With the recent popularity of narrative games like Gone Home, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter and Everyone’s Gone to the Rapture, the niche genre is primed for growth. Mastermind Games sets out to take things to a new level with their first game Affliction.
Affliction is an open world, action-based narrative game that puts you in a small, 1950’s town chock-full of mid-century nostalgia. Nestled at the bottom of a meteor crater (yep, you read that right) you will explore a detailed environment right out of the Twilight Zone. But that’s not all; Mastermind Games has a few tricks up its sleeves to make the adventure unique.
“Narrative games, as they are, are amazing. I’m a huge fan. But the popular complaint is that they aren’t interactive enough. Similarly, action-heavy games always hear complaints about story depth. With Affliction I’d like to marry the two genres; tell a really great story with the excitement of action.” Said Mike Jarrell, sole developer at Mastermind Games.
Affliction starts with you being called upon by a prominent patron of Warden Cliffs. He has tasked you with uncovering the mystery of a deadly disease plaguing the fictional town. Like other narrative games you have to work to uncover the story, through environmental queues, found artifacts and uncovered memories. However, the order in which you reveal the story doesn’t matter, because you can uncover as little or as much of it as you like. The conclusion of the story is determined by how much of it you uncover and at any given point you can submit your take on the situation to your overseer. Whether he accepts the answer, that all depends on what you have learned while playing.
To give the narrative a little action, while you are busy combing through detailed environments, lurking in the shadows are 10-foot shadow creatures called Reapers. These demonic creatures hunt you from the very beginning. These are no zombies. Add to this the eerie, faceless citizens who are frozen in time acting out various scenes of happiness, grief and woe and you have yourself a setting that will make you think twice about skipping carelessly through abandoned streets. Should a player meet their doom, their soul will leap into a random nearby citizen to take over that body and continue the mission at hand. The catch is that this body may be of a man or woman, young or old. By taking on their perspective, you also take on their physical strengths and weaknesses.
It’s the combination of these action and narrative elements that Mastermind Games thinks will set Affliction apart and open up the narrative genre to the masses.
Affliction is still in development but you can get a sneak peak by watching the announcement trailer and catch regular updates on Twitter by following @Affliction_Game or at the official website www.affliction-game.com
Look for Affliction on PC, Mac and Xbox One in early 2016.