I post a lot of teasers, trailers, and gameplay videos, as you might imagine, and it's extremely rare that I feel compelled to warn people that they might not want to watch one of them while at work, or with children present. Agony is definitely one of those games. It's a first-person horror game about escaping from the depths of Hell, and what we've been exposed to thus far really is quite hellish.
It was, and remains, slated for release sometime in the second quarter of next year, which is coming up rather quickly. Even so, developer Madmind Studio has launched a Kickstarter to support an expansion of the game beyond its initial design. "We do not want to disappoint the great expectations of what is to our production in recent weeks emerged. That is why we ask you for support. We are determined to make this game even bigger and better than originally planned," the studio said. (Madmind is based in Poland, so the english is a bit hinky in spots.)
The Kickstarter doesn't reveal much in the way of new information about the game, but it does offer some interesting insights into how Madmind is approaching its development. Survival-horror has become "rusty" in recent years, the studio said, because it's veering too far into action game territory. "We are still visiting psychiatric hospitals and abandoned houses, shooting zombies and running from cultists. Some productions have become clones of others, bringing nothing new to the genre," it wrote. "There are few exceptions of course, but generally this genre stops its own evolution."
Agony aims to take a more psychological approach, and will make heavy use of audio and non-conventional concepts of Hell "to induce anxiety, fear, and shivers." The images on the Kickstarter and Steam pages make it pretty clear what Madmind is aiming for: The mix of sexualized grotesqueries and unearthly, horrific environments can be powerfully uncomfortable. Make it move and scream and slither on you while you're desperately trying to get away, and yes, I can see where that'd really be something you wouldn't want to miss.
The Agony Kickstarter is live now and runs until December 10, with a goal of $66,666.