The Cold War was a period of misunderstanding, distrust, tension, espionage, jingoism and propaganda. This hypertensive atmosphere between the Western and Eastern blocs had variable effects on countries all over the world and came to an end in 1991 after 45 years. It was also the time a major space race commenced between the USSR and the US. The Soviets launched the first artificial satellite, beating the US to put the first human in space to conduct a space walk in 1961.
Back In The USSR
Outreach is a video game narrated from a Soviet perspective that takes place in the last remaining days of the Cold War. A lone cosmonaut is sent into the exosphere to investigate the disappearance of the crew of a covert Soviet military space station.
Pixel Spill, the developer of Outreach, has released a full-motion video announcement, set in the city of Korolyov in 1996. Korolyov is the cradle of Soviet and Russian space exploration. The entire game revolves around Operation Outreach. Cosmonaut Radomir Volkov, now in his dotage, was the flight director with ground control during the supposed incident and he seems to be the final puzzle in the mystery box. The announcement trailer serves as an epilogue and a good appetizer.
Living In The '80s
Outreach is a full zero gravity indulgence — from space walking to exploring the vast sections of the station, the game allows players to travel and propel themselves using only their skills of coordination and reflexes. There are several equations involved in traveling from one point to another. If you fail to grab hold of the rails or any other protruding surface, you'll be sucked into deep, empty space.
Much like Rockstar Games' L.A. Noire, with Outreach Pixel Spill has taken an extensive amount of time to research and come up with a video game story that offers historical and authenticity through technology that's reminiscent of the time. In the game, you can definitely expect the storage spaces to creak, transmitters going offline, and almost every component failing at any given minute.
Russian spacesuits of the 1980s, spacecraft designs, archival blueprints and real photographs were some of the hundreds of references used in the pre-production process. The space station is based on the Mir space station, and Radomir’s suit takes inspiration from the Sokol KV-2 suit.
Here is a fly-through of the environment used in the Outreach announcement trailer. The craft is based on the Soyuz-T spacecraft, which flew from 1979 –1986.
Ground Control To Major Tom
No gameplay video has been released yet, but I've heard reports of early gameplay footage involving a certain female cosmonaut called Nika performing extravehicular activity (EVA) to fix the communications array.
One look at Pixel Spill's Facebook page and you can see how stoked the company is about Russian space heroes and scientists. From Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, to Alexey Leonov, the first human to perform EVA, Pixel Spill wants to place players in the fragile position of a cosmonaut at a time when space travel was more important for the pride of the country than for scientific endeavor.
Outreach is a video game that will look to the past, walk you through the political and media environment during Cold War, evoke numerous conspiracy theories and remind you of the audacious, inspiring space race saga. You’ll be searching through the station for clues and calling down to ground control about what you’ve found, uncovering secrets and making decisions.
Outreach is expected to launch in 2017 on PC and Mac. Now all that matters is doing all this correctly.