Remember Megaton Rainfall? It's a VR game released in 2017 about flying around like Superman and using your powers to battle hostile aliens and also accidentally demolish the occasional skyscraper. Today the developers revealed their next project, and it looks to be even weirder: Tenebris Pictura is an "ultra-corporeal action adventure" about a paranormal investigator in Victorian England who becomes caught up in a battle against demonic extra-terrestrial beings who have escaped from supernatural paintings.
Invited to a strange island where the laws of physics appear to be breaking down, you'll use the Aeter Pendulum and your psychic abilities (you're also a psychic, btw) to detect "murky presences" and clues that will help explain why the world around you is in such a strange state.
"Conceal your body from danger and separate your soul to face the demon hordes," the Steam page explains, sort of. "Dodge their barrages of ectoplasm and counter-attack with your psychic energy blasts... But that won't be enough! You need to move the objects around and get your surroundings strategically prepared. You'll discover and learn how to use your strange skills and tricks to divide and conquer, stopping your enemies' progress in spite of being massively outnumbered."
That's not the most crystal-clear synopsis I've ever run across, and I can't say the gameplay trailer really clarifies things for me. It sure looks interesting, though: There’s some isometric exploration, some adventure-style conversation, some environmental puzzling-solving, and some bullet-hell action against interdimensional weirdoes—I suspect this is what the "ultra-corporeal" bit is all about. It's a strange mix, made stranger by elements like the four ghostly horses racing on twisted tendrils that reach out from a burning sky. Looks cool, yes, but what does it mean?
I can't really put my finger on why, but I get a little bit of a Clive Barker's Undying vibe from the trailer, too. Maybe it's just the broad strokes—a paranormal investigator invited to a mysterious island by a wealthy but ailing benefactor who wants him to dig into strange events that ultimately turn out to be a very big problem for all involved—and Tenebris Pictura is obviously a very different game mechanically. But any game that can invoke that sort of immediate reaction (Undying, for the record, is very good) is worth another look in my books.
Also, it looks weird and I just dig that sort of thing. Tenebris Picture is set to come out on August 31 and will be available for PC on Steam and the Epic Games Store.