The unfathomable vastness of space is as intriguing as it is horrifying. The infinite amount of possibilities promised by billions upon billions of stars is both dreadfully meaningless and strangely reassuring to ponder.
Which is probably why so many horror-themed movies, #VideoGames and other pop-culture constellations seem to take place in the great mystery that is space. The Alien franchise, Dead Space and Dune all draw on the strange compelling energy of interstellar creepiness.
And that's just a couple of examples out of literally thousands. Let us introduce you to Routine, the next video game fueled by this eerie array of hopeless emotions. Here, there's no turning back—if you get yourself killed, you stay that way. Permanently.
Fear Of the Unknown
In Routine, you're exploring an abandoned Moon base. Alone in the silence of space, you're left to figure out what happened to everyone stationed there. If you played Alien Isolation you know this is terrifying—because the fear of the unknown is the greatest fear of all, and not even Stephen Hawking and his theory of everything can explain what's going on at that base.
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Though your adversary in this game isn't a Xenomorph born by bursting through some guy's rib cage in a Ridley Scott movie. No, it's an even more cold-blooded and emotionless killer. A silently stalking robot so void of emotion it makes Terminator's T-800 or Blade Runner's Roy Batty seem totally chill.
Routine was developed by the indie company Lunar Software, an independent team comprised of only three people. The game is a non-linear experience that lets you explore any part of the fully open Moon base anytime you want. Just be careful what you bump into during you explorations.
To ensure as much immersion (and horror) as possible, Routine has cut off all HUD (head-up-display) features. That means no health bar, no radar, no ammo count, no cross hair or point system. Just you, the abandoned interior of the base and whatever lurks in the dark corners.
That, along with the fact that the game features permanent death, no saves or checkpoints of any kind allowed, should make for unreasonably intense gameplay. If the robot murders you, you'll have to start Routine from scratch.
Yet Another Bone-chilling First Person Game
So if you're a fan of a good scare, AI gone berserk, dark sci-fi or just feel like being immensely alone in the dark, be sure to pick up Routine on Steam. It's set to release sometime during March, 2017.
What do you think about the revival of the first person horror genre?