Umurangi Generation is a stylish first-person photography game that lets you run around a futuristic city, snapping and editing pictures as you go. You're given a set of photo objectives to complete, but you also have the freedom to take a few—or a lot—of your own shots. It's the perfect game for screenshot lovers who want to fill a folder with snaps of neon streets, grungy graffiti, and cool halfpipes, but there's a gloomier side to this sci-fi city.
Each level lets you explore a different location in the city, revealing the story of a "shitty future." Completing photo bounties cleverly guides your eye to what is really happening in the world. Bounties range from taking shots of boomboxes and spray cans, to candlelit memorials and armed military guards. In one level, the lo-fi soundscape masks the sound of warfare as rapid rounds of gunfire and roar of fighter planes melt into the music.
Taking pretty photos in games is fun, but Umurangi Generation gives the photographs you take a purpose, like you're recording an event in history. It feels like you're photographing proof of what went down in this troubled world.
It's the destruction, or rebirth, of a scarred world but still holds its own kind of beauty. While it might seem like Umurangi Generation's future is hopeless, its vibrant environments and characters bring life back to a city in crisis, which you can go out and capture on your increasingly flashy camera.
Every level gives you a shiny new piece of camera kit to play with, so you'll begin with a basic lens but eventually get access to wide-angle, fisheye, and telephoto lenses letting you play with space and perspective. Every time you take a shot, you'll also get the option to mess with the colour grading of your photographs, making for some really wild snaps.
The levels are pretty static but are filled with exploration potential. One bounty tasked me with taking a picture of some graffiti, so I needed to navigate my way through the levels of the city to get the perfect shot, jumping from ledges and dropping from balconies as I went. The bounties push you to look and explore the city in new ways rather than just wandering through—it's like a photographer's playground.
Taking pretty photos in games is fun, but Umurangi Generation gives the photographs you take purpose. It's like you're recording an event in history, a record of what went down in this troubled world, and challenges you to think of this stylish environment in a more meaningful way. It would seem like Umurangi Generation's future one is hopeless, but its vibrant environments and people bring life back to a city in crisis.
If Umurangi Generation sounds like your kind of game, there's a free demo available to download over on the game's Steam page.