It would be fair to say that – before today – we knew almost nothing about former Bulletstorm lead Adrian Chmielarz and co’s “weird horror” departure into the land of indie-dom The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. Now, of course we’re in the dark on Ethan himself. He’s vanished! Like a magician or your phone when you’ve removed it from your pocket and freak out because you have no idea where you left it and it’s in your other hand. The whole point of the game is to figure out what happened to him. But it’d be nice to know, well, how we’re going to scare up some clues from the game’s cast of “haunting and macabre” characters. That aaaaand mooooore [chains rattling, bats, spooky ghost sounds] below.
Here are the basics, per a new post on The Astronauts’ website:
“Via a First-Person Perspective, you explore and interact with the environment in order to discover the truth. Paul has a supernatural gift that allows him to visualize the final moments of anyone who’s been murdered. The more clues you discover, the clearer and longer Paul’s vision. Exactly how much you are able to discern from a corpse is entirely up to you. You might discover the motivation of the murderer, or find a hint of where to go next – or both.”
“There is no combat in our game. If our game leaves any scars, you won’t be able to see them. Also, we want gamers to experience the story of Paul and Ethan at their own pace, and without the need for sedatives. It’s less about pure terror and more about clammy unease.”
So then, from ALL THE GUNZZZZZ to none of them. That’s quite a leap, but I definitely admire Chmielarz and co for taking it.
As for the game itself, I’m getting some faint Alan Wake vibes from the few screenshots that have emerged from the creeping fogs so far. It doesn’t sound like Ethan Carter will be quite as, er, Twin Peaks-y, though. Regardless, I’m definitely intrigued. I’m hoping the story heads in less traditional directions, but we’ll see. Until then, I’ll cross my fingers that Paul ends up having a bumbling yet well-meaning laser-eyed robotic T-Rex sidekick.