Beautiful Desolation is an isometric post-apocalyptic adventure being developed by The Brotherhood, the South African studio behind the 2015 sci-fi horror adventure Stasis. It was first revealed last fall with a brief teaser and a couple of screens, and more recently it's gone to Kickstarter, where the developers are seeking $120,000 to support its creation.
The Kickstarter has actually been underway since mid-January and is making pretty good progress so far, having amassed more than $92,000 in pledges with 11 days to go. It also offers up some new details about the game, including a few minutes of gameplay footage taken from different parts of the game world, some new screens, and a breakdown of what it's actually all about.
"1980 saw the Penrose appear without warning or fanfare. One day the sky was empty, and the next it was filled by an impossibly shaped monolith. Governments laid claim to this magnificent structure and assembled an investigation team to learn about its origin and purpose," the Kickstarter pitch explains. "Penrose technology was reverse-engineered, accelerating our understanding of physics, materials and computing by centuries. Mankind hurtled forward on an alternative historical trajectory. The world rejoiced..."
And then, of course, the cryptic twist: "Discovered at the very heart of the Penrose, a terminal revealed an unencrypted line of text: 'I WILL FIX THIS. MARK LESLIE.'"
Mark Leslie is one of the main characters in the game, a scientist who by all rights should not have been aboard (or even in the same solar system) as the Penrose prior to its arrival. As to what he will fix, the short answer would appear to be history: Humanity, having been handed the keys to paradise, does what it usually does and makes a mess of it all.
Beautiful Desolation tales place in a post-apocalyptic Africa that promises to open up "a menagerie of bizarre creatures and vibrant characters, alongside a new landscape inspired by Sub-Saharan flora and fauna." To create those environments, the studio is making use of scale models and photogrammetry, the technology behind The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, "to capture the beauty of Africa."
I really enjoyed Stasis, so I hope Beautiful Desolation comes together. If you're not familiar with the game, The Brotherhood released a free prequel chapter, Cayne, in January, which you can take for a spin here. The Beautiful Desolation Kickstarter runs until February 18. Find out more at desolationgame.com.