The gorgeous art deco horror game, Close to the Sun, which was originally announced at 2017’s Gamescom, is now set to be published by Wired Productions (GRIP: Combat Racing, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood).
The announcement comes via a blog post on Wired Productions’s website and is paired with a moody announcement trailer and a few story details. The trailer features more footage than was revealed last year and does a great job setting the tone and atmosphere.
Close to the Sun is set in an alternative version of the late 19th century on an enormous ship complex designed and developed by the famed scientist, engineer, and inventor, Nikola Tesla. Tesla’s breakthroughs have already had a marked impact on the world
Players take the role of a young journalist named Rose as she boards the strange vessel and searches for her missing sister. Before long, she becomes aware that something has gone terribly wrong on the ship.
The first-person horror adventure places an emphasis on problem solving to progress the story. With no real means of defense, players must avoid the ship’s many dangers, explore nooks and crannies, and work closely with an ally to piece together exactly what happened on board.
If that premise sounds similar to another art deco infused underwater adventure—Bioshock—Italian developer Storm in a Teacup is aware of the comparisons. However, the team notes that Close to the Sun is a completely different experience, unrelated to Irrational Games’s masterpiece.
“We love BioShock, but we never talked about BioShock creating and building this,” said studio Public Relations and Marketing Manager Eleonora Lucheroni, speaking to PC Games Insider earlier this year. “Of course, we are fans of it. Rose is called Rose because of Rosaline, one of our scientists, but we were thinking about Titanic. This steampunk theme can be reminiscent of BioShock, but it’s something we want to bring out on our own. There are tonnes of stories with this kind of archetypes, so it’s easy to maybe be mistaken for one of them. We want to have our own identity to our own game. It’s not just about the science. That’s the lore, not the main focus.”
Storm in a Teacup has stated that Close to the Sun will make an appearance at next year’s Gamescom trade fair in August, intimating it will miss its previously stated release window of early 2019. That said, the team has reiterated it is still aiming for a 2019 release on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. In addition, speaking to GamingBolt about the possibility of a release on Nintendo Switch, CEO and Art Director Carlo Ivo Alimo Bianchi had the following to say:
“I love Switch, and I would love to see Close to the Sun on it. Will it be released within the same time frame as other platforms? I honestly don’t know at the moment—I can’t say. The fact Switch is cartridge based definitely makes things more complex as it has an impact on production costs—cartridges are expensive. If we come to Switch, we would want the quality of the gameplay to be identical to that experience by PC, PS4, and Xbox players, and that’s tough. Tough but not impossible, of course.”