A new gameplay demo for the upcoming video game titled The Vanishing of Ethan Carter has been released online.
The game is a mystery thriller, in which you play as a detective investigating the disappearance of a boy named Ethan Carter. It exists in the realms of “weird fiction,” meaning it draws a lot of inspiration from the great H.P. Lovecraft.
You can read more about the game below and watch both a trailer and the new gameplay demo complete with commentary below.
You play the game as Paul Prospero, an occult-minded detective who receives a disturbing letter from Ethan Carter. Realizing the boy is in grave danger, Paul arrives at Ethan’s home of Red Creek Valley, where things turn out to be even worse than he imagined. Ethan has vanished in the wake of a brutal murder, which Paul quickly discerns might not be the only local murder worth looking into.
Inspired by the weird fiction (and other tales of the macabre) from the early twentieth century, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter aims to significantly evolve immersive storytelling in games. While it features a private detective and quite a few mental challenges, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is not an especially puzzle-ridden game. Our focus is on atmosphere, mood, and the essential humanity of our characters.
Still, the discoveries won’t happen on their own, or without your help. Using both Paul’s supernatural skill of being able to communicate with the dead, and your own powers of observation, you will discover the mystery behind a trail of corpses, the roots of a dark ancient force lurking in Red Creek Valley, and the fate of a missing boy.
Explore and interact with the beautiful yet ominous world of Red Creek Valley, which was created with the use of revolutionary photogrammetry technology that allows for nearly photorealistic environments.
Experience, in non-linear fashion, a story that combines the pleasures of pulp, private eye, and horror fiction, all of it inspired by writers such as Raymond Chandler, Algernon Blackwood, Stefan Grabinski, and H. P. Lovecraft.
Communicate with the dead and see how they died in order to gather clues that help you piece together the truth behind Ethan’s disappearance — and the fate of his family.
Conduct the investigation on your own terms and at your own pace. The game contains no combat of any kind, and a few scary bits in the game are less about terror and more about clammy unease.
If interested, you can also read this online comic, which sets up the story.
The game comes from indie developer The Astronauts, whose previous studio, People Can Fly, made Painkiller and Bulletstorm.
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter will first release on PC in about a month, and will then later be released on PS4.