I realize I’m one of probably three people on this website who enjoyed Bulletstorm, but the fact is, everyone else is wrong. It was a wonderful game wrought with quality game design and oscar-worthy dialogue. Well, the guys who made it jumped ship after being bought out by Epic Games. BUT NOT TO WORRY, THEY STARTED A NEW STUDIO AND ANNOUNCED THEIR FIRST GAME!
Last month they released a brief trailer and a press release detailing the game and it’s setting. And I’ve gotta say, it sounds like a winner to me. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a game inspired by 19th century weird fiction tales in the immersive storytelling genre. The game follows a psychic detective uncovering the mystery of a kidnapped boy, only to find the pile of body parts that was once one of the perpetrators.
Normally, this wouldn’t appeal to me. Immersive story games are fun, the stories are typically very well written, but I don’t consider them video games. They’re choose-your-own-adventure books marketed in an easier-to-digest format, and they don’t make any use of the kinds of qualities that set video games apart from other media. Usually. But I digress.
The Astronauts promises that the game is more than just an immersive story; it’s an actual game, with actual gameplay. More specifically the “bare bones” of actual gameplay. This is something that does appeal to me, and should appeal to a lot of gamers. Minimalist elements are rapidly catching on in games, and I welcome it. I like visually told stories as much as the next guy, but if I’m going to fork over 30-60$ for it in video game format I want to be playing a video game with well thought out design choices that add emotional weight to the existing story.
This game sounds awesome to me, and I’m anxiously awaiting more blog posts about it. If you quit reading when you saw “Bulletstorm”, you’re going to miss out. The game comes out sometime this year.