First-person adventure Ether One aims to explore a difficult subject – dementia – through storytelling and puzzles. The debut game from indie team White Paper Games is out now, and I’ve had a play. And a struggle. You can read my thoughts below.
RPS Feature Thanks For The Memories
Oh, those sneaky monkeys. First-person adventure Ether One hasn’t quite launched on its journey to the centre of a dementia damaged mind, but they’ve released a launch trailer anyway. That’s a good week before the game is out. I’ll allow this: they’ve just added the review version to my Steam account, so it’s technically out there, and I am the most important person in the world. It also helps that the brief play I had of the game very encouraging. View the trailer with with working eyes below.
If you’ve forgotten – perhaps because some malevolent soul infiltrated your mind and mixed up all the wiring – Ether One is an extremely promising-looking first-person adventure about spelunking dreamy brain caves in hopes of unraveling a giant techno-countryside mystery. It looks gorgeous, and its thin film of cyberpunk static sizzles with intrigue. Think Myst meets To The Moon, and you’re basically there. It’s finally coming out next month! Announcement trailer below.
I’ve been intrigued by Ether One since time immemorial. However, if someone were to leap in my head, run around its ominously dark docks that might be some kind of metaphor, and eventually put together all the pieces, they’d find that it’s been a few months. And also that I have a really bad memory. The latest trailer for the brain-bending, reality-warping first-person puzzler continues its frantic wander down memory lane, but now there are mysterious outside forces involved. While our intrepid hero (?) gets lost in someone else’s thoughts, cold, dispassionate voices argue cryptically. Meanwhile, female lead and, er, game world Jean only gets in a couple quick words of her own: “Help me.” Also, a billion different things flash on screen and nothing makes sense ever. Everrrrrrr. But in a good way.
RPS Feature Mind Games
I quite like leaping into people’s heads and spelunking the deepest reaches of their brain caves. And in the game. Or games, rather, seeing as Psychonauts and To The Moon are two of my absolute favorites. So when Ether emerged from the woodwork promising mind-opening mind-exploration with a more personal, intimate focus, I sloppily salivated in the most attractive of fashions. And then I asked its creators a bunch of questions, as is my way. Head past the break to see White Paper co-founders Benjamin Hill and Pete Bottomley discuss Ether’s puzzles, why you can beat the game without solving a single one, whether or not storytelling in games is “mature” yet, and why it’s important to take risks that triple-A developers and publishers won’t.
Ether is an independently developed first-person puzzler with a psychological mystery at its core. We saw the first video footage of its Cornish delights back in July and should be able to uncover more details soon. The plot involves mental illness and ‘ethereal projection’, an ability whereby men and women known as restorers can enter their clients’ minds and attempt to repair them. The game will be in two parts, with the first due early next year. There’s no combat, but expect both environmental and cryptic puzzles. A new video provides snippets of story and a brief tour of the game’s take on what appears to be an English coastal village.
Ether is an indie adventure game set in an alternate history where “mental disease and illness can be cured by individuals who possess the unique gift of ethereal projection”. Sounding a little like a first-person To The Moon, the game plants the player character in the mind of a client, traps him, and asks him to explore, solve puzzles and delve into memories. The trailer has made me as curious as a doomed cat, with a stylish aesthetic and a bit of Inception BWAAAAARing, which is yesterday’s dubstep. It’s also the only game I can think of that proudly lists “cornish culture” as an inspiration, which I can only assume means it’s based on the works of Aphex Twin.