I have mixed feeling about Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. It certainly fits the label of a narrative experience or ‘walkie talkie’ so it was on my list to play, and after reading a few reviews I figured it was soon to be at the top of my favorites list. It’s not.
The game takes place in a small English village and you appear to be the only person left. As the title suggests, everyone else has disappeared. I’m not sure if the story is designed to keep you guessing as to what’s going on, or it could just be the non-linear nature of the narrative that gives you pieces of the story as you approach where they happened, that makes you think there is something more going on. This means an event that occurred somewhere on the other side of town before an event in a location right in front of you fills in the story blanks much later in the game. Oh, and if you stop trying to guess the story and listen to what’s happening, then you know what’s going to be at the conclusion of the game anyway. Also, you know, the title of the game…
In all the story wasn’t too bad and I rather enjoyed the mixed up re-telling of events. I wasn’t on the edge of my seat to know what was going to happen next but there were certainly times that I wanted to keep finding out more. The voice acting was certainly a big help with this. It was authentic and natural and made the story better for it. So much that I absolutely fuckin’ hate Wendy. Props to the actor on that one. But I usually hate nosy, bitchy old English ladies anyway.
Complimenting the story and environment, the soundtrack is absolutely perfect. It was suited ideally to what was happening and when the score kicks in after a big moment, I can’t help but be thankful it was there. Without it, the game wouldn’t have been as captivating. Oh, and about the environment, it isn’t as pretty as some other games but it depicts the English countryside really well. There were even a few times I thought to myself that it;s the kind of place I would like to live. Well, you know, so long as there’s high-speed internet, easy access to shops and video games, my friends are forced to be there as well AND the beer really is just 50p a pint.
As interesting and comparatively short the game is, clocking in at around five hours, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t without its downfalls. Straight up my biggest issue with the game is the movement speed. By far the most frustrating thing I think I’ve come across in any of the walkie talkies I’ve played so far. It is mind-numbingly slow. There is a “make haste” button, that when you hold down for seven seconds and then continue holding it down, slightly increases your pace. This, however, is still slower than any game I’ve ever played. Not to mention that the make haste button doesn’t work indoors, so you’re stuck at the pace of a dead snail. If the game was set at a more regular pace it could probably be finished in just a few hours. Maybe that’s why it was implemented.
Another issue was the lack of instruction on how to enable some scenes. Throughout the world, you come across floating orbs of light that you interact with to start the dialogue. I spent about five minutes trying to interpret what the instructions on-screen depicted with no joy, just to go online to find out what I was actually meant to be doing. Pro-tip: Hold L2 and move the right stick left or right to find where the orb has the most amount of light swirling around it and hold it there.
The other major issue I have with the game is the auto-save. Even though the game can be completed in five hours, it didn’t captivate me to do so in one sitting. At first, when I went to quit the game it would come up with a message saying ” The last save was 20 minutes ago. Are you sure?” It turns out the game only saves after one of those floating orb scenes are completed. This meant even though I was ready to stop playing, I had to run around to trying to find one of these things just so I could stop playing. It during these times when I was playing for an extra five to fifteen minutes that I stopped caring about the story.
IS@VG UNCONVENTIONAL REVIEWS
EVERYBODY’S GONE TO THE RAPTURE
DID I SUCK AT IT: I think it’s impossible to suck at this game. Unless you skip all the story. I mean that’s all the game is…
SHOULD YOU PLAY IT: If you liked other walkie talkies that are pure story with no interaction or choice.
HIGHLIGHT: The soundtrack and voice work
LOWLIGHT: The game doesn’t cater well to people who play it over a few days. It’s lacking real instructions on how to interact with the orbs. THAT. SLOW. AS. FUCK. MOVEMENT. SPEED.