The Astronauts have shed more light on their horror adventure The Vanishing of Ethan Carter today. They provided some additional information on the story and gameplay along with a few screenshots.
Vanishing puts players in the role of Paul Prospero, a detective who specializes in occult investigations. After receiving a letter from a frightened boy named Ethan Carter, Prospero heads to Red Creek Valley to help him. When he arrives, he finds that the boy has vanished and someone has been murdered. Prospero must get to the bottom of the mystery using both his worldly and otherworldly talents.
"Via a First-Person Perspective, you explore and interact with the environment in order to discover the truth," explains Astronauts. "Paul has a supernatural gift that allows him to visualize the final moments of anyone who’s been murdered. The more clues you discover, the clearer and longer Paul’s vision. Exactly how much you are able to discern from a corpse is entirely up to you. You might discover the motivation of the murderer, or find a hint of where to go next – or both."
Astronauts says that this is a game meant for adults, but not because it's full of flesh-eating zombies or shotgun headshots. There's no combat in the game whatsoever. The developers describe the mood in the game as "clammy unease" rather than "pure terror." No rabid mutant chase scenes, then?
"We believe video games are a largely untapped medium for powerful storytelling possibilities. Every developer with a deep interest in the storytelling side of gaming uses different ways to let players live through a story: from interactive dramas like The Walking Dead to story-exploration games like Gone Home to online adventures like Journey. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is our own attempt to tell a multi-layered story while keeping the player completely immersed and constantly engaged-with the unique sense of presence only video games can offer."
Vanishing is currently in development for PC. Next-gen consoles may get the game in time as well. No release date has been set but the game is said to be mere months away.
This will be the first game released by Astronauts, an 8-man studio founded in 2012. The founders were formerly owners and leads at People Can Fly, the studio responsible for Bulletstorm and Painkiller.