Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture isn’t for everybody

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Walking simulators – puzzle games that have you exploring an area to solve a mystery – are back in vogue. The latest, PlayStation 4 exclusive Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture from Dear Esther and A Machine for Pigs developer The Chinese Room is out this week, and like other games of this ilk isn’t for everybody. If you do get a kick out of them though, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture seems like it may be incredible.

So sayeth game critics. Scores are all over the place showing that the game is as divisive as others in the genre, but those who do love it seem rather enamoured.

Game Informer – 7/10

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“I enjoyed the general vibe of Rapture’s striking apocalyptic tale and the well-performed character interactions therein, but the story left a sour taste in my mouth in the final stretch. A pretentious, musing monologue attempts to tie the mysterious happenings together with all the subtlety of a high school poetry jam.”

Game Spot – 9/10

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“Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture uses subtle cues to guide you through its world and then gives you the space to digest what you find. It’s a wonderful example of what games can achieve narratively while presenting minimal physical engagement and tasking player imagination with the rest. That sense of futility never leaves you, but whether or not you cling to the story’s threads of hope is entirely up to you; no happy ending is forced on you… just an ending. The moral of the story is whatever you think it is, and there’s no wrong way to feel as you sift through its bright, empty world. And while I had my moments of frustration in navigation, that didn’t stop it from dazzling me. I left Shropshire exhausted, spent, and utterly impressed by The Chinese Room’s magnificently crafted journey, both in how it brought me to its conclusion and the conclusion itself.

Polygon  – 7/10

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“It’s a bit surprising that a game where you literally never see another person has the most humanity of anything I’ve played this year. And that makes it all the more unfortunate that a few of the design choices — the walking speed in particular — pushed me away and weakened my experience. Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture has some incredible, down-to-earth stories to share, emotional stuff that transcends its end-of-the-world scenario. But, not unlike any of the game’s characters, you’ll have to see past its flaws before you can learn to love it.”

USGamer – 5/5

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“But for those willing to take the plunge in what is ultimately a cross between a game and an experimental piece of interactive fiction, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture combines scenes of utter beauty, touching, desperate, and sometimes even angry emotional moments between people, and a score to die for into a narrative that’s gripping, involving, and thoroughly rewarding.”

 Push Square – 9/10

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“Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is a masterwork – a gorgeous and subtle experience, which treats you as an adult, without ever indulging in pretence. It cares about its characters enough to give them interesting and meaningful things to say, while also playing host to some truly breathtaking art direction and music.”

 God is a Geek – 9/10

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“If there’s to be a complaint, it’s leveled at that movement speed. It’s nitpicking, but you move so slowly at times, and when the entire game is based around moving, it’s going to grind some people’s gears. But this is a special game, and one that is hard to pin down. A story that grips you firmly until the end, with some of the best visual and audio design in a long time, there’s so much here to recommend. As long as you know you’re getting a heavily scripted game, and are familiar with the type of experience, you’ll enjoy it. It won’t be for everyone, but for those that love Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, it’ll stay in the memory for a very long time indeed.”

 PlayStation Universe  – 6.5/10

“Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture spins a good yarn, but it does nearly all the spinning, leaving little for the player. Its impact falls flat after trudging slowly across a world with little of substance for players to find, explore, or interpret.”

Here’s the official story synopsis:

Our story begins at the end of the world.

The time is 6:37am on Wednesday, 6 June, 1984. Five days, four hours and 30 minutes since the Primary Event.

Nestled away in the idyllic English countryside, the village of Yaughton, Shropshire, stands empty.

Children’s toys lie forgotten in the playground the wind blows quarantine leaflets around the silent churchyard. Strange voices haunt the airwaves as uncollected washing hangs listlessly on the line.

You remain behind in this deserted world, slowly piecing together the mystery of the apocalypse through the memory fragments of those who lost their lives.

Last Updated: August 11, 2015

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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