Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture Review

In the 5-6 hours it took me to unravel the mysteries within Chinese Room’s Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture, I found myself experiencing an abundance of feelings. Confusion, wonder, despair and pity all overwhelmed me as despite it’s seemingly simple premise, Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture’s story turned out to be deceivingly intricate.

Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture is set in an abandoned, post-apocalyptic rendition of fictional Yaughton Valley in Shropshire (England). The player must explore the valley, interacting with phones and radios in the area in order to uncover the nitty-gritty details of the apocalyptic event. Alongside the various means of telecommunications the player may interact with for guidance and information, there are also fascinating orbs of light that accompany and loosely lead the player throughout the game. Occasionally, these orbs trigger various visions of once residents of the valley. Although some visions are initiated naturally, others must be activated. This is done by tilting the controller in order to tune the frequency of the orb, in a sense. When done correctly, surroundings will darken as if night has fallen and the the recollection of past events will play out. Using a combination of the past events visualized and the information from radios and phones, the player must piece together a timeline of events, in order to try to unveil the primary cause of the disappearance of an entire valley.

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Unsettling Setting

Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture’s setting is a key aspect to maintaining interest and intensity throughout a evidently slow-paced playthrough. The peaceful and tranquil setting can become almost uncomfortable at times in contrast with the dark and sinister plot of the game. I mean, come on, the 1980’s village setting is eerie enough in itself, let alone with no trace of life anywhere. The setting is equally brilliant for toying with the players ideas of what could have happened. Everything seems untouched, cigarettes sit in ashtrays as if left mid smoke, picnics left prepped upon hilltops, there is no real trail of destruction. This consequently will truly lead the player into questioning the reasoning behind the apocalyptic occurrence.

Finally, there is the matter of how aesthetically pleasing the setting is generally speaking, With lack of human existence, Yaughton Valley appears so pure and naturally rich. Accompanied by an outstanding and extremely haunting soundtrack by composer Jessica Curry, the ambiance of the setting is almost melancholy despite it’s apparent beauty.  The setting as a whole is so well developed by Chinese Room and just adds an important level of depth and emotion to Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture.

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Getting In On The Gossip

Throughout playing Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture, the player will encounter apparitions of light – as mentioned prior, in the form of a select few former residents of the valley. These characters include a parishioner at war with himself, a couple – both of which being scientists, an owner of a holiday camp on the valley outskirts, a farmer and also a pushy mother that is renowned for almost watching over the Valley residents. Not only will the player indulge in these stories for their significance in ultimately piecing together what happened, but also for investigating how each story intertwines with the next, gradually developing a more vivid idea of the timeline of events leading up the apocalypse and the many personal questions looming over the residents. The fun in this is derived from the lack of structure to the assortment of information provided. The structure must be the players own. I’d have a notebook ready if I were you.

The characters within Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture are well developed and casted and in being so are easy to revel in. As mentioned briefly before, the complex and riveting stories of the characters within the game are vitally important due to the generally slow-paced style in which the game plays out. There is no combat or particularly fast movement within the gameplay. However, the intensity of the story compensates wonderfully. As you rush between visions and feeds of information, it becomes easy to forget the whole ideal of finding answers as you almost become lost in the soap opera unfolding between the characters you meet.

Towards the end of the game, the player will feel inclined to a great feeling of satisfaction. Their theories on what could have happened are revealed to be correct or not alongside the many loose ends of the stories throughout are tied. They can finally breathe a sigh of relief.

Emotionally Ensnared 

Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture is a game orientated around making the player ‘feel’. To say it accomplishes just that is an understatement. To compare a game that had me feeling how this game made me feel, I could only use Naughty Dog’s The Last Of Us. This is mainly because it is the only game that has left me feeling so empty upon it concluding. Despite Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture’s finale, as I watched the credits roll to the hymnal music, I felt uncertain despite having all my questions answered, feeling the only way I could fill the void the game had left within me would be by playing a second time.

Alongside the ending there is the span of emotions the residents’ stories and radio installments will make the player feel. As they come to terms with the relationships between the characters, they will be overcome with feelings ranging from pity to anger to happiness. It is all really overwhelming to be quite honest.

Overall, throughout the player’s journey through Yaughton Valley, it is apparent there is a prominent feeling of fear as the player will no doubt question how they play and proceed throughout the game as if they were living the events occurring within the game for themselves.

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All In All  

Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture does well to exhibit that a game does not require intense, hands-on combat, a dangerous and unpredictable setting or even ‘living’ characters in order to be a wonderfully emotional and memorable game. Developers masterfully ensure players have guidance if required via the orbs of light, but can also explore the post-apocalyptic setting to their own leisure if they wish. With its primary focus being enlightenment of the unknown, Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture is quite a frightening and uncomfortable game. The setting, Yaughton Valley in which most residents live in each others pockets, aware of one another’s business is perfect for making the game more believable and all the more creepy in being so.

Despite the profound sense of emptiness I felt upon finishing this game, I would still recommend it to anyone that loves a game with the ability to not only test you mentally, but to also truly make you feel.

Gaming Is Good For Me

A ‘hobby’ is defined as ‘An activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure’. Common hobbies include an ensemble of varying sport activities, the reading of books, even trainspotting is considered a hobby. However, it has come to my attention that for a noticeable number of those outside of the gaming community that playing video games is highly disregarded as a hobby. That being said, what I aim to do here is try to defend this hobby that I personally partake in and try to bring into light it’s positive aspects as I believe it has many.

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The Lazy Hobby 

One of the primary reasons that indulging in a game is frowned upon is due to the fact that it isn’t a particularly physically demanding hobby. Strictly speaking, most gaming consoles and handhelds require the player to sit and focus on a screen. A successful game developer will aim to keep the player seated and engrossed for an extended duration of time. Does this then ultimately mean that gaming should be classed as any less of a brilliant hobby? I think that is quite unfair actually.

The Comeback

Firstly, let’s begin with the fact that although gaming as a hobby in most cases is not physical or evident in any means of activeness, mentally, games possess the ability to exercise a players mind. Games of today offer the players opportunities to gain knowledge of circumstances and eras that prior to playing would not have comprehended or taken any interest in. They allow players to put themselves into situations and ways of thinking that they would not consider themselves ever to be in. A fine example of a game that captures this ability so well is Heavy Rain (Quantic Dream). Heavy Rain falls under the genre of interactive-drama. Throughout the proceedings of the game the player plays as four vastly differing characters that are all collectively involved in the case of a serial killer known as the Origami Killer. The player is put in the position of a Father, a former police officer, a FBI profiler and a photojournalist. The game requires the player to make quick and vital decisions that have the potential to kill of main characters. Complete with interactive gameplay in the form of fast-paced action sequences and motion related actions with the controller, Heavy Rain is perfect for involving the player as if they were living out the games events for themselves. By bringing the more underrated moments of gaming in to light, we could even consider the fact that perhaps gaming ultimately becomes a more exciting way to learn.

Furthermore, in regards to the physical side to the argument, game consoles such as the Nintendo Wii, have answered such issues allowing players to use their physical being to play games. For example, Wii Sports provides players the chance to bring sporting activities to their home. Despite the odd, 40 inch television taking a battering from a Wii remote in tennis or the insatiable level of embarrassment derived from playing Just Dance at a family gathering, Nintendo Wii, Playstation Move and Xbox Kinect have answered the demand for more physical means of gaming.

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Living The Story Of Many Differing Characters

Admittedly, one of the most enjoyable aspects of playing video games is the sheer span of genres, gameplay styles, settings, story lines and characters. The profound versatility video games provide is what allows it to be such a widely appreciated hobby. It offers players of all types a chance to escape from their everyday troubles, whether it be a bad day at work or a little bit of leisure to unwind. Let’s take The Last Of Us as an example. A hard day at the office followed by even a short amount of time with protagonists of The Last Of Us, Joel and Ellie is enough to A. mentally teleport you elsewhere even if only for a short while and B. Proceed to make you then realise that things could be worse, you could be surviving against an increasing population of infected on a day to day basis. The requirement for a general escape from reality is something every good hobby should offer and gaming offers just that. In addition thanks to the indefinite amount of genres it is fair to say gaming can cater for every type of player. There is no reason why is should be regarded unpleasantly.

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Educational

As mentioned briefly before, gaming is actually relatively educational when considering games such as the Assassins Creed franchise for instance. The Assassins Creed game series orientates itself around various historic events and is based within historic settings. It reconciles a number of radically different religious faiths and beliefs and ties them in with the story lines of the games within the series. Games such as Assassins Creed are great for bringing to the attention of the player, things they may not have known before. This enlightenment to players as a whole is just another pro to gaming.

Gaming- Associated badly?

It is possible that the more negative views and opinions aimed at gaming as a hobby may actually be derived from popular game franchises almost posing as the face of the hobby. For instance, first-person shooter franchise, Call Of Duty is at the heart of many gaming addictions. The installments within the series consist of taking part in war, mass shootings and a number of other violent activities. Although, the events within some of the series installments are of historic significance, it is apparent that the overriding feature of the series is the widely played multiplayer which results in a lot of anger and arguing among players the vast majority of the time.  This being said there is a strong possibility that the negativity posed towards gaming as a hobby could originate from associating gaming primarily with such franchises. Whether or not it is the narrow-mindedness of outsiders to the gaming community or poor means of presenting gaming is to blame, both fail to acknowledge the beauty in games such as The Last Of Us, Tomb Raider, Journey and even more recent titles such as Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture. These memorable video games not only fulfill the basic needs and requirements of a hobby, but that also allow the player to lose themselves in jaw-dropping stories that give the player the chance to explore an entire spectrum of emotions they were not accustom to prior to playing.

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All In Favor

Gaming is an utterly fantastic hobby that can take a player of any age or sort and give them their rope ladder to escaping the harshness of reality for just a few hours when seemingly needed most. No, generally speaking gaming isn’t as physical as other more kindly regarded hobbies but in terms of exercising the mind and imagination, I believe that gaming should be regarded in much higher spirit than it is by so many. Here, I aimed to open discussion over the issue, not point fingers.

That said, feel free to comment your views below.

 

Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture Story Fully Detailed Through Voice Actors

Everybody’s Gone to The Rapture is a first-person adventure game, developed by The Chinese Room and published by Sony, that allows you to explore an open world that its narrative structure plays a major role in gameplay. Creative Director Dan Pinchbeck shares the info through the website’s blog.

He explains that voice actors sometimes add their own touch which would ultimately result in forcing a change in the script to the better.

“One of the most inspiring things about working with voice actors is they bring depth to the characters you didn’t know was there as a writer. It was amazing to be able to work with the actors for a week before recording to rehearse and do script re-writes.”

Dan focused on Everybody’s Gone to The Rapture’s open ended structure and that the game lets you have the freedom in finishing the game in one session or divide it upon “six parts of roughly an hour each.” so it would be like a TV mini-series.

“You can play Rapture in one sitting, or you can break it up into six parts of roughly an hour each. In that way, it’s like a TV mini-series. We were really inspired by that format, by shows like Bloodlines, Six Feet Under, or The Killing. Our aim for the acting was to produce something that could stand shoulder to shoulder with the very best TV drama.”

The game’s characters that meet you are always in the form of light, faceless, which makes it more interesting for the player since he has full freedom to explore their past and know their stories.

“Not being able to see the character’s faces is a really important part of Rapture. We want you to be able to bring these characters to life yourself. Part of the non-linear nature of the game is that you’re free to really get to know characters and follow their stories.”

Everybody’s Gone to The Rapture is going to release August 11 for the PS4.