I'm quite taken by the idea of The Church in the Darkness. Announced earlier this year, it's set in a very isolated religious colony called Freedom Town, established in the South American jungle as a refuge from the oppressive US government. You're hired by the mother of one of its members to determine if he's truly happy there, and if not, to get him out—something the other colonists aren't too keen on.
What makes it interesting is that Freedom Town might not necessarily be Jonestown, where roughly 900 members of a religious cult committed mass suicide in 1978. It might be legit, its people happy and free, and its leaders, Isaac and Rebecca Walker, honestly questing for nothing more sinister than a better way of life. But maybe not, too. Probably not, is my guess.
The stealth mechanics in the gameplay trailer, narrated by writer and designer Richard Rouse, look a little rough, but he also appears to be rushing through bits and pieces of it to show off some of the game's different elements: Stealth, shooting, a little bit of conversation, and little surprises like the one seen near the end of the video. But whether The Church in the Darkness stumbles or succeeds will depend first and foremost on the story it tells, and maybe even more importantly, how it tells it: If it's able to effectively mix things up so that outcomes aren't predictable after two or three playthroughs.
(And if you think those voices on the PA sound familiar, you're not wrong. Rebecca and Isaac are portrayed by Ellen McLain, best known as the voice of Portal's GlaDOS, and her real-life husband, John Patrick Lowrie, the Sniper.)
The Church in the Darkness is set to come out in early 2017. Find out more at paranoidproductions.com.
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Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.