By Alec Meer on November 6th, 2013 at 8:00 am.
Sci-fi/horror pointer-clickerer STASIS might feature gratuitous use of the Inception Button in its trailers but it does look very mmmmmmm indeed. (That’s ‘mmmmm’ as in ‘lip-smacking’ rather than ‘Jeremy Paxman encouraging a duplicitous politician to keep on digging his own hole’, by the way.) It cites the likes of The Dig, Dead Space and Sanitarium among its influences , but it’s the hauntingly lavish isometric art which really makes it stand out and, perhaps, give it a shot at Kickstarter superhappytimes. The release of an impressive demo is only going to help with that.
Let’s start, as is traditional, with the Kickstarter pitch video, BWWWWARRRRRP noises and all:
A SERIOUS MAN.
Next, I could write a few sentences about STASIS, but in his internal mail suggesting we cover this today, Nathan unwittingly did that for me: “Stasis, which we’ve written about previously, is on Kickstarter. It looks quite attractive, even if it does hide really traditional point-and-click mechanics behind jargony names like Quantum Storage Device (inventory, naturally). Looks mighty spooky, though. Also, backers can get an EXCLUSIVE POLO SHIRT for their troubles. I ask you, what could possibly be better?”
What a flagrant abuse of editorial power, eh? Thathan.
Sadly, my smugness is undone by the discovery that it was none other than my good self who posted about STASIS previously, but I do not remember doing so, nor do I remember seeing or hearing of the game before. Now that’s the true face of terror for you. Where was I on April 2nd, 2012? Why can’t I remember it? Why is my scrotum covered in tattooed messages to myself? Oh no, wait, I do remember that latter – that was the day I ran out of Post-it Notes. Still coming up a blank on STASIS though, but hopefully second time’s the charm. More specifically, giving its whopping 1GB alpha demo a spin should help cement the game in my perished memory.
I’ve only played a little, but it does seem to have extremely high production values for what it is and a great deal of appealingly industrial spaceship porn. Its dialogue is so lasciviously fixated upon the grotesque that I worried it could fall into self-parody, but so far it’s stayed on the right side of creepy. It’s really promising – the artwork definitely sells the ghost spaceship you’re on as enormous and oppressive, and there’s a palpable sense of loneliness and anxiety. Distressing talk of cloning children quickly comes into play, and I’m enjoying that everything, from movement to animation, takes a long time. STASIS seems unhurried, very big on attention to detail and more intent on building atmosphere than inducing heart palpitations. I hope it can sustain it, and if it’s looking this strong on self-funding, I wonder just how glossy it might become if it did snag the sizeable $100,000 of Kickstarter money it’s hoping for.
It’s $17k towards that already, so I think it’s got a decent shot. It’s also doing the Greenlight poledance, naturally.