Don’tcha know it’s illegal for spaceships to have consciousness ’round here? Set to take off sometime next year, A Long Journey To An Uncertain End is the galaxy-hopping debut from Crispy Creative, a narrative management space opera that seems to imagine a version of Cowboy Bebop where the eponymous starship had the final say in all the semi-legal shenanigans. And also one where Ein’s a hologram, I guess.
As the ship, you’re legally mandated to make the “vrroooom vroom whooooosh!” noises yourself while playing. Go on, you’ve got plenty of time to practice.
Formed by veterans of Obsidian and Telltale Games, Crispy Creative’s first outing looks to be a big gay space romp – something I am entirely, aggressively here for. While the above trailer doesn’t dig too deep into the game’s mechanical centre, it does set the stage for Long Journey’s premise. Put together a crew, plan a job, and then watch it go horribly wrong as your team’s conflicting interests, distractions, or plain incompetences come to a head.
We do, however, get a look at the wider structure of putting together a job and travelling between worlds. As with games like Void Bastards, you’ve got a galaxy map of planets to hop between, constantly looking for ways to top up your dwindling resources, and calling in favours from contacts when the going gets too tough. It also seems like you’re on the run from an abusive ex, which raises a whole avenue of questions about the hows and whats and whys of spacecraft relationships.
I do love the cast on show, though. Crispy have made a point saying they want to be “radically inclusive, not only in the stories told or the characters brought to life, but with the people telling those stories” – and we already see much of that on screen, from pickpockets in battlemech wheelchairs to the former drag queen keeping punters’ eyes away from their wallets. It’s closer to the Lancer games I play with my pals than the cast of the sci-fi shows I watch, and that’s a nice feeling.
A Long Journey To An Uncertain End is set to depart on Steam sometime next year.