The Suffering lead designer Richard Rouse III has announced an ambitious narratively-driven stealth adventure called The Church in the Darkness.
Billed as a "top-down action-infiltration game" The Church in the Darkness' main appeal is that the story significantly changes with each playthrough.
The game is set in 1970s South America where a cult of US citizens has relocated to set up camp and practice their beliefs free from the persecution of the US government. You play as an ex-cop who has travelled to the cult's camp Freedom Town in hopes of bringing back your nephew Alex.
Developer Paranoid Productions noted that "you can avoid detection completely, take on the guards using non-lethal methods, or kill anyone who gets in your way. But you'll have to live with the consequences of those choices." So far, so Metal Gear. But what will supposedly make The Church in the Darkness stand out is "a shifting narrative told through investigation and action" wherein the cult leaders, Isaac and Rebecca Walker, will provide commentary on what's happening over the camp's PA system.
The Walkers will be played by Ellen McLain (the voice of GLaDOS) and John Patrick Lowrie (the Sniper from Team Fortress 2). Based on its debut trailer below, the titular Church in the Darkness is menacing, but also makes cogent points about various problems facing America during the civil rights movement, i.e. it seems like the kind of cult that could have been successful during that era.
The Church in the Darkness is in development for PC and Mac with plans for PS4 and Xbox One ports to follow. So far Paranoid Productions is targeting a release early next year.
"My favourite part of making games is when players finally get to play the end product and do things I never expected," said Rouse III. "With its open-ended, shifting narrative, this game is all about players making their own choices and getting an ending that feels like their own. I can't wait to see what choices you make in the jungle."