To Leave is about a magic door and a boy's battle with himself

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To Leave isn't shy about its themes. As Ecuadorian developer Freaky Creation (opens in new tab) puts it, it explores "manic-depressive illness, social alienation, and the burning desire to bring all inner and outer pain to an end." Its protagonist, Harm, is a young boy with bipolar disorder (the more modern term for manic-depression) who hopes to use his magic door to solve the world's problems and his own. 

"In To Leave, players will experience what it feels like being Harm at this crucial moment of his life," creative director Estefanos Palacios said in a blog post (opens in new tab), "a deeply conflicted, half-lucid, half-insane teenager with muddled thoughts but with one very clear intention in his heart: peace for himself, and peace for his world." 

One would hope that To Leave in some way seeks to de-stigmatize mental illness, and "half-lucid, half-insane" doesn't quite project that feeling, but the trailer above actually makes it look like a sensitive project, with wonderfully bizarre art and somber music.

As far as how it plays, To Leave looks like a 2D platformer with more floating than jumping, but Palacios says it "makes use of several points of view and game genres" to tell its story. Harm's 'drive' meter also sounds like an interesting way to express emotion in a game.

To Leave is out on PS4 today, but the PC version is due at a later, currently undisclosed date. If you're interested in discovering more games that deal with mental illness, have a look at the inside story of Hellblade's portrayal of psychosis.  (opens in new tab)

Thanks, GameInformer (opens in new tab).  

Austin Wood
Staff writer, GamesRadar

Austin freelanced for PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and has been a full-time writer at PC Gamer's sister publication GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover-up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news, the occasional feature, and as much Genshin Impact as he can get away with.