This is Adr1ft.
It’s due out later this year. It and No Man’s Sky are, at this point, in a runoff as to which monopolizes my time first. Honestly, Adr1ft may have a slight edge too. Firstly because it looks like a visceral, up close sort of gameplay experience and secondly because I have plans for Space Rescue Fiction that it may end up being research material for.
Plus the idea is just glorious. It’s a platformer with no platforms, a first person game where the enemy is your environment. It’s also the latest extrusion of a story type that’s shown up in Gravity, to a lesser extent Interstellar and dominates The Martian as completely as Mark Watney‘s complex relationship with potatoes; near future space survival and what it tells us about ourselves.
Plus it looks really, really fun and seems to have an interesting, nuanced plot behind the screaming and heavy breathing. Also, this is a major release which features a female, non-white lead character as a default and that’s always worth praising, especially given how rarely it happens. You play as Commander Alex Oshima, who wakes up in her suit, surrounded by the disintegrating remains of her command. As well as surviving, Commander Oshima has to navigate the constantly shifting debris field to discover what happened, repair the station’s escape vehicle and fly it back to Earth. Where, I choose to believe, Ryan Stone and Mark Watney are waiting with a big bottle of tequila and a promise she never ever has to go back into space again.
There’s a comic too, written from Commander Oshima’s point of view and designed to provide extra back story for the other astronauts. It’s a smart idea and the fact Matt Hawkins, who has been turning in a string of excellent hard SF titles at Top Cow, is in charge makes me very happy. Even better, here’s the entire first issue. Enjoy.
Adr1ft is out in September for Steam, Xbox One and Playstation 4. Don’t worry if you forget, my hysterical screams as I choke to death while plummeting through the atmosphere and catching on fire will no doubt remind you.