Today on PSN - Everybody's Gone to the Rapture
  • POSTED BY Joel Castro on Nov 01, 2016

    As one of this month’s PSN Plus games, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is now available for download. I played it since it downloaded, and I have a few thoughts.

     

    – First off, I think it’s a good game overall. Critics like Jim Sterling and Zero Punctuation may have painted this game as boring and tired and uninspired, but personally I feel like they missed a big feature of this game: spirituality & faith in the face of despair. We see people go through character arcs that are a more realistic representation of people going through a crisis of faith. Given the title, you can understand why this is happening. I won’t delve into spoilers of individual characters, but let’s just say that, given my background with being a Christian, I feel this game is telling me something about faith in the darkest of times.

     

    – This game barely has interaction at all, and thus has been derided as one of the worst examples of “walking simulators” out there. However, it technically makes sense, given that the game tells you what happened right from the title. It doesn’t make sense to try and do complex interactions when there’s nothing and nobody to react to that interaction. It might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but it works for what it’s trying to do.

     

    – I have a theory that the backstory of the game is technically what’s happened extremely recently, given some of the environmental clues I’ve found throughout the landscape. You may have just missed the rapturing that happened, and you are literally trying to figure out WTF just happened while you were sleeping. Or maybe you were raptured yourself and the fact that you have to solve this mystery is preventing you from moving on, as is the case with most games…material for review/analysis?

     

    Anyways, I’m pretty much rambling at this point. All in all, this is an interesting little adventure that I think got unduly criticized because people chose not to look deeper, which tends to happen a lot with these walking simulators (barring a few bad examples like Wander or Dear Esther). I’ll write a review when I’m finished with it, but let’s just say that I actually do like it. I’ve spoiled the review before you’ve even read it. Read it when it’s finished to find out why. Pretty much just like what the game is about.

    POSTED BY elheber on Nov 02, 2016

    I have nothing against walking simulators per se. However, I need them to have some meat on the bone. I headed to bed so I don’t have time to elaborate right now, but I don’t see myself playing this game even for free.

    "A closet intellectual, he acts dumb to impress women."

    "A closet intellectual, he acts dumb to impress women."

    POSTED BY Joel Castro on Nov 02, 2016

    I was the same way, until I played Ether One. That game made me feel a lot of sadness, especially since I lost a family member to dementia. Then I played Gone Home, and I realized just how much a simple story gains just from having at least some interaction. Hell, Journey was only walking and floating, but that game is absolutely breathtaking. These types of games proved to me that interaction is the future of storytelling. As for gameplay, I liken it to them being the “short stories” to the “novels” that meatier games are.

    POSTED BY elheber on Nov 04, 2016

    I loved Gone Home, The Stanley Parable, Beyond Eyes, and to a certain extent I even liked Proteus, Qora and Home. I’d play The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, Firewatch, The Witness and The Beginner’s Guide without question. In fact, there aren’t many I wouldn’t try.

    What I find unappealing about Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is the narrative delivery. From what I understand, you walk to glowing things and trigger audio cutscenes. This is not the same as environmental storytelling like Gone Home, nor does it have puzzle narrative delivery like Her Story or Vanishing of Ethan Carter. Nor does it have the choice and branching story paths that can be found in The Stanley Parable or Until Dawn.

    One thing that I’m already tired of is games that overuse audio logs (or in the case of low-budget indie games, journal notes) scattered around to tell the backstory. SOMA had audio logs, but it also had so many, many more ways it told you the backstory along with tons of it being hidden behind puzzles and choices. With Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, from what I gather it isn’t so much that you’re discovering the story, but instead that you’re being told the story.

    "A closet intellectual, he acts dumb to impress women."

    "A closet intellectual, he acts dumb to impress women."
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