So often "horror" relies on darkness and shadow to conceal hidden dangers that play on our fear of the unknown. But how scary can white be? (Racial discrimination aside.) Well, we're about to find out in The Shattering, an upcoming psychological horror adventure from Polish studio SuperSexySoftware and German publisher Deck13.
The Shattering is the story of a "fragile mind trying to piece itself together after tragic events" and yet is at risk of completely being torn apart. As the unseen protagonist directly inhabiting the "self-created hell" of one man's own thoughts, you must help him avoid going insane by making the correct choices and actions. Failure to do so means "his world falls apart figuratively but also literally: it shatters leaving the player in a white space unable to perform any actions." Successfully navigating the subject's psyche will lead to "objects, letters, documents, and messages scrawled on walls" that offer further clues, but you must determine which are true and which are false in order to make the right decisions.
One glace at the game's screenshots reveals that The Shattering is quite unlike other horror games, as the entire setting consists of the "white, austere rooms of the main character’s own dream." The goal, according to studio founder Marta Szymanska, is to "confront the player with the hidden fears that lie beneath an idyllic illusion of normalcy, only then one can truly understand the despair of the hero."
The nature of the gameplay is anything but traditional either, as interaction is limited in the beginning to "simply moving around the environment, and progresses to moving objects, changing points of view, changes the physics in the game and using other senses such as hearing to complete tasks." As a reflection of the man's current mental state, the rooms will change with your understanding and choices, which not only alters the progress of the game but even the final outcome. A single playthrough is expected to take about three hours, but replays are encouraged in order to try different approaches and learn more about the story of how the man "came to be trapped in his own thoughts" along the way.
The only downside to today's news is that The Shattering is still a long way off, with as-yet-unspecified 2018 release target.