Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture: A very British end

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As gamers, we’re inundated with a constant stream of games about death, destruction, doom (pardon the pun) and gloom. Video games don’t have to be like that, as Brighton-based developer The Chinese Room shows with Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. The developers already have an impressive repertoire of high-brow and compelling narrative-driven games under their belts, and this PlayStation 4 exclusive is yet another.

Set in the mid 80s in an idyllic corner of England, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is a unique spin on the post-apocalyptic survival story: there’s no violence, no chaos. Everyone just upped and disappeared, and you are left to figure out what’s happening. Traces of the memories of the missing people can be seen as trails of light, leading you to unravel the story in a completely open world where you can skip to any part of the game world, including the end sections.

An empty village, nestled in an idyllic valley in the English countryside. Something has gone terribly wrong. This story begins with the end of the world…

Featuring a beautiful, detailed open-world and a haunting soundtrack, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is non-linear storytelling at its best.

What other sites think

We’ve said before that Press to Jump Magazine doesn’t do game reviews. Even so, they’re still valuable to both developers and potential customers. Instead of a review of Everybody’s gone to the Rapture, have a look at what a few other sites think after playing the game. The Chinese Room should rightfully be pleased with what they’ve accomplished!

My take

I’ve got a friend who has been working on the game, so I’m well aware of the labour of love that it has been to the team at The Chinese Rooms. I’m a bit disappointed that this has turned out to be a PlayStation 4 exclusive, but it’s a game completely funded by Sony Santa Monica. I find it amazing that video games have been a medium for well over 30 years, yet we’re only just getting to the point where there’s any real exploration of narrative storytelling as a driving factor in a game’s design.

Over the years, developers have used tropes like audio recordings, diaries or mislaid secret files to fill the gaps in the story where the main action fails to expand it. It takes studios like The Chinese Room to be brave and try something different, as they’ve successfully shown with their previous titles, Dear Esther and Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs.

Your take

What’s your favourite narrative-driven game? Let us know in the comments!

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is out 11 August 2015, exclusively on PlayStation 4.

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About Dan Morse

From the Atari 2600 right through to bleeding fast PCs, Dan's played on them all. One thing that's never changed is an unwavering passion for video games. Twitter: @happydan | Steam: happydan | GOG: happydan