The Square Enix Collective is a quasi-crowd funding initiative that allows gamers to vote for various indie pitches. The winners receive funding and marketing from Square Enix, and the program has produced some pretty great titles thus far.
This latest game from Sand Sailor Studio, at least superficially, bears striking resemblance to Playdead's dystopic puzzle platformer "INSIDE," complete with its stylized, minimalist designs, and dark setting. However, having played through the game's opening, it's clear that Black The Fall has a unique and twisted tale of its own to tell.
Heading today to Xbox One, PC, and PS4, Black The Fall takes place in an authoritarian dystopia where players must guide "Black" as he attempts to escape.
In my early impressions, it feels as though Black The Fall contains a lot of opportunities for interaction and stealth, making it play a little more like Oddworld: New n' Tasty than Inside, while retaining the dark atmospherics of both with its own twist.
Black the Fall was in-part inspired by the real-world experiences of the game's developer's families living in communist Romania, which broke free of the Soviet bloc as it fell in the early 90s. Cristian Diaconescu, Black The Fall's creative director, describes the game thusly:
"Romania only broke free of the shackles of the Soviet bloc less than 30 years ago, so for many people living in the country today the memories are still fresh. We decided to take those stories and illustrate just what it was like to live within a restrictive regime in a game."
"That means players have to make use of the kind of tactics people who survived that era mastered - manipulation and stealth. The intentionally melancholic atmosphere also has a role to play here, and that's something we've rendered in detail through image and sound. We've put no text or dialogue into the game at all - the story is told through experiences in play."
Black The Fall was originally funded via Kickstarter, and became involved with the Square Enix Collective as one of the first titles to be a part of the program. It's available now for Xbox One, PS4, and PC.
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