CLOSE TO THE SUN

This sur­vival hor­ror is more than just a BioShock looka­like

XBox: The Official Magazine - - CONTENTS - Adam Bryant Pub­lisheR Storm in a Teacup De­vel­oper Storm in a Teacup ETA 2019

Those that have limped and dragged their way through the en­tire cat­a­logue of sur­vival hor­ror games avail­able on Xbox, and are now search­ing for some­thing new, need look no fur­ther. Storm In A Teacup is brew­ing up some­thing spe­cial just for you.

Close To The Sun is a first-per­son, story-driven sur­vival hor­ror set to­wards the end of the 19th cen­tury in an al­ter­nate time­line where, in­stead of be­ing shunned, Nikola Tesla, with his bril­liant mind, has be­come a huge world­wide suc­cess. His en­ergy com­pany, War­den­clyffe, now pro­vides en­ergy to half the globe and his thirst for ad­vanc­ing mankind has led him to cre­ate the He­lios. Sail­ing across the ocean be­tween na­tions, this colos­sal ship com­plex was de­signed as a place where the great­est sci­en­tific minds could gather and fur­ther their sci­en­tific en­deav­ours un­hin­dered.

If from the screen­shots and that de­scrip­tion you’re al­ready get­ting

BioShock vibes, you’re not the only one. The de­vel­op­ers are hy­per-aware of the com­par­i­son and even con­sider it a com­pli­ment. They stress, how­ever, that their ini­tial in­spi­ra­tions were games like Soma and Out­last and that the sim­i­lar­i­ties to BioShock are sim­ply a re­sult of set­ting the game in that time pe­riod and choos­ing an Art Deco style de­sign.

You play as jour­nal­ist Rose Archer, who after re­ceiv­ing a strange let­ter from her sis­ter, Ada, which con­tained a mys­te­ri­ous elec­tronic de­vice and a des­per­ate call for help, heads to the He­lios on a res­cue mis­sion.

Icarus ris­ing

Ar­riv­ing by boat you re­alise that some­thing has gone ter­ri­bly wrong. The ship has been de­serted and is for some rea­son un­der a strict quar­an­tine. The elec­tronic de­vice you re­ceived re­veals it­self to be some kind of ra­dio when your sis­ter con­tacts you through it. Ada is a prom­i­nent sci­en­tist on board the He­lios and de­vel­oped the de­vice just for you. In­ter­est­ingly, she seems sur­prised that you’re there and has no mem­ory of writ­ing the let­ter to you, but goes on to ex­plain that it’s en­tirely pos­si­ble she wrote it. She says she’ll ex­plain later, which we think could mean that there’s an el­e­ment of time travel in the game.

There are no weapons or di­rect com­bat el­e­ments within Close To The

Sun. Half of your time will be spent ex­plor­ing the He­lios, look­ing for clues and try­ing to un­cover its se­crets so that you can save your sis­ter. The other half will be spent run­ning, hid­ing and be­ing ter­ri­fied be­cause there are other strange things lurk­ing around the ship that re­ally want to kill you. You’ll need to think quickly to sur­vive as you’ll find your­self in var­i­ous chase se­quences and one false move could spell your demise.

Nikola Tesla is also on board the ship and is aware of your ar­rival. All the suc­cess and power has clearly gone to his head and made him ex­tremely ego­tis­ti­cal. The golden statue in the mid­dle of a mu­seum ded­i­cated to him on board is a dead give­away. It’s also made him para­noid and, be­liev­ing you to be a spy for Thomas Edi­son, closes you off from most of the ship. You’ll need to nav­i­gate and solve en­vi­ron­men­tal puz­zles to progress.

Although they’re ded­i­cated to scar­ing the hell out of us, the de­vel­op­ers also want to tell a com­pelling story. Even if it has its fair share of sim­i­lar­i­ties with BioShock, both vis­ual and nar­ra­tive, it’s very much its own en­tity. For starters it’s a lot blood­ier: at one point we find our­selves on our knees within a room where a nasty mas­sacre oc­curred. ■

“Even if it has sim­i­lar­i­ties with BioShock, it’s very much its own en­tity”

It is said that Nikola Tesla him­self was born dur­ing a light­ning storm

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