The Astronauts, a developer consisting of many former staffers from Painkiller and Gears of War: Judgement studio People Can Fly, are looking to take a break from adrenaline-fueled action titles and try there hand at immersive storytelling in the form of their first project, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, which was announced today.
We don’t have a lot to go on at the moment, but we do know that the game is about a detective who is summoned to a mountain valley in order to investigate the kidnapping of a boy. Our detective has the paranormal ability to visualize crime scenes that have already happened, and he also has various traditional tools at his side to aid him. We can only assume this means the game will focus on puzzle and adventure elements.
The game is being developed with Unreal Engine 3, along with some new technology that the devs aren’t willing to share info about just yet. It’ll certainly be quite a disturbing game, in which mutilated corpses and other depressing imagery will be quite common. The atmosphere is to be very reminiscent of “weird fiction stories and other tales of macabre of the early 20th century,” designer Adrain Chmielarz has stated while speaking to VG 24/7, though the overall and much greater goal is to “evolve immersive storytelling in games. “
Obviously, this a very story-focused game, and Chmielarz has stated that the gameplay will serve to compliment the story’s themes so as to bring a sense of cohesion and narrative unification to the game:
“What we care about the most is that the players feel like they’re really there. Immersion is our number one priority… It’s a game about exploration and discovery. We’re not abandoning the gameplay – on the contrary: we’re trying to strip it down to the bone and make sure it’s always meaningful and truly makes the experience better.”
A short teaser trailer was also released, which can be seen below. Let us know what you think of this premise, and be sure to stay tuned for much more coverage of The Vanishing of Ethan Carter.