When it comes to futuristic sci-fi, it seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same. This axiom looks to be true once again in Project 4: New Light City, an episodic investigative thriller set to debut later this year.
New Light City is a shining utopian metropolis. Born of a brave new world built on global government control, everything runs smoothly, and everyone gets along. Elections are a thing of the past, and citizens enjoy fulfilling and safe lives. Well … almost. Beneath the seemingly idyllic veneer, organized crime syndicates run an underground economy, the rich seemingly live in an entirely different world than the poor, and the city's inhabitants are hardly as gullible as their leaders would like to believe. Recently there has been a string of murder-suicides, and the High Council would really like to get things under wraps before people start to panic, or worse yet, lose faith in the government. Enter Detective Max Boston, the “street-smart Lead Special Investigator of the Enforcement Unit Branch.” Tasked with getting to the bottom of this unsightly mess, it’s going to take all his “wits, reflexes, and skills during the investigation to uncover what has been driving otherwise normal citizens to commit such brutal and unspeakable crimes.”
Indie developer Catch Light Interactive has built a virtual 3D city for players to roam freely in first-person perspective, populated by a colourful cast of characters to interact with. You’ll also need to navigate a variety of mini-games, dialogue trees, and action segments as Max attempts to “outsmart billionaire CEOs, advanced AI units, normal everyday citizens, and captains of some of the worst criminal organizations in the city’s secret underworld” to find answers. With nonlinear gameplay and multiple endings available, the way you approach the case matters because “how you interact with people and the choices you make affects the outcome of your investigation and, ultimately, the climactic ending to your story.” Fortunately, helping you out along the way will be Max’s Quantech multitool, which “serves as your journal, a place to keep notes about previous conversations, a flashlight, map, and a little technological muscle when you need to hack through a locked door or two.” It even provides a “friendly, pleasantly-voiced companion to provide encouragement when times get tough.”
The full version of Project 4: New Light City is expected to offer around ten hours of gameplay, but it will be released in an episodic format, with the first chapter due out later this year on PC. In the meantime, you can learn more about the game through the official website.