Close to the Sun was one of those games on the PAX East floor that made me do a double take. It at once looked like something very familiar, but also something rather unique. Close to the Sun is a first person survival game, with a focus on narrative, from developer Storm in a Teacup. Set in the 1800s, the story takes a look at what the world would’ve looked like had Tesla beat out Thomas Edison and also became a bit of a maniac. While our time on the show floor with the game was brief, we get the impression that Tesla may not exactly be a well-adjusted ruler – er, boss? We wish had more time to figure that piece out!
The plot follows an investigative journalist named Rose who gets a mysterious, and super unhelpful, letter from her sister Ada who’s gone missing. It takes Rose aboard the Helios, a mighty ship that allegedly houses the greatest science brains of the era. Only when our girl comes through to sass her sister back to safety, Rose discovers that the whole operation is abandoned.
From there Close to the Sun was nothing but polished! The visuals are reminiscent of the Bioshock franchise and it’s hard not to call attention to that. The controls were very simple, making the game accessible to players of any skill level. The gameplay had a bit of jump scares and a lot of puzzles to be solved! But the narrative was dripped in just enough so that you could dive into the details of the world, or swerve past them in favor of getting closer to finding Ada. All in all, a sound choice if you’re a fan of revisionist history narratives or just want to see a story that hasn’t been done before play out!
Close to the Sun will be available on the Epic store in the coming weeks and will eventually make its way to Xbox and PlayStation 4. To see what else we see on the show floor at PAX East, keep it locked right here to Mammoth Gamers.