Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is a game that I had been excited about for a very long time. The underlying religious undertones, the comfortable silence and beautiful environments were all things I was eager to explore. After playing the PlayStation 4 demo at E3 2015, I have less than ideal things to say about what I experienced.
For starters, the game looks great in close proximity. The grass sways, the shadows shift and the details shine. However, when you look off into the distance, the areas look flat and lack any real texture, as though they have not been fully rendered for PlayStation 4. The game gets away with the near and far sightedness by keeping players on a straight and narrow path, never venturing off into the distance.
It is clear while exploring that everyone in the world has disappeared and gone off to the supernatural world. As you venture further, apparitions appear and share verbal exchanges with other apparitions. I’m assuming these discussions took place just before they left the world behind. While some apparitions will reenact a conversation in front of you, others may need to be followed into abandoned homes or side areas.
Aside from apparition narrations, everyone and everything in Everybody’s Gone to Rapture has something important to say. Phones will repeat an important conversation between two people, radios will tell a story and so will any other object that has the ability to project audio. I thought that, like most games, I could skip the pauses between sentences by pressing X over the audio device, but all that did was turn it off completely. By doing so, I was never able to finish listening to the broadcast or power on the device again. Why wouldn’t you incorporate a subtitle skip feature for speed readers?
The in-game narration is where my biggest gripe lies, aside from their not being a shred of gameplay involved. There is simply too much dialogue and not enough to grab onto. I played the demo for nearly ten minutes and was forced to listen to nearly eight minutes of dialogue, none of which really coincided with each other. I would understand if the overwhelming amount of dialogue was compensated with a gorgeous, interactive environment but none of that exists in Everybody’s Gone to Rapture.
As someone who loves deep, story driven narratives, this game was nearly impossible for me to get into. I didn’t feel like I cared for any of the exchanges I was listening to. Unless there is a grand event leading into these conversations that could encourage me to care, I would rather not endure another eight minutes of rambling torture.