In the real world we only get one shot at life, so we need to make the most of our opportunities and choices and hope for the best. In videogames, however, we're sometimes offered a do-over, as in Armature Studio's upcoming PlayStation exclusive, Where the Heart Is.
It's the kind of "fateful stormy night that changes a man's destiny" when "an enormous sinkhole opens in the middle of Whit Anderson's farm." With thunder and lightning raging above, the Andersons' inquisitive Golden Retriever Casey "ventures too close to the gaping maw and tumbles in." The only hope of saving the dog now is for Whit to descend after him, but in doing so he suddenly finds himself emerging "in a realm beyond his imagining." Or rather, very much in his imagining, as here in in this "strange world, constantly shifting like the stops and starts of a dream, Whit bears witness to the story of his life and gains the power to change it."
While based on the protagonist's own life, the world of Where the Heart Is is comprised of "surreal environments and structures that defy reality." The gameplay experience is focused much more on story than puzzles as you "experience a lifetime in hazy, ethereal spaces made manifest by Whit's memories" dating all the way back to his childhood. Along the way you will "uncover his greatest joys and regrets" and delve into his relationships, from his "eccentric, misunderstood brother Sege and high school sweetheart Rene to the children they raise." You are no mere observer, however, as it's up to you to "discover what gets left behind, and what's worth returning to, across a selection of intimate vignettes," and at key moments in Whit's life, you'll be called on to make "hundreds of choices on the journey back home, where dozens of possible endings await."
Where the Heart Is is Armature Studio's first game as an independent design team but they're no strangers to the industry, with collective credits that include the likes of AAA projects Metroid Prime and God of War. There's still more work to be done to complete this debut project, but the game is currently on pace to be launched on PlayStation 4 before the end of the year.