First Impressions of Everybody's Gone to the Rapture
I've been waiting for Everybody's Gone to the Rapture since I first saw the trailer and imagined the amazing story that would surely follow. Unfortunately, I pictured a completely different game than what I just finished.
In the beginning, the empty world, void of NPC's and interactive objects, is eerie and strange. Moving and exploring is built on suspenseful purpose that eventually fades. This atmosphere, perfect for a few jump scares (if it were that type of game), only becomes more monotonous the moment the realization sets in: literally nothing is going to happen. I wandered around for a bit and quickly noticed that the story is not found by piecing together the puzzle of "where the hell is everyone?", but rather "Where is that orb going?"
There is no mental stimulation or encouragement to play detective on your own because you won't find much of anything that'll help you.
The timeline through the game is fairly ambiguous, although if you're paying attention it'll make sense. At the same time, however, the story leaves some events (the events are not actually unfolding, but rather told through dialogue in the story) unexplained. This is most likely intentional so that the player may interpret the events on their own. The ending further proves this. It is completely possible to derive different versions of the story by how much of it you choose to explore.
Exploration is passively encouraged. There isn't much to interact with although the trophies claim otherwise. After an hour of looking at everything very closely, I gave up trying to interact with anything (and therefore missed almost all the trophies). This realization was a major bummer. The next three hours was a long, slow movie.
Don't get me wrong, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture is a good-looking, artistic game. The atmosphere is incredible and the music is very good. There is always either an uneasy presence or a zen-like calm while exploring. Although interactions are very limited, this is a nice game to kill time or unwind. If you're the Skyrim player that likes to walk around and look at buildings, you may like this. It's just unfortunate that there is so little to actually do in Everybody's Gone to the Rapture.