Switch to: Deutsch
At gamescom, we got an exclusive first look at gameplay from The Chinese Room’s Still Wakes The Deep.
Still Wakes The Deep is currently in development at British studio The Chinese Room (Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture, Dear Esther, Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs). It’s December 19, 1975 and we’re on the Beira D oil platform off the coast of Scotland. In the gamescom demo, which was shown exclusively to select members of the press, we explore the narrow corridors and the spacious canteen of the oil platform as Caz McLeary who recently seperated from his wife Suze. While we chat with chef Roy, who speaks with a distinctive Scottish accent, and admire the rich interior decorated for Christmas, our chef calls us to us. After a brief time jump, we find ourselves outside the oil platform, climbing over narrow makeshift bridges and ladders that have seen better days, while the spray of the rough North Sea splashes in our faces. The whole complex is gradually falling apart. Back inside, shadows are scurrying around the area, people are screaming for help, and we’d really like to know exactly what caused the “incident”, but we don’t really know much more at this point.
One of the biggest sources of inspiration for the game was the film Annihilation (2018), but also the work of director Stanley Kubrick and the distinctive look was influenced by the 70s naturalism of Loach and Lee. With Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture, The Chinese Room impressively demonstrated how to masterfully enact a narrative involving a mysterious phenomenon in an ordinary place. An oil rig, on the other hand, is a setting that few video games have used, especially in the horror genre. Above all, the studio wants to put the horror in the foreground and not include a combat system into the game. Unlike Dear Esther or Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture, this is a horror game but not a walking simulator. Rather, the developers want to allow a lot more interactions with the environment from the first-person perspective, be it climbing, balancing or exploring every corner of the oil platform – from the helipad to the deepest interior.
Still Wakes The Deep is a title that horror fans should keep an eye on. With Dear Esther and Everybody’s Gone The Rapture, The Chinese Room have already shown how well they can capture the local flavor of Britain while telling a compelling story. From the few minutes we’ve spent with the crew of the Beira D oil platform we’re already impressed by the magnificent dubbing with Scottish dialects and the detailed interior of the construct. Especially the shift in tone from the warm intro sequence to the cold creepy atmosphere in the latter part was interesting to see. It’s said to be a few more months before we see any publicly available gameplay footage. Still Wakes The Deep is slated for release in early 2024 for PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass.