With the possible exception of James Bond in Moonraker, spies and space haven't traditionally been the best of bedfellows. Which is strange, when you think about it, for two genres so focused on thrills and tension. British indie studio Pixel Spill apparently agrees, aiming to take the Cold War spy thriller and fire it into orbit with their upcoming adventure Outreach.
Set in the 1980s and, unusually, told from a Soviet perspective, you play a cosmonaut sent to investigate a covert military space station (part of the titular Operation Outreach) that has gone dark. On arrival, you find it in total disarray, the crew gone. What catastrophe could have befallen these poor souls, and what kind of sinister plot is unfolding here?
The developers are clearly big fans of both sci-fi and the 1980s, and have been researching the technology, clothing and working environment of a Soviet era space station, as well as historical events and conspiracy theories. They promise an authentic atmosphere and a plot that merges real-life happenings with plausible speculation in a narrative-driven adventure that focuses on the human angle rather than statistics and soundbites. There will also be an emphasis on the realities of getting around in zero-gravity, highlighting both the danger and isolation of space as well as the practicalities of pushing yourself around in a bulky suit and grappling for handrails.
Outreach is due to launch for Windows and Mac sometime in 2017. To follow the game’s progress in the coming months, you can head over to the official website.