Monday, July 16, 2012

Antichamber - what is this I don't even

Think all the way back into early high school, all the way back into your Geometry class. Remember Euclidean space and all its different laws? Basically, Euclidean space describes how the normal world functions from the second dimension and upwards. Alexander Bruce's upcoming Antichamber takes everything you ever knew (or thought you knew) about how space works, twists it, and throws it back in your face.

A puzzle game very similar in concept to Valve's Portal, Antichamber focuses less on objective, but more on player experience and exploration. By constantly throwing new mechanics at you, Antichamber thrives on providing a fresh experience at literally every turn. Every obstacle you face has multiple methods of completion, though some may be more satisfying than others, and yet others may leave you wondering whether you really completed it or not. In fact, Antichamber plays more like a contiguous set of minigames, rather than one wholly solid chunk of work.

Antichamber thrives on its on level, since I can't really compare its gameplay to any existing video game. The overall look of the game is as polished as it wants to be, with a aesthetic not unlike a modern art museum. Level design is also very hard to describe, since every single level throws twists and turns at the player. The moment a player steps into a doorway, turning around and returning through the same doorway will not always take you back to where you were before. For example, upon entering a circular hallway, completing a full circle won't take you back to the entrance. Instead a black placard pops up asking the player if he has ever felt like he was going in circles. Continuing along the original direction will finally yield an exit, another black placard applauding the player's perseverance. In another instance, one level places the player in a room with cubes regularly scattered throughout. Each cube is clear-faced and the contents clearly visible, but upon viewing the cube from a different angle, the content is changed. Some cubes have faces that transform into long hallways upon entry, while still others have shifting fractal art pieces. Further in the game the player has access to a device that alters levels where applicable, and which gives the player yet another mechanic to play around with.

A sum total of all these things create a unique gaming experience that belong in a class all to itself. Antichamber is chock-full of neat tricks and experiences, all of which push the player forwards, as there usually isn't a way back. The black placards that pop up on the walls every so often poke and prod at the player with witty aphorisms, some of them positive, some of them negative. Yet all of them motivate the player to move forward, and face another challenge. With each twist and whorl of each elegantly designed level, Antichamber pulls the game further and further from being objective, and pushes it more into the realm of exploration and self-discovery, each decision causing the player to question his own motives.

Coming to PC/Mac sometime in 2012!

Fresh Rating: I don't even know how to get out, but I'm happy where I am.

Official Website

No comments:

Post a Comment