Cloud-connected personal assistants aside, it will probably be some time before the robots come for our jobs in earnest. But the upcoming sci-fi adventure ManMade aims to explore what our lives might be like if the AI revolution really does take a turn for the worse, and how the very people who helped create it might be driven to rebel against a world of their own making.
Currently in production by indie Turkish developer CBILAB VR Studios, the futuristic sci-fi thriller is set in Istanbul, though a decidedly more dystopian version of it in the year 2050. Advanced artificial intelligence has rendered many people jobless and now even has the power to “determine the fate of a life.” The game follows William Kaan Roberts, famous for creating “the most advanced AI in the world,” and Anika, a woman with a Master’s degree in artificial intelligence from Stanford who “will resort to any lengths due to her feelings for Kaan.” Following an accident that caused Roberts to lose both his sister and his faith in AI, the once “dedicated advocate” of his own creation sets out to “get revenge on the system that betrayed him.”
Billed as a cinematic “futuristic detective experience, ManMade is presented in Unreal Engine-driven 3D and played from a third-person perspective, in which you will control both Roberts and Anika, switching between them at predetermined times. You will have to keep your eyes and ears open for details during your investigation, but helping you are Roberts’ cybernetic abilities, such as sight and hearing enhancement, to aid in your search for clues. While puzzle-solving is not particularly complicated, there will be some “hacking and investigation mini puzzle games” to overcome along the way. Also scattered occasionally throughout will be Quick Time Events and time-sensitive conversation mechanics. Player choice promises to be critical as well, as the developers claim that “every decision and every dialogue...matters.” Controls will be optimized for VR systems as well as traditional gamepads and mouse-and-keyboard, while the graphics quality promises to be “similar in both editions.”
To help get ManMade over the finish line, there will be a Kickstarter launched later this month. Provided that it successfully receives funding, the game will be released episodically in five parts beginning in January 2019, on HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, PS4 and standard PC. Intrigued gamers can find out more about ManMade on the official website.