In the vein of Dear Esther and Gone Home, James Beech has made Ultraworld, an arresting game world you’re given to explore and find its secrets.
Ultraworld doesn’t feature “jumping, shooting, crafting, survival, Nazis, zombies, space marines, fetch quests, high scores, co-op, multiplayer, microtransactions, DLC, or DRM,” Beech says. What it does feature is “exploring, relaxing, and thinking.”
You need to see the trailer to understand why Ultraworld makes that quite so enticing a prospect.
Beech has kept the story of Ultraworld under wraps as it’s one of the main through threads of the game but it seems to be about an player character that’s become aware of its own existence as a computer construct.
Formerly of Crytek, Beech left the company after Crysis 3 to work on his own thing. He’s still using the Crytek Engine, mind, and making it look a damn site different from any other game made with those tools. Gone is the hyperrealism but in its place we’ve got some proper lovely watercolour-esque polygonal worlds.
“I’ve always found beauty in this modern simplicity; something that is often lost when we add the bells and whistles in a final product,” he writes on his site. “I wanted to make something that captured the essence of a blockout, while still pushing the visuals as far as possible. What ULTRAWORLD lacks in textures and polygons, it makes up for in color, layout, and composition.”