System Shock Meets Open World Survival: P.A.M.E.L.A.

P.A.M.E.L.A. [official site] was one of the most exciting games I saw at GDC last week. I watched around twenty minutes of live play, showing off the construction of a safe haven as night fell on the beautifully rendered sci-fi city in which the game’s particular brand of survival horror takes place. It’s an open world game, but it isn’t quite like anything else in the genre. This is a claustrophobic open world and the game in question is an intelligent and bold exploration of the core concepts found in System Shock and Bioshock. Hell, if this were carrying the title System Shock 3, I’d be delighted.

Astonishingly, P.A.M.E.L.A. might actually live up to its concept. I’m automatically wary of survival games, which can quickly turn into a hunt for crafting materials and food. That hunt then becomes a loop – eat, craft, eat, craft, eat, craft, die. Fulfilling basic biological needs and finding bits and bobs to make a slightly better pair of trousers makes for constant and immediate short-term tasks, but they’re not the most satisfying goals in the world. P.A.M.E.L.A. looks to avoid mindless repetition through the addition of an overarching survival goal, and that relates to the city’s power systems.

The world you wake up in, from cryostasis, has gone to hell. The other inhabitants of Eden, the future-city utopia that is now your home, have been infected with something horrible. They’re in constant pain and, naturally, they want to kill you. They skulk in the shadows, then lunge straight for you, clubbing at your head and scratching at your throat. A day/night cycle brings out the beauty of the place with truly spectacular dawn light flooding the rooms through gargantuan windows, and there is just enough that is recognisable (malls, kitchens, apartments) that the place doesn’t seem like a confusion of shiny chrome corridors.

One of the first things you’re advised to do is to set up a safe haven. Scattered around, in the places you might expect them to be rather than in bins and random cupboards, you’ll find components for base-building. You can deploy these components anywhere in the world, the construction interface drawing lines between the nodes that throw up energy walls and clearly showing the range of any power sources. It took the developer who was showing the game a couple of minutes to set up a small camp at the intersection of three corridors, shimmering walls blocking access.

Those walls, made of energy as they are, drain power. That power comes from a core, salvaged from the world, and planted at the centre of the makeshift base. If it runs dry, the lights dim, the walls fade and you’re exposed.

Thankfully, more power is available. Unfortunately, you’ll have to reroute it from Eden’s central reserves. To do so, you’ll need to visit large routers in each area of the city. Once there, you can redirect power to the district tied to that router, allowing every device in the area to be recharged. The central core has unlimited energy – or at least enough to last far longer than you will – but the reserves in each district will peter out over time.

That means, as well as maintaining your biological functions by cramming food and drink into your face and sleeping from time to time, you’ll need to maintain the city’s functions as well. If your snazzy base saps too much power, elevators in the vicinity will start to shut down and whole areas will be plunged into darkness. Enemies are not only harder to spot at night, they become more aggressive and numerous when the sun sinks below the horizon.

The lasting impression, from the half hour I spent talking to studio director Adam Simonar and watching as he demonstrated the game, is of a take on the settings of System Shock and Bioshock that treats the player as a lucky/unlucky survivor rather than a hero. You exist in this world and, as far as I can tell, you are not there to find answers or escape, you are simply there to survive for as long as possible. You are a witness to the aftermath of catastrophe rather than a saviour.

All of that might be overly grim if the city itself weren’t such a beautiful distraction. Although things have taken a distinct turn for the worse by the time the game begins, Eden was once utopian place. While P.A.M.E.L.A. might not be playing with social status in the way that Ballard’s (and now Wheatley’s) High-Rise does, it handles the contrast of sleek pre-collapse modernity/futurism and post-collapse horror incredibly well. Simonar’s background is in architecture and there’s evidence of transferable skills in the legibility of the setting and the way that different districts are displayed elegantly through vantage points. You have an idea of the shape and purpose of places to come simply by seeing them framed in windows and entryways.

The titular character, an AI caretaker that may well be the last non-hostile entity in the city, was notably absent in the portion of the game I was shown. She can provide support to the player in the form of conversation and modifications to the city that manifest as usable high-level skills. As with the power system, there’s a clever touch whereby assistance can’t always be relied upon – the smartly crafted inventory and status system, which takes the for of a display attached to the player character’s arm, has a wifi-like symbol that tracks connectivity to P.A.M.E.L.A. at any one time. Move too far from the signal, or allow the cells that power it to die, and contact may well be lost.

Combat, in the current build at least, seems frequent enough to be an inconvenience in some cases rather than a potentially lethal threat. If you’re overwhelmed, you’re going to struggle, and ammunition isn’t easy to come by, but solitary basic enemies can be dealt with using melee attacks easily enough. Those basic enemies don’t look much changed from ordinary human beings, although they have a tendency to skulk in a way that is a tad unnerving, but there are other horrors to be discovered. As far as I know, all of the inhabitants are humans, in various stages of mutation, but that may not be the case. I’d rather not know at any rate – fear of the unknown and all that.

However frightening the unknown might be, P.A.M.E.L.A. isn’t only for the bravest souls. Being attacked by the infected in the dark isn’t a pleasant experience but the horror on show doesn’t seem to be particularly intense or harrowing. There’s tension involved in the management of resources and the need to scavenge outside your comfort zone, but the world isn’t dripping in gore or host to troubling hallucinations. The balance between sci-fi and horror swings heavily toward the sci-fi when it comes to the setting, and the game’s systems are more closely linked to Deus Ex and System Shock than to Silent Hill.

Until release, which will initially be in the form of a feature-complete stint in Early Access, it’s impossible to say how much pull the mid- and late-game will have. The initial phase of establishing a safe haven and surviving the first couple of nights looks superb, but if the only reason to explore and scavenge is to collect improved weapons and abilities, there may not be enough of a reason to return again and again. There will be elements of a story to discover, in the form of documents left behind by the city’s inhabitants, but the player character’s story will be written as you play.

At the end of each story, when permadeath kicks in, you have the option to start over completely fresh, with the city reset to its original state, or to play as a newly awakened character in the same world as your previous character. The idea of stumbling across old defenses, constructed by those who have fallen victim to the city’s inhabitants, is pleasantly chilling. I want to loot my own corpse.

If P.A.M.E.L.A. lives up to its promise, it might well be one of my favourite games of 2016. The claustrophobia of the setting, in comparison to most open world games, makes for a tightly structured survival game. Freedom is key, yes, the freedom to go where you want and to do as you please, but it’s freedom within a carefully crafted space rather than at a random point on a giant wilderness map. It’s a hugely ambitious debut, made by a small team, and before I’d spoken to Simonar and seen the game in action I thought it was attempting to be too many things: a survival game, an open world game, an RPG of sorts, a horror game.

Remarkably, all of those elements seem to be working well and, better still, to complement one another. It’s a bold game and confident, and I can’t wait to see more. Even if some elements don’t work as well as I hope they will, I’m pleased to see another game – after SOMA – that is exploring similar territory to Bioshock but without quite as much reliance on running and gunning. More than that, it really does feel like a natural extension of the ideas in the first System Shock, providing freedom to explore and exploit the workings of a location’s machinery to evade, advance and survive.

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66 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Erayos says:

    It looks great aesthetically, I’m sadly not ready for yet another survival game with “zombies”.

    • MrFinnishDude says:

      Hmm, but zombies and survival go hand in hand dont they? They create a situation for you to survive, and advesaries to survive from.
      I don’t know, but it feels to me that complaining about a survival game having zombies in it is like complaining about an RPG having a dragon in it.

      • klops says:

        Crafting+zombies feels to me that the devs lack imagination and/or are trying to calculate The Most Selling setting instead of doing something interesting.

        • Czrly says:

          D’ya know what would be really interesting? Crafting with proper old-school FPS mechanics and Aliens from the AVP games – the ones that run along ceilings, insanely quickly, and aren’t at all forgiving. Combine it with some sort of impetus to leave your base – preferably, a need to advance the plot and find out more about the world, progressing towards a story ending, instead of “hunger” or the need to renew renewables.

      • arisian says:

        Just ’cause everyone’s doing it, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. The problem with zombies is that, for a modern semi-realistic setting, they create really serious problems for world-plausibility. There are just not many ways to answer the question, “what do they eat?”.

        The broader statement of the question would be “why haven’t all the enemies run out of metabolic energy and stopped moving.” If your enemies are robots, this is easy to handwave; they just need some solar panels, or some kind of power plant. If your enemies are aliens, they brought life support systems with them (maybe their ship has hydroponic bays, or something). But if your enemies are zombies, you’re in trouble. Human bodies need energy to move (muscle contraction expends resources), and unless you have a way to replenish that energy, you’re going to run out pretty quickly (plus, you need ways to get resources to the muscles, which is tough if you don’t have a functioning heart, and the muscles need nerve signals to control them, which means you need a brain, and at that point you’ve just got a mind-controlled human, not an undead monster). I’ve only ever seen three answers that didn’t completely destroy the internal consistency of the story-universe:

        1) A wizard did it. If your universe has actual magic, it’s perfectly reasonable to use magic to animate a dead body. But this requires a universe with wizard-magic, which doesn’t work for most modern or futuristic settings.

        2) A parasite did it. There are plenty of real-life examples of parasites that can effectively mind-control their hosts (giardia in rats, for example). The difficulty with this is that your “zombies” aren’t actually dead (or undead), they’re just regular humans that are under some form of mind control. This means they still have all the metabolic needs (and other vulnerabilities) of normal humans, which means that unless your zombies are capable of things like cooking and agriculture, they’re not going to survive for more than a few weeks post-infection. Any non-zombies just need to hold out for long enough that the zombies all starve to death, which tends to break standard “zombie survivor” stories.

        3) A sufficiently-advanced-being did it. Basically, if you want magic in a SF setting, you can go the Arthur C. Clark route. You can postulate some kind of super-intelligence capable of engineering a “zombie plague” that has the properties you want. The difficulty with this is that having such a being in play leads to all kinds of unintended consequences that tend to break immersion. For instance, it’s hard to imagine why anything capable of doing this would bother; anything with those capabilities could just engineer a plague to kill everyone right away, or impose its will on humanity in some other way that would leave the humans as useful slaves (though even then, it’s not clear why it would want human slaves when it would be cheaper, faster, and easier to build itself some robots).

        I think this is the real problem a lot of people have with zombies; it’s hard to tell interesting stories with them, because they force you to concentrate on character drama (as opposed to world-building drama). The result is that there are only a very small number of “zombie survivor stories,” and they just get told over and over with minor variations. Hubris leads to self-destruction, lord of the flies, humans are the real monsters. From there, it’s basically just a soap opera.

      • PancakeWizard says:

        TIL Rust, Ark: Survival Evolved and Subnautica have zombies I just haven’t found yet.

    • dontnormally says:

      I’d love a game like this where instead of mindless SpookyBads there were several factions of various organization that were simply striving to survive; desperate humans are far more frightening than zombies.

      • Kitsunin says:

        Yeah, they could be, but it’d take a huge amount of effort to make them anything but zombies wot know how to shot gun. There’s a good reason single-player survival games tend to avoid making humans the primary baddie.

        I do think somebody should try, because we aren’t going to get a realistic survival-amongst-humans experience by playing with other actual humans (funnily enough) and there’s a lot to explore there…but it’s also something I wouldn’t expect to see out of anything but a very ugly indie game.

      • phylum sinter says:

        I’d say that Far Cry (the first 4 at least) have some sense that they’ve got great rivalries going on in the game world. The effort to make those battles believable has varied greatly between them, and it was really just like the rebels vs. the ruling dictatorship, but i feel like if that has been done, and someone expanded further on what each faction wanted, that it could be done.

        Getting that much opposing AI in the world that truly functioned well, would be a trick.

      • inmotion says:

        Making bots act like humans in a desperate situation would be a major innovation in mechanics. Also a huge pile of work. As in modern zombie media, the simple walking corpse makes a easier way of creating pressure and work as moving obstacle.
        Developers seem to go from total idiots to a bit more sensible bots in a slow progression. Which is safe I guess. I can’t imagine the whining if someone tries to make working human adversaries in a game like this and fail. Open world is a tough place for a computer.

      • Raoul Duke says:

        In your mind, is this game called “STALKER” or something else?

    • Phasma Felis says:

      I’m starting to feel like zombies are just as flexible, as adversaries, as “aliens” or “robots.” There are lots and lots of original things still to be done with zombies, and it sounds like PAMELA is trying several of them. I’m okay with that. I think I’m past going “UGH, ZOMBIES” without waiting to see what the game is actually like.

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        Erayos says:

        To be honest, my biggest problem is not about the zombie stuff. I mean, one of my favourite games of all time is still Bioshock, and it definitely features “zombies”. Those “survival & zombies” games make me sad because I sense so much potential to do something entirely different.

        In this case, the backstory is probably good stuff, the city design looks great (no wonder the studio director has a background in architecture), they seem to have great ideas with the power management thing, they seem to have achieved dodging the “you are a hero” trope, and in the end, it feels like they’ve just sticked “survival & zombies” on this amazing idea of a game.

        This next part is entirely subjective, but I don’t want to be thrown (again) in a beautiful world that fell apart and left only “zombies” behind, I want to see the world before its downfall (with people please), I even want to see the downfall, I want to be part of this world. Even if it was for 20 minutes, my favourite part in Bioshock’s Rapture is the DLC of Bioshock Infinite, where you can see Rapture alive, even if somewhere in the depth of the city, everything is starting to go to hell.

        I would love to see stuff like “you are some kind of ‘chief engineer of energy management’, an energy crisis just happened, you have to decide which district needs energy the most, people will be angry, you’ll have to build makeshift defences in this corridor because there are people attacking you, some engineers will go rogue and try to bypass your decisions by playing with the district routers”. And you could even add the zombies in this, like “you didn’t grant enough energy to the health bits, now you have an infection to deal with, and in a few days everybody will turn into those ‘almost zombies’.

        Granted, it’s probably risky to create this game, riskier than doing another “survival & zombies” game, but one can dream :D

        P.S: It’s a long comment, I know, and I hope it’s understandable, I’m not a native english speaker, and can’t really guarantee anything. :)

        • dethtoll says:

          I definitely don’t think it’s really fair to classify Bioshock’s ADAM junkies as “zombies,” though. They might serve a similar function — as enemies to be dealt with — but they’re less zombie-like, more individualistic, hostile and crazy. They’re essentially what you’d find in a very large drug den.

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            Erayos says:

            You’re right of course, I’m really talking about the general concept of “zombies” in video games here, and even if the background says otherwise, I think Bioshock crazy guys are still very close to actual video games zombies.

          • dethtoll says:

            Nah, just not seeing it, but hey, who cares right? If nothing else they do more or less take the place of the Many from SS2.

      • FreshHands says:

        Preposterous! All this talk about zombies while this game clearly features mutant adversaries. Might as well mix up ninjas and pirates and where would that leave us, I am asking you?! Youths these days.

        On a side note I really adore this clean, transhumanist flavour of science fiction. Same reason I am looking forward to the new Mirror’s Edge, despite all the controversy/cryfarting it is generating already.

    • unacom says:

      Probably true, but what if it was about finding other survivors (players), togehter taking the city-grid back to life and ultimately about healing zeds?
      What if part of the dwindling resources were actual player characters? So that any killing were to reduce the potential playerbase. Permadeath in this case would be the death of the city.
      I´d like that.
      Otherwise i´m cautiously optimistic P.A.M. could be at least interesting.

      • Premium User Badge

        particlese says:

        Yes! I’m so glad all this thoughtful criticism of the zombie genre is going on here, and I particularly like your take on it.

        To go even further, what if other living things were done away with entirely, and the “enemy” to be survived was only the functionally collapsing world, as in the movie Gravity, for example? You could also be your own enemy, if you’re feeling saucy, but hopefully not in an emotional collapse sort of way…a more fantastical version of The Martian would be a better example of what I’m thinking of, I guess.

        The world the devs have built here, with its power-related woes and non-hostile AI, seems to have its potential completely wasted by being yet another generalized-zombie game, in my opinion. I was pretty excited by the trailer precisely because of these possibilities until the raging humanoids showed up.

        • Premium User Badge

          particlese says:

          To be fair, the game could very well be doing all this with zombies on top of it all, but since I hate zombies mucking up my video games*, I’m arguing against their inclusion in a game which potentially has so many other, more interesting things to offer.

          *Deus Ex 3 got a pass from me because they were philosophically more interesting than normal and could revert back to being humans, if I remember correctly, so I’m still cautiously intrigued by PAMELA. Saints Row 3 almost got a pass because of how silly it was, but I don’t think that’ll work here!

    • hawken.grey says:

      I don’t even think it looks good aesthetically. It looks pretty bad to me :( Like every slider is turned up to maximum.

      • Premium User Badge

        Erayos says:

        I meant it more like “the city looks beautiful, I’d definitely live there”, I don’t really want to criticize the graphics if the game isn’t even out yet. (And I’ve been playing on an almost old PC for quite some time, anything recent is more beautiful than what I’m used to.)

    • braven5 says:

      Mutated humans are not zombies, sure they might be similar, but mutated humans still feel pain and emotions, dead space is mutated humans, and looks and feels nothing like a zombie game

      • dethtoll says:

        Dead Space is mutated zombies, though. The enemies are literally re-animated corpses. It only doesn’t feel like a zombie game because the necromorphs operate more like classic space-horror aliens; and even then DS2 exhibits a lot of classic zombie horror tropes.

    • Bronxsta says:

      There are mechanical enemies too
      link to pamelagame.com
      link to i.imgur.com

  2. Drhank says:

    Game devs need to stop pummeling us with all these survival games.

  3. derbefrier says:

    System shock influence? Yay! Survival? Boo!

    I will be glad when this fad passes. Seems to ruin a lot of perfectly good games otherwise.

    • Jay Load says:

      My thoughts exactly. Tired of wholly artificial and obnoxious busy-work objectives like ‘hunger’ spoiling my gaming time. The only time I’ve ever seen it done well was in S.T.A.L.K.E.R, where it wasn’t allowed to ruin the pleasure of playing the game.

      Also: survival as its own objective is getting very dull. Why am I surviving and what/where am I surviving are far more interesting questions for players.

  4. Eleriel says:

    this is a little bit Dead Space, a touch of Bioshock, a decent helping of System Shock, and a theoretical amount of 2016.
    all things I love!
    too bad about the zombies though. (which I just realized sounds hollow… since basically all the games I mentioned above had versions of zombies in them.)
    An open world SS/BS/DS is a fresh wind though. And I love the look!
    I want it.

    • manio22 says:

      Glad that i am not the only one that noticed a blood drop of Dead Space. The whole thing looks really awesome.

  5. Ansob says:

    I wish this didn’t have enemies in it and instead just focused on repairing the city’s functions so I could leisurely admire the environment design rather than have to worry about not-zombies.

    Looks gorgeous, though!

  6. Avus says:

    This game is not from Ubisuck so I can at least expect the final version will look as good as the Alpha version if not better…

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Excellent pun. Did you write for N64 magazine in the late 90s? Do you use word like “Greystation” and “Dreampants”? In any case, this is the perfect place for a casual dig at Ubisoft.

  7. Flappybat says:

    Thought it looked great until the zombies. They look and sound like your ten a penny bad survival horror game on Steam.

  8. LennyLeonardo says:

    Miranda…

  9. liquidsoap89 says:

    I liked the bit where the dude exits the tube/stasis thingy and immediately gets to work scanning things.

  10. Assirra says:

    Does the fact it is an open world survival game mean it will never come out and be forever in early access like the other thousands?

    • Kitsunin says:

      Well they said the Early Access will be feature-complete so…no, for once!

  11. Shazbut says:

    Looks great, except it’s an open world survival game which means it has no bloody plot and doesn’t go anywhere.

    System Shock goes somewhere

    • slerbal says:

      Yup, System Shock 2 (I’ve not played 1) had a coherent and compelling plot. This doesn’t (as least it doesn’t sound like it does from this article). If this *was* labelled as System Shock 3 and was a permadeath survival game my disappointment would be all consuming.

  12. Blake Casimir says:

    Hang on, you mean to say a dev is actually working on a first person game that actually has some gameplay and might even be considered an immersive simulation

    Because I’d long since considered the genre dead because most people are satisfied with dumb shooters, indie platformers, tedious card games, mainstream-pandering simplistic third person games etc etc etc

    No, I refuse to believe it until I see it. No one actually cares to make an immersive sim any more, right? A first person game with some immersion, player interaction and genuine gameplay!?

  13. Kaeoschassis says:

    On “I want to loot my own corpse” etc, Cataclysm DDA does this, and is well worth a spin if you haven’t before.

    • Geebs says:

      I’m imagining an offline multiplayer mode, based on the world state that gets saved when you die, wherein the objective is to write messages on the wall in your own blood (‘pick up milk’, ‘dentist appointment 8:00 am’, ‘remember citadel’ etc) and leave audio logs in the most implausible places possible. Points awarded by other players for style, acting ability, and technical difficulty.

  14. Rindan says:

    I’m personally sad to learn that it will have no story. “Create your own!” they say. Cool, do I have some relatives my character would want to try and find? Is there a way to escape the city I might be looking for? Are there other survivors to interact with? You can have a story without being The One.

    I like a lot of the elements of the survival genera, but I wish like hell someone would actually include content and maybe even an ending. A game that is survival focused while you at the same time are completing an actual story rather than mowing through procedurally generated junk would be a nice change. Imagine System Shock 2. Now instead of making “levels” that are meant to be taken in a linear way, they just made an entire ship. Tossed the story in there, tossed in a way or three to “win”, and set you free with no hand holding. You might decide the way you are going to escape is by launching a shuttle and do the work to complete that task. You might decide you are going to blow the core and destroy it all, yourself included, and work on that goal. You might decide to explore the infestation and see if it has a weakness. REALLY survive and explore. Survive using survival game play mechanics, and explore in an actual natural sense, rather than being fed quests.

    Maybe they will go that way with this one, but this preview made it sound more like any other survival that also happens to have a back story scattered about that you can discover.

    • Czrly says:

      Terraria doesn’t really have a story or an ending but it still works. It works because the actual game-play is fun. Flying about and pew-pewing 2D monsters is simply cathartic and even the insane grind in Terraria is not bad because actually grinding is enjoyable. Even the building is worthwhile because you end up fighting in the arenas you construct.

      Sadly, the game-play in this looks simply dire. Slow, shambling zombies? Melee combat in 1st person? I have zero interest in either of those – they can take their tension and drama and stick them somewhere.

      • Czrly says:

        I should note that I find Terraria to be most fun on medium-core. Hard-core permadeath simply creates a groundhog-day problem and having a zero cost of death removes all the challenge but the medium-core setting where you drop all your items works, nicely, because it leads to extremely desperate quests to reclaim your items in any way possible and encourages you to actually USE the crafting mechanic to set up forward-bases and support structures that will aid in such quests.

        They seem to be going perma-death with this. Again, I’m not interested.

        • Premium User Badge

          Qazinsky says:

          Yeah, medium-core is the best, except for that small window of time when they had just implemented traps and explosive traps could destroy items…

  15. Deviija says:

    I LOVE survival games with an emphasis on building and crafting (without making it a grind of 100s of materials per resource with multiple resources required to make one wall or floor or roof tile), but sadly there is a lack of survival games done REALLY well and with an extensive building and crafting and gathering/machinery/tech tiers/furnishings/etc. model. There are a couple decent ones, but I’d love to have more of the high caliber ones with in-depth goals and buildables and secondary and tertiary objectives to pursue. And the more creative the settings the better, too.

  16. pillot says:

    God damnit, i’ve been following this for a while but i didn’t realize it was a survival game, i was expecting a straight up single player with a story and stuff. Might not bother now…

  17. tonicer says:

    Uuuuh nice and no xbone/ps4 logo at the end … nice nice … survival … but still nice.

    • dethtoll says:

      The “boo survival” comments all up and down this post are understandable, but what the hell is the PS4/XBone comment supposed to mean?

  18. slerbal says:

    Oh damn. I was really interested in this until I learned it was a permadeath/survival game. I don’t want to endlessly replay the same loop, I want a crafted story! The permadeath ‘live as long as you can’ loop gets dull so damn fast.

    Nice looking game, but no longer for me.

    • slerbal says:

      I should note that I can’t blame them from going the survival/permadeath route, that does still seem to be a complete cash cow. It’s just I’m completely burned out on the entire genre (not really a genre, but I can’t think of better word at the moment. Need more tea.)

    • Jay Load says:

      Agreed. Groundhog Day is a great film to watch but who wants that level of pointless repetition as a game?

    • Shazbut says:

      If there was a story somehow, and not just in the form of reading bits of paper but an actual forward driving narrative that takes you to different places and has developing events, then survival mechanics would have such potential. I guess SS2 is like that actually, because it still involves management of resources, making choices, etc.

      I’d go so far as to say that if there is no fundamental story, then everything else on show here is largely irrelevant. It’s like a book with a beautiful cover and you open it up and there are no pages. What does the cover mean in that context? It means less than if the artwork on the cover had been done as an independent work, like as a painting or whatever. You look at a painting and you can interpret it, read into it, imagine more than what is there. You tie that painting to something that is fundamentally empty and you can no longer do that. It’s all just pointless window dressing

      But I’m getting ahead of myself, maybe these concerns are totally unfounded. Will wait and see.

      • Shazbut says:

        In other words, as someone else said: WHY am I surviving?

        Otherwise, who cares?!

  19. Bweahns says:

    I’m definitely not holding my breath. The world looks awesome and some of the footage from that video reminded me so much of System Shock 2.