EVERYBODY'S GONE TO THE RAPTURE
By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on November 18, 2016
This month (November 2016), Everybody's gone to the Rapture is one of the free PS Plus games. For me, this was a good opportunity to finally try this game for myself. Since its release, I have been meaning to sink my teeth into this game, but never seemed to have gotten around to actually doing so. What attracted me most were the great-looking graphics which I saw in teaser trailers and the promise of a deep and engaging story. So let's find out why everybody has gone to the rapture, shall we?
The game fooled me a little by warning me to be prepared for an emergency right at its start. So when the game started, I was immediately looking for stuff to defend myself with. What was going to happen? But, as I soon found out, I couldn't actually pick up anything. What I could do was interact with radios and telephones. A woman named Kate and a man named Stephen were the first voices I heard. They were talking about some strange phenomenon that had happened. Although they didn't understand what had happened, they were eager to research it.
I quickly discovered that Everybody's Gone to the Rapture wasn't about collecting, crafting and defending yourself. Quite the contrary, actually; it's about experiencing and unraveling a strange event that happened in a region called Shropshire county. We start in a little, now seemingly abandoned, town called Yaughton. By listening to people having various conversations on the phone and the broadcasts on the radio, you will slowly start to unravel the mysterious story of what has happened in this beautiful region and why everyone in it has suddenly disappeared. The inhabitants of the little towns that make up Shropshire county all have their own stories and you will follow six of them. Every new chapter is introduced by showing the name of one of these villagers. At the end of every chapter, the world turns dark and you will be guided from one part of the county to the next by hundreds of little lights. These transitions give the game an even more surreal feel and look absolutely breathtaking!
Because the towns you'll come across are only small, everybody in them knows each other and is somehow interfering in each other's lives. Things like secret affaires, newcomers in town and fights are good subjects to gossip about. On the other hand, good friends are also covering things up for one another. What happens in Shropshire, stays in Shropshire; this seems to be the general idea. You will eventually come to know all of Shropshire's secrets by watching flashbacks that occur now and then. These flashbacks are also beautifully designed; instead of seeing actual people, you will see transparent figures, comprised out of glowing golden lights, kind of like watching fireflies dance. Some of these flashbacks will appear when you walk close enough to the spot where the actual event occurred, others you'll have to activate manually by focusing a glowing golden light on a certain position on your screen.
While walking around town, sooner or later, you are bound to notice a glowing golden ball of light that flies through the environment. Pay attention to this flying orb; it can actually guide you to all the important locations that you'll need to visit before you have seen the entire story of the villager, particular to the current level and you can move on to the next stage. It mostly guides you towards the flashbacks that you will have to activate manually, called key flashbacks. You'll need to see these key flashbacks before you can continue to the next chapter. That's where the light bulb comes in. Although it guides you, don't expect this to happen in a linear way. The bulb will not always wait for you or it might even fly off in a different direction altogether. I realize that this doesn't really sound like the orb is a big help, but I must say it was actually helpful when I got stuck a couple of times.
You can also use the many, many maps in the area to know which area you already visited. The world looks open and you might think you can go in any direction you like. But the developers used some clever ways to block certain paths. The basic rule to progress; check all the buildings you come across. There will often be something interesting in them for you to discover.
I think the most outstanding thing about Everybody's gone to the Rapture is that the only thing you do is walk around, watch flashbacks and listen to conversations, all while slowly unraveling the game's truly engaging story. In doing so, as you play on, the game becomes more and more interesting by the minute. There are no enemies and you can't die; you only walk and interact, that's it. And the funny thing is: the game is not boring at all! The story manages to stay fascinating and the game keeps you guessing and wondering what really happened, right up till the end.
I just love games that offer you an experience that involves good storytelling without over-the top action or violence. Everybody's Gone to the Rapture is one of the best games in this genre I ever had the privilege to play. Everything is great about this game; the graphics are awesome, the story is enthralling and the gameplay is simple yet effective. If you're into games like Journey, N.E.R.O and The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, you really going to love Everybody's Gone to the Rapture!