The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, the horror fiction title from former People Can Fly developers The Astronauts, has been revealed through new screenshots and a lovely fact sheet sent over to us.
In the game players take on the role of Paul Prospero who is a detective with the supernatural ability to visualize scenes of lethal crimes. As he investigates the kidnapping of a young boy, the journey leads him to a mountain area, where he finds “a severely mutilated body of one of the kidnappers.”
Prospero must use both is supernatural and normal investigative abilities to solve the mysteries surrounding the events in the game as well as the purpose behind the ancient force ruling the area.
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is played via a first-person perspective and players will interact with the environment in order to discover the truth. The more clues discovered, the clearer and longer Paul’s supernatural vision becomes.
According to the developers, the game will not contain cutscenes and makes use of a "largely untapped medium for powerful storytelling possibilities."
"Every developer with a deep interest in the storytelling side of gaming uses different ways to let players live through a story: from interactive dramas like The Walking Dead to story-exploration games like Gone Home to online adventures like Journey," said the developers.
"The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is our own attempt to tell a multi-layered story while keeping the player completely immersed and constantly engaged--with the unique sense of presence only video games can offer."
Described as “weird fiction” horror, the focus of the game will be on "atmosphere, mood, and the essential humanity of our characters," for adult players.
There is no combat in the game and it can be experienced at the player's own pace - it's less about "pure terror and more about clammy unease."
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is currently in development for PC, but the team hopes to bring it to next-gen platforms. The game is in full production, is without a set release date.
Screenshots are below.