Your air is running out. It’s hard to move in this incredibly bulky suit. You’ll never see the surface. Narcosis is setting in.
Narcosis is being developed by Honor Code, a small indie team who are based in both France and California. This development team has worked on some big name titles, including; Assassin’s Creed, Metal Gear Solid and Silent Hill. Narcosis, however, will be their first title as an independent team under the Honor Code name.
Originally developed for Steam on PC and Xbox One, the developers later decided to implement optimization for VR as well. The game will be available for both Rift and Vive upon launch. Although, they did state that they want to bring the game to as many platforms as possible. So we might see a PS VR release in the future as well.
Way Down We Go
In Narcosis you’re stranded – not on an island, but on the cold, black depths of the ocean floor. You’re an industrial diver stuck in this “walking coffin” as the developers call it, after some sort of catastrophe happened and you’re the only one left alive at the bottom of the sea. With your air supply running out and no immediate way to escape to the surface. And let me tell you, I’d rather take on zombies and aliens than this.
Your mind has been made fragile by the recent catastrophe and the stress this last excursion is putting on your mind and body might send you over the edge into stupor – and death. Because just like in real life – the more anxious you become, the harder you breathe and this means more oxygen intake at a time when you need to preserve it as much as possible. Moreover, with only a few tools at your disposal and little to no light, you’ll have to work quickly to escape – before the very thing that could be your salvation becomes your tomb.
A Survival Horror With A Sophisticated Story
The game was inspired by BioShock back when it first came out and the team started working on ideas around a game that is set in an environment seldom used in horror games – the deep sea. Which is a shame really, because it’s a big “Nope” for a lot of people (me included). Games like Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Dear Esther were also major influences during the development of the game. But the developers are adamant that it’s not a horror game in the traditional sense of the word. Because there are no supernatural or otherwise monstrous elements to this game that are a common feature of the horror genre.
In Narcosis there is no good or evil. No test of morality. There’s simply those who survive and those who do not. The only other beings you’ll encounter this deep under the surface are sea creatures trying their best to survive, just like you. The developers also said that they’re focusing on a more unconventional narrative because there’s a real need for more mature, sophisticated storytelling.
Narcosis is Set to Release in a Couple of Weeks
You might think that simply optimizing the game for VR instead of creating it from the ground up might lead to some problems and bugs when trying to play the game in virtual reality. But Narcosis was nominated for Best VR Game at Playcrafting’s ‘16 Bit Awards in December last year. And even though we can’t reveal too much right now, those who have played it say that the gameplay is quite immersive – so much so that sometimes the terror of being trapped becomes too real. It is a seated experience with either a gamepad or keyboard input. No news on whether they’ll implement motion controllers and/or different locomotion in the future.
Also, this game is, arguably, one of the more highly anticipated indie games of 2017. It’s seen numerous delays up until now, but the development team is finally in the home stretch. And let’s be honest, it can’t be easy creating a game, then optimizing it for VR, and making sure the narrative’s perfect – especially when you’re shipping your first independent game in 9 different languages.