Dead Streets – The Old City: Leviathan Released

Oh maaan what time is it where even am I?

One gripe I often have with games dismissed as “walking simulators” (as opposed to those celebrated as such), I keep meaning to revive Alice’s Evening Walk to explain, is that they’re not enough about walking. While I want to wander aimlessly and enjoy alone time, they might want me to follow paths, solve puzzles, discover secrets, satisfy survival systems, read textlogs, or listen to narrators. Look pal, those are nice and all, but keep ’em out my walking simulators, thanks.

Going by Adam’s preview, The Old City: Leviathan sounds more like a… first-person-walk-o-explore-a-story but that’s fine – not every game needs to be a walking simulator. It launched yesterday and you know what, to show I’m open to different experiences, I’ve just bought it.

As Adam explained, The Old City sends players through a dead and decaying city – all dingy tunnels and opulent dining halls – to poke around and uncover a little of what happened. No puzzles, no shooting, just poking and narration. Developers PostMod Softworks say the game’s sitting on thirty thousand words, which I’m slightly hesitant about as Adam didn’t seen too keen on the narration. But from what I’ve seen, it’s a city I’d like to explore, and we can force almost any game to feel like a walking simulator if we want to.

A 25% launch discount brings The Old City down to £8.24 on Steam.

19 Comments

  1. Cinek says:

    Walking simulator should officially become a genre.

    • DeVadder says:

      Uh? It clearly is officially a genre now.
      I have seen it used as a genre description on RPS more than twice and in my world, that is what defines genre names as official.

  2. Ross Angus says:

    Skywhale! Noooooooo!

  3. Jalan says:

    Narration in the trailer reminds me strongly of Maurice LaMarche doing a mix of Orson Welles and Captain Kirk.

    (edit) The trailer on the developer’s website, just to be clear.

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      You know what, yeah, let’s have that trailer in here instead.

      • RARARA says:

        You can’t just… take their trailer away from them, man! Where are your ethics?

      • Jalan says:

        The halting way he speaks has me in tears from laughing so much (quite the opposite effect they were going for, I realize). The British fellow in the other trailer doesn’t quite have the same comedic impact.

        This has made want game trailers with nothing other than Maurice LaMarche narrating them as various characters he’s done over the years. If Deep Silver doesn’t put out a Dead Island 2 trailer featuring narration by Hedonismbot, I may riot.

  4. Monggerel says:

    How appropriate, I just started reading Moby Dick.

    *snicker*

  5. pancakeru says:

    Looks fantastic! I love me some weird, surreal adventure!

  6. Wret says:

    Is it possible to turn the narration off? I find it weird how many environmental narrative games have an ever present disembodied voice filling the space to distract me from actually getting anything out of the environment.

    While on the topic of “walking sims”, how bout an urban exploration sim? Parkouring through creepy, decrepit, abandoned buildings and the like, without zombies or mobsters scattered around the place.

    • Joga says:

      Heh, as a matter of fact it *is* possible to mute just the narration, though I’d think that would defeat half the purpose of a narrative exploration game. (though much of the story is also delivered via text logs and papers taped onto walls).

      I picked it up yesterday and finished in basically one sitting (with occasional breaks) – about 4 hours. It’s a beautiful game, and though at times feeling like somebody’s Philosophy PhD thesis, was interesting. I also enjoyed the more personal stories, and reading through Solomon’s rather lengthy journal entries.

      And as Alice mentioned, it’s also kind of refreshing to have a “pure” walking simulator with just exploration and narrative, without trying to tie on extra puzzle bits (Ether One, Mind: Path to Thalamus) or survival bits (Eidolon) – even though I love all of those games.

      • Rakombo says:

        Mind path to thalamus was a puzzle game not a walking simulator.
        How much of those four hours you spent exploring and how much you spent walking in a straight line?
        By exploring I mean finding optional areas or finding something in the interactive environment not going to the left or right to examine something closer.

  7. Dale Winton says:

    Interested I do love a good walking simulator

  8. Hauskamies says:

    I have played so many games titled as walking simulators yet I have never really felt they captured what simulators are about. I know it’s not entirely the fault of the developers but they should know better than to adhere to this hype about walking simulators. Too many times I have read people’s opinions and they clearly state that the game is all about walking and simulating it and I can’t even count all the disappointments I’ve had. Oh how I long for a game that really, really simulates walking.

  9. zeep says:

    These things should be called Walk-a-Books

  10. Psychomorph says:

    Stone, tile, sand, grass and dirt. The character sounds like he’s floating and clapping his fists. If walking is the only thing you do in the game, than they could have invested a bit in making the footsteps a more immersive experience. UT2004 modders…

  11. AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

    I’ll hold on buying until someone at RPS reviews the game, and Cara reviews the game’s graffitti.

  12. Ovidiu GOA says:

    i gave it a try today, played about 1 and a half hours, got to chapter 5. It’s mediocre imo. I tried it because somehow the whale screenshot made me think about dishonored and call of cthulhu but there is nothing really interesting about it, at least not in the time i played it. Compare this to the vanishing of ethan carter, a game i could not put down until it ended. It did not grab me at all.

  13. Rakombo says:

    I think these types of games would benefit from dropping the narration and going for a more dark souls/gone home/earaserhead type of storytelling. It seems that many of these games want to tell very standard stories and just shove in some fantastic imagery. For instance path to thalamus would have been much better game if there was less narration, sometimes less is more especially when the writers aren’t that good at their job.