Everybody's Gone to the Rapture [official site], the latest from Dear Esther and Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs developers The Chinese Room, is finally heading to PC. I spoke to studio head Dan Pinchbeck earlier this week and he told me that the completed PC port has now been delivered to Sony, who will be acting as publishers. Sony's role means they'll be responsible for selecting a release date and marketing the game, as they did with Helldivers when it came to PC late last year.
But it's coming. The rapture is coming.
If you've been cowering in a custom-built survivalist shelter for the last year and a bit, preparing for the actual rapture or an outbreak of the Cloverfields, you might not be aware of Everybody's Gone to the Rapture. It's a game about exploring a picture-perfect English village - going to the pub, popping into the church, that sort of thing - while trying to work out where everybody has gone. Clue's in the title, of course, but by picking through the tales of the people who have vanished (and that appears to be everybody) you'll be able to piece together the events that led up to this particular variant of the rapture. In both tone and play, it's a spiritual successor to Dear Esther - contemplative, sad, strange, handsome.
I loved the Dear Esther mod back in the day but didn't particularly get along with the standalone version. Maybe that's because I felt I'd seen it all before. I adored A Machine for Pigs though. I think it's probably fair to call that game divisive and, if that's the case, I was so far on the positive side that I couldn't even see the divide, which I'm now picturing as some kind of yawning chasm. Not having played Rapture yet, I don't know whether it'll live up to my expectations but those expectations have shifted wildly - when the game was first announced, and I thought it might be a first-person mystery adventure, I expected it to be one of my favourite things.
Post PS4 release its workings are known and, from what I understand, it's more about observation than deduction. While that still appeals, I've given up my seat on the hype train and am approaching on foot, ready to judge the Rapture for what it is rather than what I hoped it might be. Very healthy that.
"There was no technical reason it couldn't be done," Pinchbeck says of the PC port. "In fact, we were more concerned about launching on PS4. Rapture is such a PC game that we'd find an audience on PS4. We didn't know if a game like that could work on console.
"As for the PC version, we started work on it in September and submitted it recently. Sony will be handling the PC release, including management of the Steam page and whatever else there might be, so it should be released as soon as they've done testing and preparation.
It's good to be back on PC. It's where we started and it'll be the home of our next game."
Ah, yes. The next game. The Chinese Room are deep into development already and told me that they'll be launching on PC. The game is quite a departure from their previous releases: it's an isometric systems-driven adventure that began life as a tabletop RPG prototype. The name is Total Dark and we'll have details of that for you, as well as thoughts from Pinchbeck on Rapture and walking simulators, right here at 3pm UK time.