The definition of what constitutes a game has been stretched and twisted no end over the last few years.
It's largely as a result of games such as Telltale’s Walking Dead and Game of Thrones series, in which the story is only occasionally broken up by instances of wandering, button-mashing or decision-making.
Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture chucks away even the button-mashing and decision making. It’s got no fighting, no running, no jumping, no enemies, no instructions, no prompts of any kind. Heck, the story isn’t even happening to you, per se. Instead, you wander around a picture-postcard English village, trying to understand what happened to the occupants, who seem to have vanished.
There's no instruction, but you find yourself following a ball of glowing energy
You can free-roam around the village and the fields and forests around it
The main energy ball guides you to smaller energy balls that materialise into fragments of events and conversations
Doing that involves following a ball of glowing energy, which guides you to other balls of energy that materialise into fragments of events and conversations that took place before whatever happened, happened.
These echoes from the past are played out in light - they’re beautiful and the voice acting, while occasionally a little bit The Archers, is more than convincing enough overall.
Yaughton is a completely believable, quaint English village
Just looking at this picture makes me thirsty
Who do we think lives here? No-one now...
Yaughton itself is an idyllic but completely believable recreation of a quaint English village. The way it looks and the way it sounds makes it feel completely real, and some of the lighting is breathtaking.
It’s a joy to explore the streets, fields and woods, which you can do at your leisure - and if you don’t find yourself fantasising about having a pint at The Stars at Night village pub, it may be that you’ve got no soul at all.
Other than pressing a button to open a gate or door, or turning your DualShock to ‘tune-in’ to the energy flashbacks, there’s no interaction at all. You just follow, explore, observe, and get taken in by the lives of the villagers and the gentle, intriguing sci-fi story.
If you can’t go five minutes without shooting an alien in the head, this isn’t the game for you, but if the idea of walking through a novel about love, place, obsession, belonging, faith, science and the end of humanity appeals to you, this is a brilliant and beautiful way to spend £16 and four hours of your life.