Going to war with a sentient building… and yourself
The way you play shapes who you fight in this thoughtful stealth puzzle game. Sneak and foes get sneaky. Speed through and they’ll become faster. Whip out a gun and they’ll match your bloodlust bullet for bullet. And if you’re just really nice to everyone? Well, no-one’s ever thought to try it.
Enemies are actually clones of your character, En, a white-haired assassin venturing into the heart of a sentient mega-palace for mysterious reasons. Her minute-by-minute motive, though, is crystal-clear: to reach the exit without suffering an ignoble death at the hands of an adaptive mimic army.
The sensation of being watched is palpable. While the palace’s prying eyes record your behaviour and feed it to roaming sentries like revision cheat sheets, those eyes do blink occasionally. When the lights switch off and the building reboots, you’re free to act as you please, prompting a period of sin-free misbehaviour in which En can go trigger-happy in the dark. The caveat being, to earn that reboot, you have to diverge from the current path and teach your enemy a new behaviour. It’s a smart way of scaling up the game’s difficulty.
From Ultra Ultra, a Danish developer largely assembled from people who brought you multiple Hitman entries, you can really trace a through-line between those games and this. There’s the reactive AI, the sedate pace, the knife-edge tension, and the constant reminder you’ve got to think about your actions. Hopefully the AI is equipped to learn your complexities rather than shift between a few core playstyle templates, because it’ll be wonderfully off-putting to face a foe as bumbling as we are.
By managing the blackout cycle you can mould opponents into ones you want to fight.