Here's a game about being the spirit of nature after we've killed all the animals

One might conclude that a view of the future where Humanity has taken not just itself down, but every other form of life on earth with it, as "pessimistic" and "depressing," and it probably is. No worries, though, as the artful developers over at Piccolo Studio are making After Us about a surreal post-human world where Gaia, the  mother of all life herself, explores to salvage the souls of all animals and return life to Earth.

Announced last year at The Game Awards, After Us now has a gameplay trailer and firm release date in just a couple months: May 23, 2023.

"Explore the corners of a surrealistic post-human world to give life on Earth a second chance in this touching story about sacrifice and hope Play as Gaia, the Spirit of Life, and navigate stunning platforming environments in an abstract world to salvage the souls of extinct animals. Revive these creatures after learning their final fate: the last whale harpooned, the final eagle caged, the last deer hunted down, and more, while you survive encounters with dangerous, oil-covered Devourers that roam the wasteland in search of remaining life," said Piccolo Studio describing their game.

"From dying forests to the heart of crumbling cities, through the dry seabed and polluted skies, each environment will offer new challenges for Gaia to face and will present her different versions of the Devourers' wake of destruction as she spreads life and beauty on her path," Piccolo Studio said. "After Us offers a somber look at a world decimated by human impact. As you guide Gaia's light through it and discover the causes behind the destruction, you will learn the fate of the Devourers as agents of extinction, but also agents of progress, love, and hope."

Piccolo Studio's previous game was Arise: A Simple Story, a heartstring tugging and time-bending story about a man's journey into the afterlife. Arise was pretty well-received, with both user reviews and critical reviews returning very positive results.

You can find After Us on Steam at the moment. No word on other storefronts. It'll be published by Private Division, and you can find more about it on Private Division's website.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.