Skip to main content

The Piano is a post-war survival horror murder mystery

It’s rotten luck to be accused of murdering a family member, but three of them? It’s probably something you’d like to clear up rather quickly. In The Piano, the accused, failed pianist John Barnerway finds himself wandering the streets of post-war Paris, trying to find answers and… make shadows explode? It’s a weird one, as the release date trailer above makes clear. It’s due out on May 24. 

As well as being a murder mystery, The Piano also dabbles in survival horror, which is presumably where the shadow creatures—perhaps a hint that our pal John isn’t quite all there—come in. And the ghosts, I guess, too. I’m just assuming they’re ghosts, honestly. At least they seem friendly, clapping and waving instead of menacing the living.

While the trailer and official site keep things vague, I am getting more than a whiff of Murdered: Soul Suspect, a great game (this is the hill I’ll die on) about a dead cop and his fedora solving crimes. Like The Piano it’s a supernatural murder mystery and adventure game, complete with ghosts and creatures from the other side, including the very same, robed, spotlight-eyed spectre that we briefly see hunting John above.

A strong aesthetic can carry a horror game a lot further than shiny graphics, but The Piano’s trailer doesn’t show either. It’s a bit of a muddle, visually, so fingers crossed the writing can support its intriguing premise.

Fraser is the sole inhabitant of PC Gamer's mythical Scottish office, conveniently located in his flat. He spends most of his time wrangling the news, but sometimes he sneaks off to write lots of words about strategy games.