The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a pulp fiction horror game from the men who directed Bulletstorm


If you’re a person who spent nearly as many hours dimming lights, tweaking curtains and fiddling with gamma settings as you did actually playing Thief 2, then this is for you. If, alternately, you’re a person who likes ‘20s pulp fiction or exclusive PC games, then this is probably also for you.

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter comes from ex-People Can Fly outfit The Astronauts. It follows a detective conducting an investigation into the disappearance of a young boy, which rapidly goes awry when he discovers the mutilated body of one of his kidnappers. And it’s not going to be the last.

Luckily, he’s able to draw upon both “modern detective tools” and a handy paranormal ability which allows him to visualise the murders of the victims he uncovers.

“What we care about the most is that the players feel like they’re really there. Immersion is our number one priority,” said game designer, Adrian Chmielarz.

“It’s a game about exploration and discovery. We’re not abandoning the gameplay – on the contrary: we’re trying to strip it down to the bone and make sure it’s always meaningful and truly makes the experience better.”

Brilliantly, Chmielarz told Polygon to imagine an “r-rated Dear Esther with gameplay”.

“Sure, it’s ‘adventure,’ but then so is Tomb Raider, Far Cry 3, and Journey,” he said. “It’s not a point and click adventure. It’s not a Myst-like adventure. If you really, really need to give it a label, then it’s more of an ‘interactive drama’ than what people usually think when someone says ‘adventure’.”

It’s brave, it’s a PC game, and it’s coming out sometime this year. You can bet you’ll hear more on it from us.