I’ve just covered the attributes of a SJW video game in a recent article and one thing readers asked me to do is present more examples. I took up that challenge, bravely dove into the murky depths of the septic tank named Polygon and emerged victorious with a sample of trash they push as “video games”. I shall now dissect it and examine how well it fares in all four categories.
Everybody’s Gone To the Rapture is a walking simulator in the vein of Dear Esther and was actually created by the same team, The Chinese Room. In EGTtR you take on the role of a disembodied pair of eyes and float through the deserted village of Yaughton. The story is that for some reason all inhabitants of Yaughton have deserted it and clues are supposed to suggest it was a sweeping apocalyptic event of some sort, but it instead just looks lazy. The Chinese Room probably couldn’t be bothered to actually add any character models into the game and went with audio logs.
These audio logs are all over the place and are sometimes represented by swirling fireballs. Once you approach the fireballs, you can rotate them and hear a snippet from the utterly mundane lives of Yaughton residents that does nothing to explain what happened. This fireball rotation is the only way to interact with the environment, it’s the sole gameplay element in EGTtR and it is so incredibly easy to perform that quick-time events look like brain surgery in comparison.
Yaughton is supposedly modeled after Shropshire, a mid-western England county, and set in the 80s. In reality, EGTtR could have been set on the dark side of the Moon in Triassic and nothing significant would have changed. In fact, that would probably make the game much cooler and interesting. Instead, the setting is the most boring place imaginable, where not only nothing happens, but nothing can conceivably happen.
No objects in the game world serve any purpose whatsoever and it is painfully apparent they are just lame props. You can’t talk with anyone, you can’t do anything except activate the audio logs and listen. If there are already magical fireballs in the game that can memorize events, why not take that concept further and introduce something actually interesting?
Audio logs cover such riveting events as two adults talking about their child upstairs and two women sharing insights into their love lives. It is simply the most boring and trivial nonsense you could ever imagine in a video game. EGTtR straps you into the passenger seat and takes you on a feel trip. It is pure masochism and not a video game by any stretch of the imagination.
All above screenshots are taken from the actual gameplay footage and contain absolutely nothing except scenery – no UI, no crosshair or mouse cursor. This isn’t a profound video game, it is simply laziness and a way to make you pay for 6-8 hours of your own mental torture. The only problem is that Polygon labels Everybody’s Gone To the Rapture as a video game, when it’s much closer to an art installation. Don’t be fooled into forking over money for this, it’s not worth it.