Written by Jack Allin — February 19, 2017 at 12:13
When your job is to force poor people out of their homes on behalf of greedy bosses, it's not going to do your soul any good. That's what a young man named Price discovered to his horror when Jesse Makkonen's Distraint released in 2015. Now the indie Finnish developer is returning to this surreal world, once again blending reality and nightmare in a "bigger and better" round of side-scrolling adventure due this fall.
The first game saw the protagonist sell out his humanity in the misguided hope of a partnership at his company, McDade, Bruton & Moore. Wrestling with guilt and remorse, Price learned too late that there's a price (pun no doubt fully intended) to be paid for such heartless deeds. Picking up the "sinister tale" where the original left off, the sequel follow a despairing Price, trapped in a prison of his own torment, in his efforts to restore peace and find new purpose in life. But the question remains: "How does one fight without hope?"
Like its precedessor, Distraint 2 is a hand-drawn pixel art adventure with a viewable area set horizontally in of the center of the screen. The people have skinny legs and oversized heads, and a muted colour palette helps establish a disturbing, oppressive backdrop in which reality and unreality are hard to distinguish one from the other. And yet, despite its grim subject matter, the game promises its share of "dark humor" to go with its item collecting, puzzle-solving, and "complex story full of intriguing twists and characters." The eerie atmosphere is created not through "cheap jump-scares or mindless gore but psychological horror with a deeper meaning."
Currently in development for PC, if all goes well we will see Distraint 2 released in time for Halloween this year. In the meantime, you can support the game on Steam through its Greenlight campaign.