Publisher Top Hat Studios and developer Suzaku will release 2.5D cyberpunk horror game Sense: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story in 2020 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PS Vita, PC, Mac, and Linux, the companies announced. A demo is available now via Steam.
The game, which mixes cyberpunk themes with traditional Cantonese folklore, aims to “return the horror genre to its roots” with “the slow, fearful creep of dread” rather than “over-the-top action and jump scares.”
Thanks to exceeding its Kickstarter campaign goal of $10,000 by sixfold, Sense will also feature voice acting, localization in Japanese, Spanish, and Russian, and two bonus chapters that will be released as free, post-launch downloadable content.
Here is an overview of the game, via its Steam page:
Sense: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story is a 2.5D game inspired by Clock Tower and Fatal Frame. With careful attention to pacing, atmosphere and storytelling, Sense hopes to return the horror genre to its roots; celebrating the slow, fearful creep of dread instead of relying on over the top action and jump scares. The ghosts—as glitches on our reality—act as spiritual and paranormal threats, not monsters to be killed. The horror of our story comes from atmosphere and storytelling, not loud sound and artificial effects.
In 2083 Neo Hong Kong, a young woman named Mei Lin Mak is dragged into a maelstrom of supernatural horror. As she peers deeper into the century old mystery, Mei will be forced to question her perception of reality and her trust of her cybernetic eyes. Under the neon lights of a cyperpunk dystopia, the ruins of the ‘Chong Sing Apartments’ hides a bloody mystery illuminated by both the traditions of Chinese folklore and the innovations of the industrial future. If there is any hope of escaping this nightmare, Mei-Lin must explore this complex, piecing together the stories of 14 lost souls, and discover the truth of her own family curse.
- Interaction – The player will need to search and examine every nook and cranny of the world around them in order to progress. Some items may not be visible until specific chains are completed, and some items may be hidden from Mei’s cybernetic eyes at all times, as if spirited away by the ghosts stalking her. Some may require quick wit – and have urgent consequences.
- Dialogue – NPCs will be heavily populating a few areas of the full game, but there may be some wandering the halls with you. Talking to them can reveal information about the world, the mystery at hand, and even some unexpected secrets.
- Zooms – Some interactions require a closer look, zooms allow for a different view of items, areas, and puzzles. Make sure to search every inch.
- Lore – The world of Sense is huge and complex, each location will reveal details about Neo-Hong Kong and the surrounding world. From Geo-Politics to inter-character relationships, don’t be afraid to click on anything that looks interesting.
- Ghosts – The ghosts of the Chung Sing building can hurt you, but can you hurt them? Short answer is no, but you can help them pass on. Shrines, offerings, and solving mysteries will be your only weapons.
- Shinrei Spot – The 14 lost souls of the Chung Sing building are not the only spirits lurking the halls. Dozens of hidden ghost photos fill the locations of Sense. Finding them all may reveal a secret!
- Death and Failure – Like all the best games, failure and mistakes should be punished, but in a heavily narrative game how do you do that? How do you promote stakes and risk? The answer is simple, fill the world with dangerous events and deadly spirits. Just make sure to record your progress at the occasional TV, there are NO checkpoints or autosaves in the Chung Sing building.
- Replayability – Sense will be filled with secrets, only some of them will be revealed in a single play through. Some secrets wont be able to escape the spirit realm until the “Plus” appears.