The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
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.