Out Of This World Scares: Abducted


I don’t know about you, but I’m in no hurry to be abducted by aliens. I mean, I’m fascinated by the concept of meeting extraterrestrial life, but great scientific discoveries rarely come through moderately detailed surveys and a tray of complimentary sugar cookies. Things have to get poked, prodded, and taken apart. As someone who likes all his things right where they are (thank you very much), I’d rather not have that frightening fate befall me. It’s a dread-soaked sentiment that’s slithered through the vents of other media’s pulpier corners, but not so much games. Yeah, abduction happens in stuff like Prey and (sorta) Quake IV, but it’s usually just a glowing green excuse to shoot aliens – not an up-close-and-waaay-too-personal study of fear, confusion, and helplessness. I’m happy, then, that it sounds like Abducted will at least try to explore those otherworldly mainstays, though I’ll probably avoid having any large meals before playing it.

Abducted will take the form of a six-part episodic tale, with new episodes to be released every two-and-a-half months. It sounds like there’ll be an element of action, but exploration, horror, mystery, and a free-form “endless” conversation system are the main pillars. Here’s what it’s all about:

“Abducted is a game in which you play an ordinary person thrust into extraordinary circumstances. Abducted by aliens and taken thousands of light years from home, you have one ultimate goal: Escape. But you have so many unanswered questions… How did you get here? What is this place? Who took you and why?”

Your creepy crawly captors have also embedded some strange device straight into your arm flesh, and it’ll apparently be your main means of interacting with the world. Among other things, your exceedingly un-asked-for arm augment will allow you to extract extra information during conversations, manipulate objects, deploy a shield, and even fire a gruesomely destructive pulse.

In its own way, though, even that only serves to punctuate how vulnerable and confused your character is. Just, you know, with an exclamation point. “Your Arm can fire a bolt of energy that will obliterate anything in its path,” says Abducted’s Steam Greenlight page. “It is a scary and often unwieldy weapon that if left charging too long has the potential to explode, killing you and anything unlucky enough to be in the vicinity.”

It all sounds quite promising, I think – though perhaps a little too ambitious for a small team. I’m excited to see how it turns out when the first episode kicks off later this summer, but until then, there’s room for healthy skepticism. Hmm, I suppose I should fire off some questions. Unlike aliens, I rarely use probes.


  1. v_ware says:

    Reminds me of the collector base in Mass Effect 2.

  2. MrThingy says:

    I almost get a BioForge vibe from this.

    • Doghaus says:

      I hope it has a bit where you can beat a cyborg to death with his own arm.

  3. Koozer says:

    Rule one of kidnapping: don’t give your captive a stupidly powerful weapon.

    • Grover says:

      That must be explained somehow. If for no other reason than the entire game is a Portal-like test for the main character.

      • AlexHeartnet says:

        The aliens wanted the abdutee to have a survival chance somewhere above zero, and can’t be bothered to return her to her homeworld? By alien standards the thing might only be mildly dangerous, same as a small animal trying to bite/claw you.

        It looks like she was set loose outside of the research lab and not within. Experiments tend to take place in a controlled environment. This seems more ‘outside world-ish’

  4. Ender7 says:

    Well, was midly interested until they said episodic. Afraid we will get a game or two and the team will abandon it. Might by when all the episodes are out as a complete package if it looks interesting.

    • AlexHeartnet says:

      Ending a game series with unsolved mysteries can work quite well so long as the story/game is given a reasonable end-point. The mystery is more compelling then the answer if the work itself is good. The Freespace games immediately come to mind when thinking of mysteries that are intentionally left unsolved.

      Hopefully the developers will remember that a lot of episodic format games do indeed never go beyond episode 2, and plan accordingly.

  5. The Random One says:

    It’s kind of cute that the aliens took the time to dress her up in horribly tacky overalls. Maybe she’s been abducted by the 80’s.

  6. realitysconcierge says:

    The world really needs more sci fi in it. I can’t wait to try this out.
    Also, I love the photo tag.

  7. AlexHeartnet says:

    I think I am going to take a guess on what some of the plot elements might be.

    By the end of Episode 1 you will have found and secured a place of relative comfort and safety. The beginning of Episode 2 will naturally force you out of that shelter.

    At some point you will find yourself on the fringes of alien society. You will be treated like an outcast and the primitive lifeform that you are. Alien society will turn out to be almost incomprehensibly complex with plenty of chances to slip up and anger individual aliens on accident. Naturally, you are too insignificant and too primitive to become anything more then a simple peon…

    At some point in episode 6 you will have the option of becoming an alien instead of leaving. If you choose to do so you will find yourself in the middle of the food chain instead of at the bottom.

    Let’s see how many of these come true.

  8. LTK says:

    Mute the video, and suddenly it looks like it’s about a lady gazing in wonderment and delight at this weird alien wonderland.

  9. DestructibleEnvironments says:

    The graphics remind me of the CG cutscenes from 1999-2003. Is it just me?