An alpha gameplay video for upcoming indie first-person survival horror Routine has revealed a game that's dark, powerful and terrifying.
Lunar Software isn't a well-known name. A small company with a team of just four people, the indie game developer is still working on its first title. At last year's Gamescom, the tiny company — then just three people: Aaron Foster, formerly of Eurocom, his partner Jemma Hughes and developer Pete Dissler — showed a small teaser for a first-person horror game.
The teaser didn't reveal much detail; just enough to establish that the game would be set on some sort of space station, and that it looked like everyone had been killed. But a freshly released alpha gameplay video shows a lot more.
You're alone on a moon base. Everyone is dead or disappeared. You have to gather data and clues figure out what happened — but the thing (or things) responsible for the disappearances is still at large ... and hunting.
There are a few more details on the game's website. You're essentially playing blind: the game is non-linear, so that you have to explore the base purely on instinct, and you have no HUD, no health bar, no points. Instead, you have to try to avoid the menace as best you can by running and hiding when it catches up with you — because if it does, it's permadeath lights out.
The video revealed a game that looks deeply unsettling. Systems seem to be malfunctioning, leaving the player operating in dim lighting, constantly on the alert for attack. The way the player repeatedly looks around the room while waiting for doors to unlock or data to load makes us nervous just to watch — and the sound design is spectacular.
Even more interestingly, the end credits of the video show the Oculus Rift logo. If this game plays on the Rift, it's going to be an extraordinary experience. We do know it will be available for PC and Mac through Steam sometime this year.
Lunar Software isn't a well-known name. Watch this space. That's about to change.