Imagine if you will: A normal man going through his normal workday, at his normal job, at his normal desk. He hears that a friend of his was selected to go on a getaway vacation. A vacation only some can win.
Only his friend never applied. Hmmm…. The main character Trevor gets a mysterious message that his friend is dead, not vacationing, and now he is next. What else must he do but run!
What the citizens of Arcadia don’t suspect is that they are playing a role in American Arcadia, a television show broadcast live 24/7, that has been on the air for decades. Under the eyes of countless anonymous observers, their carefree lives are tied to the show’s popularity ratings. As a favorite of the audience, one has nothing to fear, but a drop in popularity comes at the highest cost: death.(rawfury.com)
Like playing a movie
I had the opportunity and pleasure to preview American Arcadia. This is a game by Out of the Blue Games and Raw Fury, developers, and publishers, respectively. They released popular indie games such as Call of the Sea, West of Dead, and Sable. They do very well with narrative-driven games and American Arcadia has a top-notch tense storyline that slowly develops throughout the preview.
I immediately experienced Trevor’s boring typical walk to his desk as he meets coworkers and hears about his friend’s vacation win. Then chaos follows with intense running sequences, puzzle-solving, and stealth mechanics while cops are on his tail. What fascinated me was the colorful 70’s retro-futuristic art style and amazing voice talent.
Popular voice actors Yuri Lowenthal, (Spider-man, Final Fantasy VII Remake, Psychonauts 2, Smash Bros), Krizia Bajos (Cyberpunk 2077, League of Legends), and Cissy Jones (Firewatch, Life is Stranger, Call of the Sea) lend their voices for an amazing immersive story-driven game.
Another interesting twist was the switch between Trevor’s 2-D side-scrolling stealth/puzzle mechanics to playing the secretive female character “Kovacs” in a first-person view to hack, observe and prevent the authorities from catching Trevor.
The beautiful art style, excellent story, outstanding level designs, and a top-tier voice cast has me excited to try the full version of American Arcadia when it’s out (release date TBA). Keep checking back for a review of the game soon!
This preview was written based on a demo of American Arcadia for PC provided by Out of the Blue Game and Raw Fury.