Insomniac Games showed off a brand new IP at the Oculus Virtual Reality (VR) E3 conference, held June 11th, 2015 (which is the Thursday before E3 actually begins). Insomniac Games, creators of the Ratchet & Clank and Resistance series, gave us a taste of their Oculus exclusive title, Edge of Nowhere.
Ted Price, chief executive of Insomniac, stressed the Edge of Nowhere was built specifically for VR during the announcement. It is curious to note that the game does show the protagonist from a third-person perspective. Since VR, to me, is the attempt at emulating real life, and this is a game designed for a VR platform, it is interesting that Insomniac decided to go with a third-person camera.
Edge of Nowhere is an action/adventure game with parkour elements, similar to those seen in titles such as Tomb Raider or Uncharted. No other gameplay mechanics were shown in the teaser.
Now, let us dissect what we can from the images and video given on Edge of Nowhere. When we look into the shattered goggles of our unnamed protagonist, we can pick out a few details. The one I’m most interested in this creature we see looming over some poor, unfortunate human. The gargantuan arms and Cthulhu inspired head with tentacles whipping about instantly point me to famed horror author, H.P. Lovecraft. Let us dig deeper in this…madness.
Edge of Nowhere is a VR third-person action-adventure from acclaimed independent developer Insomniac Games. Travel to the far reaches of the Antarctic mountains in search of a missing expedition team. What appears to be a rescue mission takes a turn as you venture into the deep unknown, and discover a surreal world that will test your wits and sanity. Scale towering mountains and use makeshift weapons to survive and avoid descending into madness. In Edge of Nowhere, nothing is what it seems and the unexpected lurks from all sides.
A few key phrases pop out at me. Note that the games setting takes place in the Antarctic mountains. The “surreal world”, which we know from the teaser, is infested with a multitude of unnatural creatures. The theme of “wits and sanity” seem like they’re going to play a rather large role in Edge of Nowhere plot. Finally, the very intentional use of the word “madness.” We know that this word isn’t just a crazy-random-happenstance since the video also emphasizes the very same word.
For those that are unaware, this is the exact setting of Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness. Regardless of if the game features direct ties to the characters in Lovecraft’s story, it is obvious that Insomniac is adapting one of the greatest (arguably) horror stories into a VR experience.
As a Lovecraft fan I cannot help but be excited and cautiously optimistic. The magic behind Lovecraft’s horror is the readers fear of the unknown. Though some monsters have descriptions, it is left to reader to make up the terrors in their mind. This gives each person a more personalized nightmare. It’ll be interesting to see how Insomniac takes a medium in which players are given concrete details and melds the slimy, lurking Lovecraft charm. Don’t get me wrong, I know good horror games can be made. I’m not questioning that at all. What I’ll be anxious for is, if they’re wanting to capture that mystifying Lovecraft atmosphere, that they’re able to do it right.
Edge of Nowhere is currently slated for a 2016 release.