Perception, a sound-based horror game featuring blind heroine
Crowdfunding platforms keep throwing up intriguing horror projects. The latest to catch our attention, and be award Popcorn Horror’s ‘Approved’ stamp is Perception, an in-development game from team of former BioShock developers impacted by the Irrational Games closure. The project has so far been funded directly by the team, but they have announced a Kickstarter campaign to help with the games completion. The game is described as a narrative horror adventure featuring a young blind woman named Cassie who must solve mysteries and escape a deadly presence, all without sight.
While Cassie doesn’t have an arsenal of weapons, she does have her wit, her cane and her smart phone. Armed with these tools, she finds clues to unravel history as she navigates her way through the home via echolocation. But the house and its deadly Presence go to great lengths to prevent her from deciphering its secrets. Surviving this deadly game of cat and mouse with the Presence is especially perilous when your only way of seeing is by means of sound, and so you must carefully weigh the risk of making too much noise against the possibility of being discovered by the terrifying Presence. Perception takes place over many different eras. You get to see the house retreat back to its origins and witness it evolve over time. Through the decades and as it changed hands across generations, the house and its inhabitants change significantly.
In an interview with GameSpot, project lead Bill Gardner explained “You don’t have shotguns and magic powers and all that. All you can do when it’s coming for you is run and hide; hop in a closet, get under the bed or the couch,” he says. “And hope, pray that it just passes you by. The tension here is that you see through sound. So you have to very carefully weigh whether or not you should throw that vase down the hall to see what’s down there because you could attract the presence.”
Despite the departure from weapon based games, the team behind Perception is made up of industry veterans who have worked on big-name franchises such as BioShock, Dead Space, and Rock Band. Leading the group is Gardner, while also on the team is Robb Waters, who designed BioShock’s famous Big Daddy characters.
Currently, the project has raised over a third of it’s $150,000 target. Perception is set for a 2016 launch on PC, with stretch goals for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions. Other stretch goals include a “GTFO” mode with randomised mansion levels and another for virtual reality support ($350,000), including the Oculus Rift headset. Perks for supporting the project include a digital copy of the game for any pledges over $20, concept artwork, t-shirts, film credits and more.