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  • Writer's pictureIndy Goodwin

It'll All Come Right - Indy Plays Everybody's Gone To The Rapture

Updated: Apr 29

"This is Doctor Katherine Collins. I don't know if anyone will ever hear this. It's all over. I'm the only one left."

The Chinese Room excel at making some truly weird games. Dear Esther was fantastic, so I was excited to dive into the 'spiritual successor'. Everybody's Gone To The Rapture is a bit of a different animal however.

You begin the game on a hilltop overlooking the Haverton area, outside the gates of the Valis Observatory. The area has been quarantined because of an outbreak of Spanish Influenza. That... Hit a little different during lockdown 3 in 2021. It becomes apparent almost immediately that this isn't just a flu outbreak, a comet of light streaking across the quiet country roads, spreading rapidly across the valley. People have also been disappearing under some very strange circumstances and you set yourself the task of finding out exactly what happened.

First of all, this game is so beautiful in pretty much every way. Graphically, musically and story wise, you'd be hard pressed to find a single element of this game that isn't expertly crafted. I spent a large portion of my first playthrough just taking screenshots of the lush English countryside. Haverton is the very picture of a quaint middle England, with less Tories. It's almost idyllic, apart from the fact there's no sign of human or animal life anywhere.

This is very much a walking simulator, you'll mostly be wandering about and interacting with the environment to uncover the story. The story is the star of the show. You uncover the story through radio shows and telephone conversations, visions that trigger when you happen across them, and visions that you have to activate by tilting your controller, like tuning a radio. You must piece together the story by interacting with these elements.

However I must admit after 2 playthroughs I'm having difficulty actually nailing down exactly what the story is. Nevertheless, here's what I've gathered so far.

Something from beyond the stars has made contact with Dr Steve Appleton and Dr Kate Collins from the Vallis Laboratory, where you start the game. However its method of communication isn't exactly lifting up a phone and more... causing people to haemorrage blood and combust into ash. Naturally, you don't really survive this process.

The Pattern - as Kate named it - spread through the telephone wires and radio waves, infecting people with its light. The quarantine designed to contain it did not help and the airstrike came too late. The light spread throughout Britain and onwards, until no one was left. You'd be forgiven for thinking that this was lovecraftian, however I get the sense it's more celestial rather than Cthulu. A case of flawed logic, as opposed to malice.

In the penultimate chapter of the game, Stephen likens The Pattern - as Kate calls it - to a hurt fox he encountered as a child that bit him. The fox didn't mean to hurt him, and neither did The Pattern. It just wanted to communicate with them, and help them by bringing them together with the ones they loved.

Haverton was populated with people in pain. Frank had lost his wife Mary. Wendy lost her husband Eddie. Lizzie's relationship with Stephen was cut short and she had been living with an abusive, alcoholic husband. Jeremy was ostracised by the community for easing Mary's pain and allowing her to die. The Pattern though the best thing to do was to reunite them with the people they loved most, killing them in the process. Husbands with wives, lost loves together, and Jeremy's faith realised, walking with his God.

It's kind of beautiful when you think about it like that. This mysterious being just wanted these hurt and broken people to be happy and did what it could to make sure that happened. Granted, the fear and pain caused by its actions was immense, but surely now everything is ok in the end it was worth it?

And it's that idea, that everything turns out alright in the end, that makes the setting make sense. Britain is a nation of Keep Calm and Carry On, of Stiff Upper Lips - or at the very least it was. No matter what they'd been through, or suffered, everything came right in the end. Not in a way that they expected, but nevertheless, everything was alright.

It's kind of inspiring, especially during a global pandemic. We have lost so many, made so many sacrifices to beat Covid-19 back. But it will be alright. The vaccines are working. The masks are working. No matter what we had to go through to get back to life as we knew it, it will return. Or maybe it won't, and that will be ok too. We'll adapt, and find happiness in new circumstances because that's what Britain does. That's what humans in general do.

Let's carry this sense of optimism with us again. No matter what gets thrown at us, we'll manage. We'll find happiness again, you can be sure of that. I can only be grateful to The Chinese Room for reminding me of that fact. Keep your chin up, love. It will get better.

Hiya! Did you enjoy this article? I maintain this website for free but I can always use some extra pennies to help keep the lights on. If you're feeling generous, I have a KoFi account and I always welcome donations. Love from Indy xxx

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