It feels rare that survival horror is done right. After the PlayStation-era survival horror renaissance, developers jumped on the bandwagon quickly, looking to cash in on the immense success of horror juggernauts Resident Evil and Silent Hill. The quick over-saturation led the genre to quickly atrophy – eventually even causing for the decline of the aforementioned Resident Evil and Silent Hill franchises. Thousands might decry the genre, but there are a few who seek to return survival horror to its former glory.
Aaron Wilde and Maria Hansson, founders of the UK based VisionArts, are two of survival horror’s champions. Inspired by survival horror classics, the two intrepid indie developers have recently taken to Kickstarter to seek funding for their first person survival horror game, Middle of Nowhere.
Perhaps the greatest asset the VisionArts duo has is their indie initiative. Survival horror’s downfall is easily traceable to big name studios sullying a once-great genre. This plight is one that Middle of Nowhere aims to fix. With no one to dictate how to make their game – except feedback from fans and Kickstarter backers – Wilde and Hansson are in a unique position to revitalize survival horror.
Middle of Nowhere aims to be a survival experience that stays with players long after the game is finished. Players take control of Isaac Newman, a man with an unfortunate past, as he searches for his brother who has gone missing after being called away to a small town on a medical emergency. Isaac follows his brother’s path, travelling to the town his brother was last seen at, and begins his search around the town and outlying area – only to find out that in the middle of nowhere, nothing is quite like it seems.
Middle of Nowhere’s premise is at first glance standard survival horror fare: a man with a troubled past journeys to a strange town to search for a loved one, only to uncover the area’s sinister secrets. VisionArts has much more in store for Middle of Nowhere, however, and have some interesting elements that make this indie survival horror game truly stand out.
The game takes place in the near future. Set in the year 2020, Middle of Nowhere’s vision of the North American town is one that in many ways doesn’t feel too far out of the realm of possibility. The landscape the player encounters is well realized and feels very much alive – even in the game’s current, pre-alpha state. Middle of Nowhere’s world features plenty of locations for the players to explore as they seek to uncover the game’s secrets and survive the harsh locations. Filled with dense forestry and littered with shacks, ruins, and the likes, Middle of Nowhere nails down an air of familiarity while managing to always keep the player on their toes.
Staying alert and prepared is the key to surviving Middle of Nowhere. The game’s story will have players exploring numerous deadly locations, filled with horrific creatures that have only your death on their mind. Utilizing Middle of Nowhere’s ‘survival skills’, such as building campfires and shelter – are an integral part of making it out of the game alive. Learning to master these survival skills is just as important as combat in Middle of Nowhere – guns in the world are both scarce and expensive. Fight and flight are both valid tactics in Middle of Nowhere and situation discretion is a necessity.
VisionArts is dedicated to bringing an unforgettable – and enjoyable – horror experience. Even though the game is early in its development, the team has a playable demo currently available to experience all just some of what Middle of Nowhere has to offer. Playing the demo serves as great introduction to Middle of Nowhere’s core gameplay aspects that has a whole lot to love.
Middle of Nowhere’s Kickstarter runs for the next thirty days. VisionArts hopes to raise 25,000 pounds (approx $40,000) in order to fully fund their project. Their budget breakdown takes into account every aspect of the development period – from hardware and liscencing to programming and 3d modeling. Funding Middle of Nowhere isn’t the only reason that VisionArts has taken to Kickstarter however. The team is excited to work directly with fans and backers, taking their input to heart in order to create the best possible survival horror experience.
Survival horror fans are doing themselves a disservice by not checking out Middle of Nowhere. Everyone loves an underdog story – and the indie studio VisionArts is just that, a small team of unbelivably dedicated developers looking to create an unforgettable video game experience.
Middle of Nowhere’s Kickstarter page can be found here. The game is also up for voting on Steam’s Greenlight. And of course, those who want to jump right into Middle of Nowhere can download the demo directly.
Stay tuned for more coverage on Middle of Nowhere coming soon.
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