I'm a sucker for cinematic puzzle games set in lush worlds enshrouded in mystery: I loved The Talos Principle (opens in new tab), and I quite enjoyed The Witness (opens in new tab) too, even though I wasn't smart enough to get through much more than half of it. And so the new thing from Lunarch Studios and Dead by Daylight creator Behaviour Interactive looks like it might be right up my alley too.
Currently known as Project S (opens in new tab), which I suspect will not be a permanent title, the game is set in an open world filled with quests, secrets, and "a huge variety of puzzle types organically embedded throughout the landscape." It can be played solo or multiplayer—specifics on multiplayer modes haven't been shared yet—with new areas, quests, and abilities unlocking as your character progresses.
Naturally, there's an overarching story to discover, too: "As a spark of wisdom gifted physical form, learn more about the being who gave you life, the origins and fate of this strange world of puzzles, and the role you have to play within it," The Steam page says.
It's not a lot to go on, but the basic promise of low-pressure wandering in a quiet fantasy game world is enough to at least grab my interest at this point. The puzzles are almost secondary: It's undeniably satisfying solving a tough riddle but I'm not really a big fan of straining my brain to excess (insert your favorite "game journalist" joke here)—it's exploring and discovering the mysteries of the game world that keep me coming back. If Project S can do a good job with that, I'm in.
Project S is currently slated to come out sometime in 2023, but you can sign up to take part in an upcoming (and, for the record, undated) playtest at bhvr.com (opens in new tab). The page also includes a link to signup for playtesting on Behaviour's own new game, a "building-and-raiding" FPS called Meet Your Maker (opens in new tab), that's set to begin later in August.