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Anamorphine is a heavy adventure game about mental illness

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Developer Artifact 5 has taken on a heavy challenge with Anamorphine (opens in new tab), which the studio calls a "surreal first-person exploration game of rendered emotions." Protagonist Tyler falls into post-traumatic denial as his wife Elena sinks into depression after an accident "that robs her of her livelihood and emotional outlet." 

Elena is, or at least was, a cellist, which lies at the heart of Anamorphine's dialogue-free narrative and frequently comes up in its audio-visual motif, all hideously coiled strings and shattered bridges. Its Steam page boasts of "combat-free gameplay" which lacks any sort of action button, instead opting for environmental storytelling. 

As Anamorphine's most recent trailer explains above, in some instances the shattered pieces of Elena's cello reach out to Tyler, providing stepping stones on his journey through abstract dreamscapes and harsh depictions of his own decaying psyche. Tyler is as powerless before Elena's depression as he is his own guilt, and turns to "easy escapes" like substances as the story progresses. "Will you confront the past and try to find a way to move on, or will you let it consume you?" Artifact 5 asks.

Anamorphine was originally slated to release January 16, 2018, but to allow for "a few final weeks of polish," (opens in new tab)it has been delayed to late winter or early spring. 

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.