If you’re jacked into the ludosphere, you’ll probably have seen folks tittering about a funeral scene in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare with the button prompt “Press F to Pay Respects”. Yes, it’s an absurd prompt from a daft story with the emotional depth of a bedpan, but is the idea entirely unworkable? Starting with a similar prompt, Leo Burke has created a sad and wonderful little game trying to recreate actual feelings of mourning. It’s named Press E To, and it’s awfully pleasant.
Burke was originally working on a forest scene for another game of his when Call of Duty arrived with that scene, he explains:
And, I’m not sure. I’m not sure if this game is a critique of this scene (does Call of Duty really need a critique?) or what. I guess, I had a death in the family a few months ago, and I guess the scene in Call of Duty really didn’t feel like what mourning feels like, and I wanted to try and re-create that somehow.
The initial view, with the monument glimpsed through endless trees, is beautiful. The monologue sparked by that interaction is achingly familiar. Even the awkward camera controls recreate that feeling of drifting and wandering without real purpose or control.