Initially developed by students of the prestigious ENJMIN, Narcosis puts you in a “walking coffin” — a deep sea diving suit in the depths of the Pacific Ocean. You’re an industrial worker for some energy corporation or some other deep-sea industry. A terrible accident has occurred and now you must survive and reach the surface. Faced with limited resources and hampered movement, you struggle to stay alive in the most hostile environment on Earth.
The announcement trailer just oozes atmosphere and perfectly conveys the sense of being enclosed in a deep sea diving suit. With the suit’s HUD being the only real interface for the game, darkness is everywhere and the only sources of light are from your suit and the flares. The trailer doesn’t simulate any of sort of nitrogen narcosis — essentially getting high on breathing gases under intense pressures at depth. But from the title, I imagine that managing the drunken stupor that is associated with narcosis will be one of the key game play aspects. This sort of mechanic makes me think of managing sanity in Amnesia: The Dark Descent. The short trailer also shows off some impressive fish AI.
The deep sea is a so removed from human life and so hostile that it has been described as the most alien place on Earth — we know less about the deep sea than we do about the moon. This makes it all the more surprising that it’s taken so long to get a survival/horror game set that environment. I’m pleased to see that we are finally getting one now and that it will be developed for the Oculus Rift and possibly Project Morpheus. The particularities of this immersive experience — its stalwart development team, its innovative concept, and the use of the widely renowned Unity3D Engine — will definitely add hype to the slated release of Oculus Rift next year.
Narcosis is expected to be released Q3 2015 via developer Honor Code Inc. Be sure to follow @APGNation for more gaming news and reviews.