The next game from the co-creator of Inside and Limbo is coming next year, Microsoft announced today during their Xbox and Bethesda Games E3 Showcase. Somerville was first announced three years ago with a very small teaser trailer, but today's melancholic gameplay montage finally gives us a glimpse of what we can expect when it arrives in 2022. And from the looks of things, it's got big Inside vibes.
Like Inside and Limbo before it, Somerville will see you traverse haunting landscapes in 2D, invariably trying to get from one side of the screen to another as you flee from giant laser beams, crumbling ruins and other hostile characters you meet along the way. The trailer starts with you and your family slumbering in front of the TV, but things quickly take a turn for the worse as some very Arrival-style monoliths suddenly appear in the sky and chaos starts to rain down from on high.
From the look of the trailer, it looks like you'll be trying to escape this imminent apocalypse with the rest of your family, albeit not always as a single unit. At times, you're seen travelling alone, alone with your dog, and altogether with your wife and young baby, pulling them along behind you as you escape an unseen threat.
It looks stunning, and very much up my street. I loved Inside, especially that ending, and I kind of like to think that Somerville takes place in the aftermath directly afterwards. Of course, Inside was technically made by a different studio - Playdead - and its co-founder Dino Patti left the studio shortly after the game's release to go and found another studio, Jumpship, with a new collaborator Chris Olsen, a feature film animator. As such, it's unlikely that the two games will be related in anyway - although from the art style alone it certainly looks like Somerville will be sharing a lot of connective tissue with Patti's earlier work.
In any case, I can't wait to play it when it arrives next year. There's still no firm release date other than 2022 at the moment, but consider me very, very excited.
E3 2021 may be over but our memories live on - see everything on our E3 hub. Many more big game showcases and streams are still to come this summer, leading up to Gamescom, so see our summer games stream schedule to stay up to date.