Playing psychological horror games without freaking out can be hard enough without the protagonist being on the verge of losing his or her mind as well, but we'll have to contend with both sets of challenges when indie developer Twisted II Studio's Dark Fracture debuts on Early Access early next year.
It's the late nineties in an "isolated forested region in the rural USA" where a man named Edward works as a "body farm employee who is pained by his past." Edward's psychological problems are compounded by the loneliness of his work environment, and his only relief comes from "the medicine that helps him get through the day" and the daily routine he's developed to help him cope. Unfortunately for him, "one night, while working the dreaded midnight shift, a chain of disturbing events draws Edward ever closer to losing his grip on reality" as "the very fabric of his world seems to unravel and twist." But is it all in his mind, or is there indeed "something darker clawing at his heels, threatening to drag him into the depths?"
Dark Fracture features the traditional free-roaming, first-person 3D presentation of similar horror adventures, taking players not only through the bleak rooms and halls of the body farm where Edward works, but also into a grim parallel world inspired by artists like H.R. Giger and Zdzisław Beksiński. The environment continually changes as the "barrier between reality and imagination seems to crumble," and maintaining your sanity becomes a very tangible challenge. While scavenging for limited light sources and searching for items needed to solve puzzles, you must also monitor your "sanity meter" as procedurally generated "irregular paranormal events" occur that threaten your state of mind. Your choices will matter as well, as the decisions you make along the way will "impact your storyline and outcome."
The full version of Dark Fracture isn't expected until late 2021 or early 2022 on PC and next-gen consoles, but those eager to get started sooner rather than later can do so in a number of ways. A playable prologue is already available now on Steam, and an Early Access version is slated to be launched on February 28, 2021.