Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture was first introduced to me in a secret room, upstairs in Sony’s E3 booth last year. What I saw there was a very solid concept. This was a game that wouldn’t have any (visual) violence. Developer The Chinese Room wanted to tell a story, and just happened to use video games as the medium because they believed it was the best way to immerse their audience in the story. But is this really the best way to go about it? Would a movie be a better fit? Let’s find out.
Game Experienced, Rather Than Played
Obviously, I will not go into major plot points here, as the story is best when discovered by the gamer themselves. However, I will say that if you don’t hold others in high regard when faced with a crisis situation, then you will probably not like this story very much. The entire reason the end of life on Earth is brought about is due to one character’s increasing loneliness. Even the ending can be seen in this way. Yet, The Chinese Room did an excellent job at crafting a story that can be interpreted in multiple ways depending on which way you approach it.
For example (okay, some spoilers ahead in this paragraph!), although the world becoming devoid of all but plant life can seem bleak at first glance, there is more to it than that. The story can be seen as one of transcendence. Humanity, and indeed all sentient life, appears to have fused with this entity that is at the center of the story. Some people may even be jealous by the way that this world ended, because humans have seemingly moved on to something far greater than themselves, while here in the real world humanity’s greater purpose may never be revealed to us.
One of the most unique aspects to Rapture is that the in-game characters are never actually seen. While this may be partially due to the fact that The Chinese Room is a smaller developer, I believe it is a genuinely artistic choice done for dramatic effect. When you play as what is effectively just an observer to a scene, your mind has to fill in some details such as how a person feels based solely on their voice. Thankfully, the voice acting in Rapture is immaculate. I don’t think the range of emotions experienced in this story could have been any better produced. You can tell immediately when any character is happy, sad, angry, or scared.
Everybodys Gone To The Rapture Review (PS4) - PSLS