Platform Reviewed – PS4
Developers – The Chinese Room
Released – 11th August 2015
Verdict – Rungate
By definition Rapture is the transporting of believers to heaven at the second coming of Christ. This had already happened when I began my walk around a beautiful Shropshire village. Unfortunately my time piecing together the mystery surrounding the Rapture was anything but euphoria or ecstasy. It’s a painfully slow trudge through a stunningly well realised British countryside. Rapture’s slow to a crawl pace tarnished any emotion and wonderment I expected to feel. A shame really because with a run button it may have been a better experience.
Yes there’s a run button but it hardly changes the pace of movement. It’s like someone pulling on your shirt in a football game – it just pissed me off. The lack of a running mechanic acts as an attempt to pull wool over your eyes. I wasn’t fooled. This is a very, very short game and my theory that The Chinese Room slowed movement down to extend play time is relevant. I don’t care how long a game lasts for. Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture could have ran for an hour and I would probably have more praise for it than the frustration and boredom I couldn’t help feeling throughout.
There are positives. Rapture is one beautiful looking game. The authentic setting of English countryside is picture postcard quality. Graphically, Rapture shines most with its weather effects. Rain water shimmers realistically and the clean night skies are brimming with beauty. Jessica Curry’s amazing soundtrack does wonders to elevate the exploration and storytelling to thought provoking levels. Perhaps a little forced in telling the story by itself, her soundtrack is nevertheless a perfect companion to the exploring. Without the soundtrack I think I would have been left unmoved by the dodgy writing and questionable voice acting.
I liked how Rapture looked and how its many moments of silence gave way to sombre choral music but for me I was left disappointed. I didn’t have a problem with the ending. I knew that a game like this would leave interpretation as the crux of its narrative but I was pretty confident of the overall meaning. What I didn’t like was being held back in getting there. The Chinese Room will rue the decision to slow the movement down to an abhorrent crawl. What were they thinking? Still, I look forward to what they do next. That is if they right the wrongdoing here and perhaps lay off that self-indulgence.