Fans of the spooky interactive experiences indie developers Playdead will be on cloud nine after their newest game was teased earlier today. Their official Twitter account posted this image, thankful for the praise Inside (2016) garnered and announcing the upcoming project:
The image shows a silhouette of a person dragging what looks like the remains of a parachute behind them, looking up over a sandy ridge at a light coursing through the murky blue atmosphere. But, when considering the luck of Playdead’s previous protagonists, this ‘next adventure’ will probably be ill-fated.
According to the tweet, this newest mysterious brainchild of the Playdead team has been in development for seven months now. The teaser doesn’t reveal much regarding what the game’s subject or setting could be, but there’s two good guesses proffered right now.
It’s In Space
The diminutive figure gazes up at what could be a shooting star, and they appear to be wearing a helmet. Is this side-scrolling environment an alien planet, with harsh terrain and a poisonous atmosphere? And just how do they escape and return home? Setting their next game among the stars would provide Playdead with quite a few opportunities to flaunt their much-applauded creativity.
Limbo and Inside boast disturbing, acousmatic soundtracks that complement their sinister narratives – the sounds for latter were actually recorded bouncing off the inside of a human skull, for that extra ‘creep’ factor. An extraterrestrial exposition is the perfect excuse to compose another weird, unearthly soundscape. Puzzle-platforming can become even more creative and rewardingly complex, perhaps utilizing alien technology, robots, supernatural materials, the strange geography, or a combination of all these elements.
Finally, with free reign to fashion as wild an alien world as possible, the Playdead team could present their astronaut character with a variety of grisly and unexpected demises – a trademark of both Limbo and Inside.
It’s Set During Wartime
On the other hand, this image could depict one of the far-flung corners of our own planet, but a few decades past. The streak of light in the sky could be a burning jet-fighter plummeting to earth, its pilot narrowly escaping death by ejecting and pulling their ‘chute. Shrouded in shadow, the protagonist is lucky to be alive – but unlucky enough to crash-land in enemy territory.
The stealth aspects of Inside were unsettlingly effective despite giving no prior knowledge or instruction to the player. Sneaking behind enemy lines using these same mechanics would faithfully reproduce the terrifying experiences real soldiers endured on either side of the conflict. Moreover, the horrors of war would add a painful authenticity to the ‘trial and death’ play style of Limbo, if adopted.
Lastly, the muted, dark aesthetic and 2.5D perspective of both their previous works would suit the grim representations of post-War literature and art.
This reveal of a new project by Playdead is uncharacteristically prompt, considering the six-year difference between Limbo and Inside. Still, their Twitter account is clearly the place to keep track of updates on the new game. With any luck and fans’ tongues now wagging, we’ll glean the game’s title and perhaps a tentative release date soon.
Have you played Inside and Limbo? Excited for the next Playdead game?