Indie studio Pentacle‘s new game The Works of Mercy, which is set to come out in just a couple of weeks, should appeal to any film-loving horror gamers. Visually striking and inspired by Repulsion and The Tenant of Roman Polanski‘s “Apartment Trilogy”, as well as Stanley Kubrick‘s The Shining, the game revolves around the player being forced into killing seemingly random people in order to save his family.
This psychological thriller frames your character as a villain, albeit an unwilling one. A mysterious person has kidnapped your family and tasked you with taking out certain individuals, who may be innocent victims or may have done something terrible in their pasts. You’re told not to worry about the details.
According to its Kickstarter page, the game:
“tells a story of a personal tragedy and wrecked psyche. When a cryptic tormentor forces the protagonist to kill people in order to save his family, the game’s hero (and the player) is posed with a series of dramatic questions. Who is the tormentor? Why is he so vengeful toward the protagonist’s family? How far do you have to go to satisfy him? How can you justify the killing in the sake of saving someone’s life? And how will you cope with the sense of guilt?”
Similar to P.T. and Gone Home, the game’s environments are completely immersive. The prologue gameplay trailer shows just how interactive the world is, shown as you explore your eerily empty apartment:
You can definitely see Kubrick and Polanski’s fingerprints all over the game’s design, with the photorealistic world displaying bold blocks of colour, geometric patterns and big, airy rooms.
As you move through the game, taking out your victims in order is what keeps the storyline progressing. Each new kill has its own set of consequences which affect your play style, and there are multiple possible endings.
At this point The Works of Mercy has exceeded their Kickstarter goal and is set to release on Steam for June 7.