It always seemed likely that The Chinese Room’s The-Archers-Do-The-Apocalypse follow up to Dear Esther would get a PC release eventually, both given that it was originally planned to before Sony waved a bunch of cash at them and because PC is surely its most natural home. However, the extent of Sony’s involvement created a great deal of doubt about whether they’d possibly de-exclusify it.
Earlier rumours that Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture [official site] had showed up in the Steam database are now being compounded by more apparent evidence, though absolutely nothing is for certain until there’s an official announcement. I really, really hope it’s true, though.
Anyway, the evidence we have for this happening is slim and unconfirmed, but historically Steam database trawls have often been on the money. Last month, something called simply ‘Rapture’ turned up in Steam’s database, and now a piece of Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture banner art has joined it, along with new entries for ‘Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture for Beta Testing CD Key’ and ‘Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture Developer Comp.’
These sound close but not identical to (
‘CD key’ particularly is highly unusual Edit – a few devs have informed that ‘CD Key’ is indeed used in the Steam backend) the terminology used for beta and other private access I’ve had to Steam titles in the past, so I’m prepared to call it one way or another just yet. But I am crossing my fingers. I’d like to go back, and I’d like a cast-iron excuse to write more about it on RPS.
Dan Pinchbeck and Jessica Curry coaxed wonderful things out of their Brighton-based team to make Rapture, a maudlin, affecting tale of the everyday becoming entangled with the apparently outlandish. It is a game of a sound and vision more than anything else, an evocation of Middle England life, both its pastoral pleasantness and its curtain-twitching ugliness, all set to Curry’s uncommonly delicate-yet-powerful score.
At the same time, it’s a game I far prefer to simply hang around in than actually play – the orb-hunting mechanism by which the story is advanced is a little tiresome, and there’s a lingering dread that things are too easily missed. But I would really, really love to see what my graphics card and 1440p monitor could do with the unsettling beauty of its oh-so-familiar ghost village. Again, I also feel that there’s a larger audience here that’s prepared to give it the patience it needs, poring over the detail of its quiet little world rather than searching for big reveals and fantastical twists. But maybe I’m just being a platform snob.