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Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is a game about exploring. You are in an abandoned village with no sign of anyone and a weird feeling in the air. You want to know what’s going on and you only way of finding out is by walking around and looking at things as well as listening to past conversations.
The setting of the game is a small village in the UK and it absolutely stunning. As someone who grew up in a village in the UK myself the game hit very close to home and felt eerily familiar whilst still new. As I explored I kept expecting to see something I’d seen in real life and maybe even see my own house but that wasn’t the case. The setting is by far my favorite part of the game and papers over many problems I have.
As soon as you start the game a ball of light slowly approaches you and begins to move around the village of it’s own accord. It’s this ball of light that really serves as your guide in the game as it travels to certain area where you can listen to past conversations from villagers who are suspicious by their current absence. It’s in these conversations that you learn about the people of the village and what was going on in their lives before whatever happened to them.
The tagline for the game is ‘This story begins at the end of the world’ which sets up the mystery and along with the previously mentioned conversations really had me wondering what happened in this village. I won’t be spoiling anything remotely towards the end but I felt very disappointed with that I was given and really didn’t feel any closure on the story at all. There’s just zero progression from when you first start to when it ends. No ups and downs or emotional moments. Just a cool premise and pretty world to explore.
The walking speed is something that has already been a big talking point and it really is something that stands out when you play the game. Even calling it walking is a stretch and it feels more like a slow crawl and considering the huge areas that you are expected to search, it really is a big issue. The first area you encounter is filled with a lot of houses and didn’t feel too slow but later on when you encounter massive fields to travel through I got so bored waiting to get to the other side. You can hold R2 to walk faster but it’s a minimal speed change and doesn’t make up for something that did ultimately halt my enjoyment of the game.
The game is absolutely stunning which really helps giving that the game wants you to look and explore everything. If it wasn’t so beautiful I would have been put off instantly but the way the world looked is really what kept me going when the story wasn’t progressing the way I had hoped. The soundtrack also is fantastic and really creates a sombre atmosphere that goes with the tone of the game perfectly.
With such a fantastic looking and sounding world it makes it become all the more disappointing with the lack of interaction there is for the player. Listening to conversations becomes boring after a while and I really started to feel like a creeper, listening to people’s secrets. In the end the beautiful world became a rather boring one and I was left feeling like maybe everyone got invited to a party that I never got the invite for.
With the $20 price tag, short length (4-5 hours) and lack of replayability; I find it very hard to recommend this game to people. If it’s featured on PlayStation Plus in the future I think it’s worth checking out as I know this game will have it’s fans but in the end I just felt too frustrated with many things. The walking speed, lack of story progression and interactivity really took away from the fantastic setting and beautiful soundtrack.
I left unfulfilled and disappointed when the game ended and shudder to think about restarting the whole thing again. When done right these so called walking simulators can be a very incredible and moving experience, something that is unique to most of the medium. But unfortunately this one tries way too hard to be pretty when it really should be more concerned with having something going on upstairs.