Bleak Russian Wandering With A Camera In 35MM

Right, so... how do I take a selfie with this?

Oh, I’m so glad to hear of a bleak game set in a bleak post-apocalyptic world which isn’t a survival game and isn’t about simply murdering everything. 35MM sees two friends journeying through an eerie land deserted following an epidemic. A new trailer from Russian creator Sergey Noskov looks eerie and introspective and unsettling and yes, this is a game I would like to play. I’ll need to wait until the middle of this year to get my mitts on it, sadly.

Noskov describes 35mm as being “in a quest style with some elements of a shooter”, which sounds swell to me. Being with a pal is grand too. Survival games seem to be where a lot of bleakness is channelled nowadays, but I’ve no interest in surviving for surviving’s sake. I stopped playing The Long Dark when my character had a few days’ food in a cabin on a frozen lake then uninstalled it, leaving them to die a peaceful death of hypothermia. So let’s make it a nice journey, one we’re going on with camera in hand. I do like a good video game camera.

He’s also behind two games I hadn’t heard of until now but already have downloading to check out later, The Light and The Train. Hey, look at this spooky train!

35mm is still a bit of a mystery, but its Steam Greenlight page has screenshots, a few more words, and a second video. Here’s the latest:

[Director’s commentary: I had intended to start this post with some joke about “reading the Russians” but realised I was ripping off Richard Brautigan. Then it became something about how there’s an image of the former Soviet Republics making only bleak games, but then pointing out Russia also gave us Stalin vs. the Martians; it was a sloppy joke. So we get this.]


  1. Biaxident says:

    Good to see a game with a different way to interact with the virtual world than with a gun (bearing in mind all I know about this game is the screenshot on the top of this article). Surely there’s other things that could be devised to do in an FPS rather than shoot people?

    • Jahooba says:

      That’s what I liked about Mirror’s Edge. And even ME added some gunplay! Shooting just sells, so it’s everywhere. Men just like shooting things – I think it’s in our DNA. We were hunters/ trackers for hundreds of thousands of years, after all.

      • Sonntam says:

        Yes, couple centuries out of thousands of year of killing things with guns really left a mark on the mankind…

        By your logic there should be more games about killing people with slings, those are after all one of the most ancient weapons mankind ever used.

        • Distec says:

          What lovely pedantry.

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          The tools evolved with us but the purpose didn’t, i don’t see how hard it is to properly understand that logic unless you’re desperately trying to be a smart ass at all costs.

          • tatumthunderlips says:

            Less of an idiot than the person he was responding to. Really? Shooting things is in our DNA?

    • Martel says:

      Technically FPS stands for First Person Shooter, so I’m not sure that’s possible :)

      I get what your’e saying though, and I quite like the idea of objectives (and even game design) that doesn’t involve killing things.

      • Jim Rossignol says:

        If only it stood for First Person Simulation.


        Doesn’t ‘shooting’ also applies to what you do with a camera?

      • P.Funk says:

        At a certain point though doesn’t the genre evolve beyond the literal definition? I mean if we took RTS for it literal meaning surely we should be avoiding tactical based gameplay and focusing on the strategic but its obvious that mirco which is the heart and soul of RTS gaming is pretty tactical and very unstrategic.

        At a certain point the genre title can mean more than it used to or what its literal words mean. Whats more if we take the literal attitude then we’re inviting that obnoxious music genre labeling thing where everything is a sub genre of a sub genre and only people who write blogs and sell us limited editions of magazines have any clue how to decode it.

    • Farsi Murdle says:

      I’m surprised there aren’t more games about photography, since the mechanics are largely the same as a shooter. A stealth game where you’re a journalist who sneaks around snapping photos of people and places would be really compelling I think. It would probably still be violent in the sense that the bad guys are trying to stop you, but you wouldn’t have to kill or fight anyone.

      It’s a bit sad that people seem to be tired of survival games though, since there are plenty of those that de-emphasise shooting, which is exactly what people were asking for. We get what we want and we immediately want something else.

      Shooters are ‘fun’ (from arcade shooters through to Far Cry 4) because there’s a continuous test of skill involved. If you strip out those shooter mechanics you have to replace them with something else or you just have an empty world. Some games have managed to do that, including those survival games where the environment becomes an opponent, while others are just dull.

      • P.Funk says:

        We’ll definitely know when tween girls have been switched on to PC gaming when we start seeing more photography games.

      • Bugamn says:

        Maybe there are few games of photography because it’s harder to judge the skill of a photo than with a gun. There were a few, like Pokemon Snap, and even Bioshock and some Zelda games had a camera, but Snap was extremely scripted to allow the judging of photos, while the others usually use photos at a minimal capacity, mostly they just judge if you captured the target of the photo, and whether the target was close, obstructed, or with others.

      • El Mariachi says:

        Beyond Good & Evil had a bunch of photo-taking, although it was balanced out by the fighting and running and boating and so forth. Fatal Frame was entirely camera-based survival horror though.

    • welverin says:

      No, because then it wouldn’t be a first person shooter. Now there are plenty of other types of things you could do in a first person game, but that takes you into other genres entirely,

  2. Luminolza says:

    Looks a bit Full Metal Jacket.

  3. mukuste says:

    Another entry in the burgeoning FPS (first person Schopenhauer) genre, you say? By golly, yes!

  4. Premium User Badge

    Oakreef says:

    S.T.A.L.K.E.R./Pokémon snap crossover please

  5. Orija says:

    Just give me STALKER already, Ukraine/Russia.

  6. Ross Angus says:

    This is relevant to my interests. RPS covered The Light before, but I’ll be damned if I can find it.

  7. iainl says:

    This is very much something that interests me. How many guns lenses does it have? And where, in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, does one find a darkroom and appropriate chemicals?

  8. aergistal says:

    That camera looks like a german Leica, I used to have one similar to that and it was pretty good and sturdy. Since this is a russian game I assume that is a Zorki, since those used to copy the Leica models initially.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      I think it’s a weird choice, i mean i get it it’s all properly fitting and everything, but to fit different lenses you’d also have to change the viewfinder and it all seems like something they won’t do or even worse half-ass it.

      A regular reflex would make more sense to me, maybe a rugged old Contax or something that would still totally be fitting.

      You also risk sending the wrong message, ever since the hipster epidemic you are absolutely disallowed to have such a thing without getting accused of being one yourself.

  9. Monggerel says:

    STALKER without the guns?
    So… just STALKER then.

    I give it a Cool out of Yes.

  10. Renegade says:

    Looks very much like a video game version of Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker.

    • Oktober Storm says:

      That’s exactly what attracts me to this game. I really enjoyed Dear Esther as well, as far as I can see this might be a stylistic combo. Crossing my fingers for a quality product!

  11. Kollega says:

    One thing about the games industry I really don’t like is that “Russian/Ukrainian/Soviet” alwyas equals “bleak” in the minds of developers, regardless of their nationality geographical location. Of course, this popular image has a lot to do with reality of the place, and I’ve often said as much myself, but when it comes to actual local developers, surely they must know that in the right conditions, their environment can be pretty much the opposite of bleak (proof).

  12. Muppetizer says:

    I demand more Brautigan mentions on RPS!