Routine is a first-person horror exploration game set on an abandoned moon base, and now, over six years since it was revealed at Gamescom 2012, it is slated for release in March next year.
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The welcome news came via a new trailer on indie developer Lunar Software’s long-dormant YouTube channel. The trailer features sinister, blood-smeared hallways, grimly pulsating entrails and a murderous robot, and leaves you with a pretty clear idea of the kind of game this is.
In Routine, you’ll investigate the disappearance of staff at a lunar research station, exploring plenty of dark, claustrophobic hallways in low gravity. You get a kind of multi-tool which can be modified to perform alternative functions, including self-defence (though it’s fairly clear this isn’t a shooter).
The game will use limited procedural generation, multiple endings and a non-linear structure to keep things fresh between playthroughs, keep the pressure on with permadeath, and keep you immersed with a minimal HUD. There are definite vibes of System Shock and Alien: Isolation, though remember that Routine was in development well before Creative Assembly even announced the latter.
That delay, though. The Gamescom 2012 teaser got a lot of people interested, winning Routine a cult following who can currently be found on Steam in a collective fit of ecstasy. Their relief is understandable, as Lunar Software - who number only three people - originally predicted a 2013 release. Let's hope they've learned from the experience of another small but ambitious sci-fi game, and are taking the time to deliver on Routine's evident potential.
All being well, fans of sci-fi horror will be able to get their hands on Routine in March 2017. There's no word on pricing yet, but you can learn more at Routine's website, its Steam page, or Lunar Software's website.