The Astronauts Release First Screens From Upcoming Horror Game - The Vanishing of Ethan Carter - PC -
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The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

The Astronauts Release First Screens From Upcoming Horror Game

Adrian Chmielarz  knows his way around action, having worked on high-octane games like Bulletstorm and Painkiller with his former studio People Can Fly. Chmielarz left the studio last year to form The Astronauts, and now we've got the first in-game screens from their new game, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter.

You play as an occult detective named Paul Prospero, who's been contacted by a boy in trouble named Ethan Carter. Prospero heads to Red Creek Valley to dig into the mystery, and he learns that the disappearance may not be an isolated occurrence. The game takes place via a first-person viewpoint, but players won't be solving the case while firing at bad guys. There's actually no combat at all within the game. Instead, players will have to use Prospero's supernatural instincts to discover clues and propel the story along.

Chmielarz says he wants to tell a story for adults – he characterizes The Vanishing of Ethan Carter as "weird fiction" – which means the focus is on atmosphere, mood, and characterization. "If our game leaves any scars, you won’t be able to see them," Chmielarz says. "Also, we want gamers to experience the story of Paul and Ethan at their own pace, and without the need for sedatives. It’s less about pure terror and more about clammy unease."

The screens in the gallery below show what the game looks like. Chmielarz says the team isn't planning on having any cutscenes to move the story along, so what you see is what's there. It's currently in development for PC, but the team hopes to have the game on next-gen consoles at some point as well.

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  • The game looks beautiful. Looks like they want to focus on exploration as the main driver of the game, or did I get that wrong?
  • Every time I hear or see something new about this game, I want it even more.
  • Man, I saw a lot of skulls.  As an adult, I am now horrified.

  • "Twin Peaks:The unoriginal video game"
  • Hmmm....will be interesting to see if this title achieves what other independent titles so far have not been able to. It would be great, and move the form forward.

  • Mod
    I bet you that the boy can see spirits and the investigator's actually a ghost the entire time.
  • You had me at "occult" and "investigator".
  • No combat and no cutscenes...sounds too much like Outlast
  • Mod

    It looks beautiful! The game also sounds awesome. I will definitely keep my eye on it.

  • With games like this, Dear Esther and Gone home, I think we may be seeing the birth of a new genre.
  • I'm curious to see if the lack of combat is due to the fact that there's nothing to fight/that can be fought, or if it'll just be an artificial lack of capability.

  • I don't know why, but I'm picturing an Alan Wake without all the wonky "shoot the shadow people" gameplay.  I actually liked the flashlight mechanic in A.Wake, but I thoroughly enjoyed and fondly remember the story structure of that game.  

    I'm curious to see how a developer from People Can Fly can show his mettle in this transition to what appears to be a more thoughtful, atmospheric, and suggestive type of game experience.

  • This looks and sounds really cool, too bad it's only for PC (I think).

  • I HATE PC games it make it impossible for us REAL gamers to get great Survival/Horror games
  • Oh man, his name is Prospero.  There definitely won't be any parallels to The Tempest.

  • Only PC, the way it should be.
  • So if there's no cut scenes what is the third pic? It's not first person either so.......
  • Reminds me kind of, of Alan Wake...

  • Sounds interesting. But unless it comes on console I won't be getting it.

  • Doesn't really look scary. Really love horror games but theses been no good ones lately

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