Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture opens with a scene which looks like something out of an art gallery. In fact when it first loaded up I had to take a few seconds before I realised I was in the actual game, such was the picturesque scene before my eyes.
Once you wander around the vast town of Yaughton, it’s hard to believe that a such a small team built this game. The beauty and level of detail is that of a big budget ‘AAA’ title, but it’s focus on story is where it really shines. It’s difficult to explain the game without spoilers, so I will mainly skip around what I found out during my adventures and instead focus on the main premise of the game.
If you think of the popular ITV soap Emmerdale and think what that would be like after an apocalypse then you’ll have the idea of what we are dealing with here. Everywhere you wander in this game is full of empty lands, but plenty of memories, with children’s toys abandoned in parks; cars and building lying empty and ashtrays still smoking. The only clues to what has happened before your arrival lies in a wandering light, which if followed allows you to look into what has transpired. It’s a chilling tale, but also tells the story of ordinary people’s lives, whether it be them trying to fit into the village or being stuck in relationship limbo.
The main aim of the game is to piece together the story. The gaming world is pretty open, so you can wander wherever you like, answering telephones for clues, while also searching for the radios, which offer more parts of the puzzle. In a way you are still lead to the conclusion of the story by the wandering light which guides you on your path, but how long it takes you to get there is entirely up to you.
Taking a look at the screens we have captured above gives you a fantastic idea of just how beautiful and vast the county of Shropshire is, but it’s not without its issues. During gameplay our title crashed twice, causing us to have to start again from the last save point. It can also be a little frustrating getting around since you cannot run, so everything is done at a rather slow pace, although this is likely to encourage you to explore each building and learn about the people of the village.
Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture really is the sort of game that you’ll enjoy playing if you appreciate fantastic art, haunting, yet engrossing, orchestral music and an interesting, yet open to interpretation story. There’s no combat, no enemies and not a lot of interaction with the environment, other than listening to the ghosts of the residents, answering telephones and turning on the radios. It’s a very arty game, so likely not for everyone.
One of my frustrations surrounding Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is that I got a little lost. I’d explored, what I thought was most of the county and ended up wandering back to where I began. I soon realised this was the wrong move, but since I had lost the wandering light, which guides towards the conclusion of the story, it was a bit hard for me to know what do to, so I headed back to the windmill where I had last saw it and finally found the light once more, at which point it wasn’t too long before I completed the game. I guess the moral of the story here is not to wander too far from the light.
After around seven hours playing and completing Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, it seems to me that this is the sort of game which is open to interpretation. What was the truth to the story? I’m not sure, but at the end I felt like I had wandered into a modern art gallery, couldn’t find the exit for hours and then when I finally did I was left none the wiser. Everyone interprets art in different ways and some people just don’t get it. I’m probably in the latter category at this time, but that’s fine because at least I’m still thinking about it.
Words by Joe Anderson
Twitter: @_wotta | PSN/XBLA: wotta
(Version Tested: PS4)
+ Looks beautiful
+ Great voice acting
+ Interesting story
- Can feel a little slow paced at times