If you can't imagine the people behind the hyper-violent Painkiller and Bulletstorm are capable of making peaceful, cerebral adventures, several former People Can Fly veterans aim to prove you wrong later this year with the release of The Vanishing of Ethan Carter.
Violence is still at the heart of this game, but this time you're out to prevent more from occurring. Players control a detective with a "supernatural ability to visualize scenes of lethal crimes", who finds himself in a beautiful mountain area in pursuit of a kidnapped boy. After coming across the mutilated remains of one of the kidnappers, you must use "both your paranormal skill and modern detective tools... to discover the mystery behind the trail of corpses in the valley, the roots of an ancient force ruling the area, and the fate of the kidnapped boy."
The game's first trailer highlights the jaw-dropping artwork that will be presented in real-time 3D using the latest Unreal 3 engine, and teases a sample of the ominously serene atmosphere we can expect from a game "inspired by the weird fiction stories and other tales of macabre of the early 20th century".
Now calling themselves The Astronauts, the game's indie Polish developers confirm that there will be investigative gameplay involved ("after all, you do play as a detective"), but their main priority is creating an experience based on "immersion, exploration and discovery" rather than mind-bending challenges. The first-person, free-roaming game will be controlled by either a keyboard/mouse combo or gamepad, but in a radical departure from the group's previous games, designer Adrian Chmielarz claims that there is no combat or reflex-based action planned.
There is no firm release date scheduled for The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, but the game is currently on track for downloadable release on PC later this year. For more information in the meantime, be sure to drop by the official website.