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Indigenous cybernoir detective game Hill Agency: PURITYdecay is not your dad's hardboiled crime thriller

And it's out very soon, on August 31st

If there's anything I've learned from today's Future Of Play event, it's that stylish futuristic dystopian mysteries are where it's at right now in the indie scene, and I for one am all in favour. One of the coolest announcements at the event was Hill Agency: PURITYdecay, described as an "Indigenous cybernoir detective game" and in the works at Achimostawinan Games. Although maybe "in the works" isn't quite an accurate description, because the game is in fact out very soon: on August 31st this year, to be exact.

The trailer is a pitch-perfect hearkening back to the golden age hardboiled detective stories of the 1940s — complete with a black-and-white palette with just the occasional hint of colour to highlight the high-tech parts. High-tech because, despite its 20th century influences, this game is set quite far in the future, in 2262. It's not exactly a nice vision of the world in 240 years' time, though, as the narrator is quick to point out that it's riddled with "crime, conflict, and propaganda". Truly holding up a mirror to our times, then.

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"Life is all missing kids and cheating spouses until a dame from the Upper-District barges in and changes your life." This quote from the trailer neatly summarises the worldview of Detective Meygeen Hill, a.k.a the sleuth of Akȃmaskiy, as she introduces us to the seemingly run-of-the-mill murder case that will soon turn her world upside down.

Naturally, Meygeen has a past she's running from, a sardonic associate in the figure of Auntie, and is newly acquainted with smoldering femme fatale Mary Patentia. She's also an Indigenous woman fighting to be a voice for the unheard in a corrupted utopia on the brink of freedom from colonial oppression (although I'll have to take her word on that last part, because what you see in the trailer still looks pretty oppressive). It's a fascinating blend of familiar tropes applied to tell the story of criminally underserved voices, and it looks gripping as all get-out.

As previously mentioned (but it certainly bears repeating), Hill Agency: PURITYdecay is expected to launch on Steam on August 31st, 2022.

Not E3 2022 is in full-swing - see everything in our E3 2022 hub, as well as our complete round-up of everything announced at Summer Game Fest 2022. Many more big game showcases and streams are still to come this summer, so make sure you stay up to date with our summer games stream schedule.

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