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Out Of This World Scares: Abducted

HELLO I AM THIS GAME'S ENVIRONMENTAL MESSAGE.

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.

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Nathan Grayson

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