrative that the developers have created.
The one hour hard time limit is certainly evocative of similar mechanics seen in previous games such as Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask for example; putting the onus on the player to discover as much as they can before the time limit expires. Though given the type of game that this is however, you’ll likely squander many of these sessions just taking in the gorgeous scenery and snap shotting the crap out of everything to give you an endless supply of wallpapers.
Well, that’s what I did with Dear Esther at any rate.
Basically what i’m saying is Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture looks pretty incredible and hopefully, as well as the narrative and visual qualities that we already know are going to be extremely accomplished; the soundtrack will be suitably awesome too – further improving the superb score that Dear Esther was set to.
Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture releases on the PC sometime next year in 2013.