Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture May Be Steam-Bound

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.

33 Comments

  1. Matt_W says:

    I loved this game on PS4, but agree that its more natural home is the PC and that it deserves a wider audience than it’s gotten. Great news if it actually happens!

  2. Freud says:

    I loved the location. It had a sense of place and looked fantastic. I felt the story and the way it was told was weak. Audio logs being scattered about are still audio logs, even if it’s in the form of shiny spaceballs. Telling the whole story through convenient audio logs is boring to me.

    Compare to Gone Home, who had a real sense of exploration and trust in the gamers without quest markers or the game shouting “come here and listen” at you.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Thirith says:

    I hope this’ll come to Oculus Rift (or Vive or whatever I’ll end up getting). I’m very much a virtual tourist and would love to be so in VR. Anything where I can take my time to explore a location at my own leisure, really.

    • Premium User Badge

      Nathan says:

      Of course, the best use for VR has to be to explore a quiet English village much like one not ten miles from my very own front door :)

      • FurryLippedSquid says:

        Yes, but with VR you can do it naked.

      • Premium User Badge

        Thirith says:

        I see what you mean, but it’s a quiet English village seen through a dark mirror. I don’t think I’d be much interested in games that present me with, well, Google Street View – but ones that take Google Street View and tweak it? Absolutely. Taking the familiar and making it uncanny, dreamlike, a destillation or distortion of what I know – that’s what I like, and that’s the kind of experience I’m most looking forward to re: VR.

        • kwyjibo says:

          I’ve probably spent more time in Google Street View than every other walking simulator. It honestly is the better game.

  4. tehfish says:

    Awesome.

    I just hope they put proper graphics options in, for the PS4 lets play on youtube i watched a bit of had the most ludicrous amounts of motion-blur i’ve seen in a long time…

  5. SuicideKing says:

    Halo 1, 2 and 3 have been up on SteamDB for 2 years, almost. To be fair, Rise of Nations was too. So all the best to you folks for this games.

  6. C0llic says:

    Is this a horror game about a world run by Christian fundamentalists?

  7. draglikepull says:

    I played this on PS4. Thought the look of the game was gorgeous, but the experience of playing it was quite drab.

    The thing that annoyed me the most is that not only can you not manually save, but the game gives you no indication of when you might expect it to save in the future, so you can easily play for 30-40 minutes and lose all your progress (as I did). I know that it’s not a linear game with levels and powerups and all that, and yes, you can just walk back to wherever you left off, but having the game not even remember basic things like which dialogues you’ve seen is just amateurish. As a music review I once read put it, obscurity isn’t a talent.

    Also, I’m sick of audio logs. They’re not clever or subtle storytelling, they’re a ham-fisted way of piling on loads of exposition in a way that never makes any sense. If I never play another video game with audio logs again it will be too soon.

  8. golem09 says:

    “Dan Pinchbeck and Jessica Curry coaxed wonderful things out of their Brighton-based team to make Rapture”

    I’d have put Jessica’s name first, you know, but oh well.

    I was wondering, was therer ever a case, when something that “leaked” through the steamDB turned out not to be released on steam? Seems to me everytime I hear of a leak from there it also comes out.

    • EhexT says:

      Halo 1 2 and 3 are big ones.

      Half Life 3 probably the biggest, but that’s Valve having a laugh.

    • yuri999 says:

      Good thing you didn’t write the article then. Why would Alec put the name of the composer before the founder of the company?

      • Jalan says:

        Because she was the creative lead and director of the game, in addition to the person who composed its soundtrack? Because the story of the game ties in to her own struggle with a debilitating illness? A number of reasons, each equally valid.

      • DragonOfTime says:

        Not because the exact order is very important, but regarding that, this is an interesting read link to thechineseroom.co.uk

        • Jalan says:

          The notion that composers (or in her case, much more) should be marginalized in credit order is such crap, overall.

      • golem09 says:

        Jessica:”On a personal level I look back at my huge contribution to the games that we’ve made and I have had to watch Dan get the credit time and time again. I’ve had journalists assuming I’m Dan’s PA, I have been referenced as “Dan Pinchbeck’s wife” in articles, publishers on first meeting have automatically assumed that my producer is my boss just because he’s a man, one magazine would only feature Dan as Studio Head and wouldn’t include me. When Dan has said “Jess is the brains of the operation” people have knowingly chuckled and cooed that it’s nice of a husband to be so kind about his wife.”

  9. Improper says:

    It looks pretty and somewhat intriguing, but considering they made Dear Esther I’ll pass.

    • Mokinokaro says:

      It IS very pretty but having played it on PS4 I was ultimately disappointed.

      It really isn’t a great experience. It’s wandering around a village (at a stupidly slow pace, even when “running”) collecting audio logs.

    • HuvaaKoodia says:

      EGTTR is a story-driven puzzle. Think of Her story with having to walk about a village to unlock the next story bit. As such story-driven walking simulator is even more specific.

      The publisher and developer are going to call it a game for marketing purposes of course. Steam and other distributors don’t make it easy either.

      • aoanla says:

        Well, Steam do sell non-game software nowadays…

        (I actually think both Dear Esther and Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture actually have a lot in common with interactive theatre (things like Sleep No More), more so than puzzles. It’s not exactly intended to be puzzling to get the next bit of story, I think.)

  10. racccoon says:

    Looking at the videos its seems very limited in movement which would become very frustrating.
    P.s.
    I see no point in devs making Steam more of an Monopoly by playing into Valves hands. Steam has messed up the PC game player far too much.
    I hope when there done using all the codes they’ve stolen from the pc open source community & copy n pasted it into their so called new console which is basically another as useless product as Steam is. Steam console being just a copy of a PC set into a box! that steam fucks off completely from the PC! as they are nothing but an unnecessary annoying parasite which is intent on taking away the PC customers they gained, sending them all towards an imaginary false pretense, as is with the case of Steam.

    • Premium User Badge

      Phasma Felis says:

      You seem to be confused. SteamOS is open-source, as it must be, being built on top of Debian.

      The Steam client and many of the included hardware drivers are not open-source, which is unfortunate, but is nothing new and hardly “theft”–there’s nothing in the GPL that says you can’t run closed software on top of an open OS, and indeed many users do and have.

      • C0llic says:

        Yeah, it’s been this way forever on linux. Closed code bits that sit on top of the open source shared code base, and actually end up contributing to the used code underneath as they make back end changes when needed.

        You don’t know what you’re talking about, honestly.

  11. KDR_11k says:

    I didn’t even notice that it’s not on PC yet. Most of the sources I follow call it a bad example of its genre, no matter what you think about this type of game.