Moving on from Salvaged, the next game I got to get my paws on was Ether One, a first person adventure game from the small studio White Paper Games.
Ether One, from the off, is all about discovery. Continuing the recently popular theme of slow paced discovery titles started by games such as Myst all those years ago (we’ve had titles like Gone Home and such more recently) you find yourself walking around the small town of Pinwheel piecing together the game’s story.
The stories in this genre of games are somewhat more important than in over the top feasts like Battlefield and such, however from what I’ve heard and played thus far Ether One seems to be more than up for the task. The game centres around a dementia patient and the plot revolves around the fragile nature of the human mind. I’d love to go into further details however it would be very unfair for me to do so.
You can play though the game without touching a single puzzle if the story is all you're interested in. However, for those seeking a little more of a challenge you can instead try to work out the many complex puzzles dotted about the game, all of which play a part in piecing together the many events of the main character’s history. The studio are fond of the old traditional pen and paper required note-taking puzzles of old, so ensure you have them on standby for the harder to complete puzzles later in the game.
Visually the game looks great, as the lighting reflects the calm nature of Pinwheel (at least, on the section of which I was playing). From what I’ve heard so far of the soundtrack it matches the genre of this game perfectly.
Ether One supports the Oculus Rift, which I managed to bag some time with. The VR headset works perfectly, allowing you to look around at your own pleasure. After speaking to NJ (see the video towards the bottom of this article) it is clear the team enjoyed working with the headset and also found it relatively straight forward to include as an option in Ether One. Personally, and also bearing in mind it was my first time using the Rift I sadly found myself getting a headache after only a few minutes worth of play. I struggle to see the 3D aspects in 3D films, so perhaps that played a part in me having to remove the headset after a short amount of time. The other members of the team (specifically Mat and Mike) enjoyed using the headset more than me. I’ll be speaking more about the Oculus Rift in an upcoming preview of Fortresscraft Evolved in a few days time.
It is hard to talk in detail regarding games based in a genre that is powered by the sense of discovery, and while it isn’t a game for all tastes I’ll be personally looking forward to playing this one in my own time.
As mentioned earlier, below you can find a video interview with NJ, the audio lead for Ether One. He talks about the game and of course the Oculus Rift. Further below is the latest trailer for the game. You can purchase Ether One now directly from the developers, GoG or The Humble Store. Links and more information can be found at the game’s official website, ether-game.com. You can also follow them on Twitter, @WhitePaperGames.