A BU­COLIC END

Ev­ery­body’s Gone to the Rap­ture

HWM (Malaysia) - - GAX - REVIEWS - Dear Es­ther Am­ne­sia: A Ma­chine for Pigs Ev­ery­body’s Gone to the Rap­ture Rap­ture Ev­ery­body’s Gone to the Rap­ture MichaelLow Rap­ture

IT’S OH SO QUIET Who knew that a quiet, idyl­lic English coun­try­side could evoke an eerie, yet il­lu­mi­nat­ing jour­ney into a world with­out peo­ple? The folks be­hind (orig­i­nal mod and 2012 re­mas­ter) and

seem to think so, as their latest re­lease – the delectably­named

– at­tempts to pro­pel the bur­geon­ing ‘walk­ing sim­u­la­tor’ genre for­ward through a more open, in­ter­ac­tive ap­proach, in which the player is free to ex­plore the beau­ti­fully-re­al­ized Yaughton Val­ley in an ef­fort to un­ravel the frag­mented nar­ra­tive that sur­vives the apoca­lypse.

As a first-per­son walk­a­bout ex­pe­ri­ence, Rap­ture en­cap­su­lates ev­ery­thing that the genre is about – from its pe­cu­liar dooms­day premise and dis­rupted sto­ry­telling, to its min­i­mal­is­tic game­play and pic­turesque land­scape. Pow­ered by Cry­tek’s CryENGINE, the game looks amaz­ing for the most part, even bor­der­ing on pho­to­re­al­ism at times, made pos­si­ble through the use of dy­namic par­ti­cles, real-time global light­ing and

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OC­TO­BER 2015 shad­ows, as well as lit­tle touches in the day/night and weather cy­cles. The metic­u­lous at­ten­tion to de­tail ex­tended to the plants and fo­liage that are na­tive to the re­gion, im­mers­ing the player fur­ther into a fic­tional lo­cale that could very well ex­ist in the real Shrop­shire, Eng­land, circa 1984.

Given that is best en­joyed with as lit­tle knowl­edge as pos­si­ble go­ing in, we won’t go into the ‘whats’ and the ‘whys’ be­hind the dis­ap­pear­ance of the towns­peo­ple, but suf­fice to say that there are clear con­clu­sions to be drawn by care­fully sweep­ing one area to the next and piec­ing to­gether the seem­ingly dis­jointed au­dio clues. These are dis­cov­ered by lis­ten­ing to the ra­dios, an­swer­ing public phones, and stum­bling upon snip­pets of con­ver­sa­tions past as re-en­acted by ghostly ap­pari­tions of the towns­folk. Dialog frag­ments – touch­ing on love, fear, prej­u­dices, and re­grets – are backed by qual­ity voice act­ing, and a stir­ring or­ches­tral score by BAFTA-nom­i­nated com­poser Jes­sica Curry.

Along the way, the player will come across wisps of light that dart and dive through the empty streets, hay fields, and aban­doned camp­ground. By fol­low­ing and in­ter­act­ing with them at cer­tain points of in­ter­est, this will then trig­ger mem­o­ries that shed light on the events lead­ing up to the tit­u­lar cat­a­clysm. We took our time to ex­plore the sur­round­ings, which came up to about eight hours from start to end. IT’S NOT ALL ROSY While it’s cer­tainly am­bi­tious, there were times where could have ben­e­fited from more in­ter­ac­tiv­ity, such as be­ing able to read pas­sages from books or letters that are strewn about the town. The open en­vi­ron­ment, while im­pres­sive, is not above pop-ins and ob­vi­ous rep­e­ti­tion of in-game as­sets. But the one thing that re­ally took us out of the ex­pe­ri­ence was the fluc­tu­a­tion in frame rate when the wisps and light-filled fig­ures come into the pic­ture. Other than that, is one work of fic­tion that you won’t soon for­get.

by

TESTED & RATED

Fol­low the light…

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