Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture Launches on PS4, Ends World

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Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture Launches on PS4, Ends World

Welcome to the end of the world.

Nearly three years ago, we started work on a game. The plan was to take the story-driven exploration of Dear Esther and push it into an open-world setting, to create a game where you discovered a story, rather than had it told to you. We wanted this story to be about the end of the world, about a small English valley and its people, about what it means to be alive.

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture Launches on PS4, Ends World

We could talk for hours about all of the changes the game went through to become the thing you’re about to play. We started with a time-locked game that only lasted sixty minutes each playthrough. We had puzzles; we had branching narratives. But as we went on making it, each of those just felt like gimmicks. We had players come back to us after testing and consistently say the same thing: they just wanted to be in Yaughton Valley finding the story, and everything else just took them away from that. And fundamentally, that’s what Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is all about — being in the world.

Games spin worlds better than anything else. You just can’t get that sense of place, of space and time, of being there, in any other medium. It’s what makes them so amazing to build — you can take all of this stuff: pixels and shapes, soundwaves, musical notation, words and voices, and a whole load of lines of code, and jam it into this box and then out of the other end arrives this rich, deep, amazing, complicated, beautiful world that you can just dive into and walk around and explore. That’s just extraordinary, and it’s an incredible thing to be able to make and share.

One of the most rewarding things about the response to Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture so far has been people coming back and saying that Yaughton feels like somewhere they grew up in, or know, or visited. That’s amazing. That means we’ve done our jobs properly. If you believe in Yaughton, then the game is working, because it puts the story in context. Alongside that, the way people are engaging with the characters in the story is great — and this means people care, and that’s what the game is all about.

Everybody's Gone to the RaptureEverybody's Gone to the Rapture

Way back last year, when we first showed Rapture at E3, we said that the only fail state in the game is if people don’t care. From what we’re hearing back, it seems like we’ve succeeded. Just like Yaughton, people are coming back and saying Wendy reminds them of their grandmother, or they had a friend like Rachel, or fell in love with a Lizzie or a Rhys, or remember Jeremy or Charlie from being a kid. That’s a testament to the amazing actors who worked on this game, but it also means we’ve done what we wanted and created a believable community of real people that you really care about.

We’ve got a small team of incredibly talented, passionate developers here who have poured heart and soul into the game and we think you can see that clearly in what they’ve made. It’s not just a game that looks and sounds beautiful, it’s got something really special in its core; a real belief in making something different, in taking those risks.

We’ve been told a few times by different people over the last couple of years that making an open-world game with a team this size is crazy. We’ve been told that there’s nowhere new left to go for story-driven games; that it’s just going to be variations on Dear Esther and Gone Home now.

We’ve been told that players just won’t get how non-linear the story is, and won’t have the patience or commitment to go exploring in Yaughton Valley without being explicitly guided around or pushed into linear missions. You know what? Those people are just plain wrong.

Everybody's Gone to the Rapture

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture was a leap of faith, but we believed this team could do it; we believed that there’s always ways you can take a genre and push it forwards in new and interesting ways, and we believed that players are smart and love nothing more than getting into a world and exploring it. The bottom line is that we believe that right now this is the most exciting and creative medium on the planet and we’re really proud to be a part of that.

Above all, we think there’s a great story at the heart of Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture and that’s something we want to share. There’s amazing art, fantastic voice-acting, a quite simply astonishing soundtrack, and they all come together to make something we hope is pretty unique and special.

We genuinely hope you love it. Thanks for playing.

Dan & Jess
Studio Heads, The Chinese Room

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  • Can’t wait to play this when I get home from work. Looks so beautiful

  • Hold R2 if you need to sprint!

  • Congrats on your launch – we are finally here! This was a great post too, and I hope more developers pen a Day 1 letter as thoughtful as this :-)

    I particularly appreciate (and agree with) your assessment that games “spin worlds better than anything else”. That “sense of place, of space and time, of being there” is exactly why I play. And by the accounts I’ve seen, you’ve made a great new place here with Rapture.

  • Looks awesome. I like getting to know a world when i play a game, so this looks fantastic. Every scene looks like a painting . Glad I pre-orderd.

  • I pre-ordered this game and can’t wait to play when I get home tonight.

  • Pre-ordered

    This is a new genre for me I guess, haven’t played Ethan nor Dear Esther before.

    I was afraid this will become another like Ether One in the past where I don’t know what to do with the puzzle (they are just so weird puzzles), but walking through the town in this game is relaxing.

    Truth be told though, I fell asleep during playing this game, because this is 180-degree different than my usual Action-genre games, but the story keep me to play this game.

    Somehow, I really want a world where everything is abandoned like in Last of Us rather than the world in this Rapture, because even though I haven’t known the whole story, it kinda weird for having a town abandoned yet it feels just… empty, not abandoned.

    • I love the way Rapture looks intact with clothes still on the lines yet there are no ppl. I love the beautiful yet eerily empty vibe it gives, it completely differs from anything else and is infinitely more interesting than the typical wasteland. It has mystery to it, intrigue, it fuels a desire to find out what exactly happened, what is happening, and what you are going to do about it.

      Galak-Z and Rapture are 2 excellent exclusives in consecutive weeks, i love the PS4.

  • @SaviorMachine I was all set to complain about how this game NEEDS a run button…I’m sure I tried R2, but will try again holding it down. This game is pretty much unplayable without a run button. I don’t mind slow-paced, but COME ON!

  • Ah… the Plus discount is gone. Well since my internet is terrible right now, probably wait till there is a sale down the road. since i wont be able to download it for a while anyways.

    game looks awesome and the reviews I’ve read totally make me want to play, but such is life.

  • I played for about an hour this morning. From what I’ve seen, I liked. The artwork is a sight to behold. I especially like the eerie feel to it. I also like the way the story is essentially told in bits and pieces. They don’t give away too much too soon. At this point, the only let down for me would be a more ambiguous ending.

  • Are pre-orders still available for this game?

  • Ok, the game sounds and looks awesome. I haven’t played it yet, but please I hope its about the real Rapture and not some kind of made up scientific explanation about the Rapture.

  • Played for about an hour last night, and I’m enjoying what I’ve seen so far. Also, glad to officially know there’s no objectives and the story is told non-linearly, I was worried I may have been playing this wrong at first lol.

    That said, I’m very eager to learn more about the story after seeing a particular memory flashback thingy and hearing some of the recordings. I won’t spoil anything but, one is in the phone booth and the other at the doctor’s office.

    Oh yeah, this probably has my favorite title for a PS Blog Post!

  • Stop calling this a game.

    Digital art? Sure. Multimedia novel? Definitely. Interactive fiction? Barely. A game? Not even close.

    Besides, it’s a short story sold at the price of an expensive hardcover book. It’s not worth the cost.

  • Game is ready to go but I need time to immerse myself in the world so I´ll probably leave the playing time for the weekend. Glad it´s finally out! And congrats on all the great reviews!

  • Us: PlayStation, we’re tired of you guys over saturating the IGC with indie games. Please give us more AAA titles.

    PlayStation: We’re going to guve you a choice to vote for your monthly Plus game. Now which of these indie games do you dislike the least?

    Really?? This is not a valid selection, Sony. There’s no point in even voting. This is a joke.

  • I’ve been looking forward to this game. Played Dear Esther–wasn’t really my cup of tea, but I could appreciate what it was trying to do. This, however, looks right up my alley. I doubt I’ll be disappointed, so I’ll lay on the praise preemptively: congratulations on a job well done.

  • I played through this game last night and it’s an amazing story and beautiful game. The only drawback is the lack of sprint and it’s a big one. After playing through once I don’t really want to go through it again at that pace in order to find everything. If you’re reading this please consider adding it. That aside, great job on a great game.

  • Pre-ordered the game and am very frustrated by it for really one reason: the lack of save game points.

    Like….almost none.

    For real.

    You will play the game for hours and hours, WITHOUT a save point. I had to go to lunch after playing for 3 hours this morning and my progress was not auto-saved. Suppose I should have put my PS4 into sleep mode or something. Oh well.

    I will say the game is gorgeous to look at and there’s a tremendous sense of mystery. I was you had more interaction with this world than simply being able to open doors and trigger spirit flashbacks.

    This is not so much a game as it is a visual novel, with you not having much interaction at all (more like a visual dream).

    Rapture is hypnotic and you can lose yourself in it, but it certainly will not be for everybody.

  • This game looks interesting can’t wait down the road when it comes free to plus probably in a year or so. 20 bucks for me is just too much.

  • Let me start by saying i love this game. I’m at work right now, but i can’t wait to get done so i can play more.

    At first i wasn’t sure about the game. I had it in my head that i should be worried. I was waiting for jump scares, or something to Come Out And Get Me. I was tense. I’m so conditioned by first person games, that i was waiting for something to harm “me”.

    Once i relaxed, though, and let my guard down something amazing happened. I started to really lose myself in the game. I was just exploring, letting things unfold. Learning. There were parts that made me gasp and smile, because i was pleasantly surprised at some event. Times i felt genuinely bad hearing some of the conversations, knowing what was going on to some of the people. Feeling worse when i realized some of those things happen to people i know. Have happened to myself. I had actual, genuine feelings while playing a game. That a rare occurrence.

    • I’d advise anyone who is unsure of this game to give it a little time. I’ve only played part of it, so there’s more for me to discover, but after playing a bit, i’m really enjoying this experience. “Experience” has become a buzz word that is thrown around a lot, and has lost a lot of its original meaning, has been watered down over time. “Everybody’s Gone to The Rapture” is an actual experience. You end up feeling like you were there.

      I really love this game, and am so glad that it’s been able to exist in a world of fast-paced explodey light-flashy 11-volumed games. We need more games like this. A lot.

      Thank you for the work of art you’ve brought us.

    • are saves linked to special spots in the town? do they trigger sometimes when the “spirits” talk? or when you juggle the controller?

    • Agreed, great blog post by the dev and great comments. I love loud n’ proud games but I also love reflection, exploration, mystery, great art and just wandering through an immersive world… This game looks gorgeous…

      Not to mention the MUSIC is gorgeous, something like Journey but more subtle and beautiful.

      I dont want to RUN through this game but I really suggest they please patch in a “jog” button..yes, i know there is the R2 button but it needs to be upped in speed just a little bit.

      Will play this soon though!! Great game to stream+share with friends too.

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