We’ve heard little about it since the start of the year, but now the first screenshots of The Vanishing of Ethan Carter have materialised, in a truly spooky way. (Alright: they appeared in my inbox. Shut up. I’m trying to create atmosphere.)
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter casts you as Paul Prospero, an occult detective who receives a letter from a boy named Ethan Carter and who quickly realises that Ethan is in danger. When he travels to see Ethan, Prospero discovers that the boy has vanished following a brutal murder – and it may not be the only murder that needs investigating.
It sounds like a first-person adventure game. Prospero has the ability to visualise the last moments of anyone who has been murdered, and discovering clues makes these visions both clearer and longer, so you’ll spend most of your time searching for clues and working out what’s going on. It’s a very story-focused game, and – although billed as a horror game – it’s not about jump scares, chase scenes, or edge-of-your-seat combat, but a general sense of unease, tension, and uncertain fear. Sounds good to me.
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is being developed by The Astronauts, a team of eight formed by ex-People Can Fly (Bulletstorm, Painkiller) owners and leads. No release date as yet, but it’s “a question of months, however, not years,” according to The Astronauts’ Adrian Chmielarz.
Four screenshots follow. All four are in-game, incidentally; the team “don’t plan to have any cutscenes in the game, so these screenshots all derive from actual gameplay.”