The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, the upcoming mystery game by indie studio The Astronauts, is looking like a bit of a departure from the developers’ shooter heritage. Formerly of People Can Fly, the team behind Bulletstorm and the cult hit Painkiller, The Astronauts team is looking to make a mystery game revolving around a strongly delivered narrative with The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. In an interview with OnlySP, game designer Adrian Chmielarz detailed the premise of The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, revealing just how the story starts.
It begins with a famous occult private detective – the protagonist – receiving a letter from a boy named Ethan Carter. This letter reveals “some dark forces… truly messing with the boy’s life”. Naturally, as an occult specialist, the detective decides to go to Ethan Carter’s home town of Red Creek Valley to investigate the situation. What you find is a dead body and no Ethan, and the start of your mystery.
The developers stress that this is a “weird fiction horror” game, stressing that the “weird fiction part is crucial”. There will be gameplay, but instead of combat and hiding the game will instead focus on exploration and discovery. “The fears and thrills in our game come from a different source” they told us.
A story driven single player experience with an exploration focus from a team behind some of the most shootery shooters of last ten years is an interesting prospect. If the pretty massive gifs released not too long ago are anything to go by, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is looking quite good.
We’ll bring you more details in the days to come. Watch out for our full interview with Adrian Chmielarz on the site very soon.