There are still different approaches to gaming that most might’ve not experienced and if you take in the silence, view and story in Everybody’s Gone to The Rapture, you might cross one more off your list.
Developed by The Chinese Room, the minds who brought you Dear Esther and Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, the game can only be described as the equivalent of on-screen short stories and philosophic questions that may leave you thinking by the time it’s over. The gameplay itself is said to be short, only 4 to 6 hours, but that is quite enough when all you can do is explore and wander.
Everybody’s Gone to The Rapture is the epitome of simplicity and heart-touching storytelling, with very limited controls and interactions. It’s the various tales, soulful music and surreal graphics that will immerse you into the world where nothing is clear cut, only shades of grey and different spectrums of humanity.
The game starts with the player being dropped into the shoes of an unnamed first person viewed character in the middle of a field, near the small English town of Yaughton Valley. The unassuming village is a picturesque location, with fields, farms and cozy cottages that are left for the player to explore. And yet, its most exquisite feature is the silence.
While most post-apocalyptic games today are full of chaos, hungry zombies, deadly creatures and loud guns, Everybody’s Gone to The Rapture explores a different kind of world, where there’s no one else around. The player is alone with the wind, music and occasional creaking gate of Yaughton Valley.
Little streaks and spheres of light are strewn across the village, that either lure the character in one direction and simply wait for an interaction so it may show flashbacks of people who were there before. The game uses minimal controls, with only movement, one button for interaction and the controller’s tilting feature. And that is it.
There is no fighting, no yelling, no zombies jumping out from the ground, so players may rest assured that the dramatic music is not an omen that something evil is approaching. The only reported drawback is the slow pace of the main character, who may not run, and only leisurely explore the town.
It will give players the opportunity to take in every detail of the village, which is quite stunningly displayed, so the developer’s choice might just be understandable. Might be, as most could get bored of the slow pace and quit. However, there is an option for the less patient ones. The game allows you to skip the exploring and go instantly as you begin to the final area in order to see the ending.
However, every flashback is a story and piece of the puzzle that will help the player understand the game, a slow crescendo to a worthwhile ending. If an explanation to apocalypse is expected though, some might be left with a bitter taste in their mouth.
Everybody’s Gone to The Rapture is not centered around the world’s end, but around the very essence of human nature, the light and dark shades of every individual and the possible redemption of even the most wicked.
Image source: polygon.com