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Chasing Static tuning up for 2020 release

Videogames may primarily be a visual medium, but sound can be an equally important element when used smartly. You'll need keen auditory perception – or more accurately, the ability to use sound-sensing equipment to do the listening for you – for indie developer Sick Chicken's upcoming "psychological horror short story," Chasing Static.

Players step into the first-person shoes of Chris Selwood, a middle-aged man who returns to his rural childhood hometown in North Wales for the funeral of his estranged father. The night of the burial, on his way home Chris is forced to pull over at a roadside cafe during a particularly nasty storm. There is no sanctuary here, however, as he soon finds himself "venturing into the woods blindly following the distressed screams of the cafe waitress." In doing so, Chris stumbles upon the "forgotten remains of a government cover-up" revealed largely through audio logs and playable "echoes" in time from a "long abandoned research facility" that was investigating a mysterious temporal phenomenon.

Chasing Static is about as far removed from the indie developer's previous adventure (Guard Duty) as could be. Inspired by "sci-fi horror and contemporary surrealist cinema" from the eighties, this game immediately stands out from its predecessor and indeed most of its contemporaries due to its "crunchy low poly visuals reminiscent of PS1 classics." Yet the real hook of this game is not its look but its sound – or rather, its dependence on sound to succeed – as "audio driven gameplay mechanics have you hunting anomalies with an experimental Shortwave Displacement Monitoring Device." This instrument provides "visual indicators for both tracking frequency bands and narrowing signals," allowing even the hearing impaired to operate it. In following its leads, players have the freedom to explore at their leisure in a non-linear fashion, uncovering secrets "in any order you please" over the course of an estimated two hours of playtime.

There is no firm release date just yet, but Chasing Static is due to launch on Steam for Windows PC sometime before the end of this year. To follow its progress in the meantime, you can check out the game's official website for updates. 

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