Aftermath is a new tale being weaved by developer One-O-One games. Through the video game medium, developers have the power to take players to outer space, fantastical realms, hellish landscapes, and even inside people’s minds. However, some of the most poignant stories within this industry all come through the ageless struggles of human relationships. Some of the most noteworthy games like The Last of Us, A Plaque’s Tale, and even the underrated Enslaved: Odyssey to the West all centered around the complexity of human emotions. Aftermath is about an astronaut named Charlie Gray who is trapped within a European city that’s under siege by an alien threat. Her daughter has gone missing and she must venture out to find her. If that isn’t enough, Charlie’s mind is becoming splintered by PTSD from a bad experience trying to re-enter Earth during a mission. She must battle her own inner monsters while trying to overcome this extraterrestrial menace and find her daughter before it’s too late.
This game definitely has an apocalyptic vibe to it and that always makes a fertile ground toward gameplay mechanics. There is a lot to take in with the most recent trailer and it provides a good indicator of how this game will play. This title will be a mixed bag of different genres. Everything from a third-person shooter, survival, and even horror all seems to be present here. Thusly, this game will also provide a sociological viewpoint on how we, as human beings, may react to such an Earth-shattering situation. Yes, this may have been dabbled on with games like Resistance: Fall of Man, but won’t be as “cut and dry” as that title. This new IP will delve into the complexities of the philosophical nuances of a changing society. Even though Aftermath may have a rather thought-provoking story, the gameplay mechanics are also something to behold.
Birth of a New Earth
Aftermath brings a grounded approach to how Charlie functions in this world. Scrambling for resources will be a constant occurrence. Even though there will be junk to collect, these things will have some sort of value to them when utilized correctly. This game will have a deeply engrained crafting system to where information is collected through environmental narrative. Players will be able to scan the area and dissect everything with Charlie’s engineering mind to see what could be useful. Doing this will create a blueprint which, in turn, Charlie can use to overcome harrowing situations. It’s almost like a McGuyver approach toward crafting. The environment itself can be used as a weapon in which players can utilize at their whim.
The art design will seem reminiscent of sci-fi movies which are icons in the pop-culture sphere. This is because Alessandro Bavari will be behind the look of this project. His work is most notably connected with Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant, among other things. So, the level design in this game is definitely going to have a rich, otherwordly motif to it. This also goes for the aliens. Even though they are briefly seen in the trailer, they seem to be fundamentally humanoid looking and brandishing rather crude looking weaponry. They tend to horde after Charlie like zombies. Of course, it’s entirely possible that perhaps these creatures were humans once and were engineered to be drones for the alien overmind. The only way to know for sure is to wait until more plot details are unveiled by the developers. The level design will be a composite of different European cities melded together. The aliens are using an ancient technology called “The Wall” which enables them to slice up cities and reassemble them at their will.
A Beautiful, Broken Mind
Aftermath will be shooting to be a “psychological horror game” upon its release. The way the players treat Charlie during their playthrough will affect how she plays. This includes nourishment. The food that Charlie eats in the game is not only essential for her vitality but for her mental health. Dying in this game isn’t going to be a traditional affair. Apparently, death isn’t going to end the game, but somehow repeat a cycle that Charlie just went through. This may be hinting toward a roguelike feature for this title. The developers have hinted at something of this nature, but things are not concrete as of now. Even though this game will have a third-person action horror pace to it, it will be essential for players to study the enemy from a stealthy position and discover their weaknesses.
On top of that, there will evidently be an invisible enemy lurking throughout the game, hunting Charlie every step of the way. Players can choose to either avoid this thing throughout the entire game or stand up and fight it. The choice is theirs. It’s not really stipulated how Charlie’s PTSD will affect the overall gameplay. Perhaps hallucinations or tricky audio jump scares might be in order. It is also possible that maybe this feature may affect her controls. Whatever it is planned, players will have quite the juggling act to pull off to survive this adventure. There is certainly some top-tier talent behind this project. Not only from the art design standpoint but also from the sound. There will be a robust soundtrack for Aftermath with songs from Planet Funk, UNKLE and others.
Even though there is very little information available for this game, there is no doubt that there’s a healthy amount of ambition behind it. The European city that acts as the setting for this tale is rich with history, which in turn, is quickly disappearing from the alien’s power to break it apart. It’s a very unique angle to explore, even though the “human vs aliens” dynamic has been done a number of times. As mentioned before, Aftermath isn’t so much about the sci-fi element, but rather the human spirit. One-O-One games is a small video game development company, but they definitely aren’t afraid to branch out and try different things. There is no release date locked in, yet. However, it will be available for next-gen consoles and PC upon launch.