U55 – End of the Line by Effective Evolutions
It’s been a few weeks, my dears. I’m sorry to have left you in the dark. But you see, I have been on an adventure. I have found myself in the dark, haunted tunnels of the Berlin underground. I’m all alone, with nobody but my own mid to keep me company as I continue to fight for my life, evading the flesh-hungry efforts of the beasts that prowl around me. The old ones call to me, but their words are only screams in my ears. I found a working power outlet to charge my laptop, and I must be underneath a still-functioning Starbucks or something, because I found myself catching an intermittent wifi signal. This article may be the last you hear from me before I, too, disappear into the night.
One of the best kinds of horror games are those that capitalize on a feeling of isolation. It’s one thing to avoid or fight something horrible, but quite another to be trapped with such a thing. U55 is set in the subway systems of modern-day Berlin, after the world has been set upon by a Lovecraftian cosmic horror. You play a survivor searching for their girlfriend in the dark tunnels, armed only with your quickly-dwindling smartphone and whatever blunt objects you come across. You are not alone, as everyone else in the tunnels has been driven to the same unstable point as you by the invasive sensory assault of the old gods. It’s a first-person adventure in a similar sense as Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Let’s hope this one will have just as many hilarious let’s play videos as a result.
U55 capitalizes on sensory input and atmosphere in order to create a true sense of horror. The game’s audio consists heavily of binaural beats, a sound device wherein specific sounds and frequencies of sound stimulate specific stimuli in the brain. This idea is actually pretty ingenious when you think about it. So often in games, we trust what we hear without a second thought. The music intensified? Time for a big fight. Gunshots? Where’s that enemy at. It’s instinctive for a lot of players, just as much as the push of the buttons themselves. Having to shut that off completely changes the way you think while playing, and it certainly seems that the team over at Effective Evolutions understands how to turn a cool idea into an essential part of the game. The source of this is the call of a great cosmic evil, a beast from realms beyond. Those familiar with the mythos of Cthulhu or any other Lovecraft works will be very familiar with what the game has in store. As these nameless forces sway the laws of nature to their will, no human is safe from something so vast. The game also takes inspiration from Silent Hill, Dead Space, and Amnesia: The Dark Descent.
Effective Evolutions needs a total of $115,000 to make this auditory apex of a game happen. Perks include full access to a special developer forum, digital and physical art books and soundtracks, a special diary written by a character from the game, a call with the game’s creator, and more. The game’s stretch goals include Oculus Rift support, a companion app for iOS and Android, and a port to Mac and Linux. (the game is currently only in development for PC) You can find the Kickstarter page here, and also check out the official website, Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube. Don’t pass this survivor by in the dark.