Sense: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story Returns horror genre to its roots
After being successfully funded 600% on Kickstarter in 2018, Sense – 不祥的预感: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story, is finally out on Steam today! The game is a mix of Chinese traditional folklore and cyberpunk themes and aims for a true horror experience that favors an overwhelming sense of dread and oppression over jump scares.
Drawing inspiration from the likes of Clock Tower and Fatal Frame, Sense takes place in Neo Hong Kong, 2083, and follows the story of a young woman named Mei-Lin Mak who is dragged into a maelstrom of supernatural horror. In order to escape the nightmare, she must piece together the stories of 14 lost souls and discover the truth about her own family curse. All on a backdrop of a city of scars and secrets, of neon lights and riot drones, tradition, and technology.
Sense features deep survival horror and exploration-based gameplay complemented by partial voice acting, puzzle-solving, and intricate secrets and exploration. The game is playable in English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Russian, and is accompanied by a haunting and moving soundtrack by Andy Andi Han (Synergia, Katawa Shoujo) that merges together the worlds of cyberpunk, oriental music, and John Carpenter.
- Interaction – The player will need to search and examine every nook and cranny of the world around them in order to progress. Some items may not be visible until specific chains are completed, and some items may be hidden from Mei’s cybernetic eyes at all times as if spirited away by the ghosts stalking her. Some may require quick wit – and have urgent consequences.
- Dialogue – NPCs will be heavily populating a few areas of the full game, but there may be some wandering the halls with you. Talking to them can reveal information about the world, the mystery at hand, and even some unexpected secrets.
- Lore – The world of Sense is huge and complex, each location will reveal details about Neo-Hong Kong and the surrounding world. From Geo-Politics to inter-character relationships, don’t be afraid to click on anything that looks interesting.
- Ghosts – The ghosts of the Chong Sing building can hurt you, but can you hurt them? The short answer is no, but you can help them pass on. Shrines, offerings, and solving mysteries will be your only weapons.
- Death and failure – Like all the best games, failure and mistakes should be punished, but in a heavily narrative game how do you do that? How do you promote stakes and risks? The answer is simple, fill the world with dangerous events and deadly spirits. Just make sure to record your progress at the occasional TV, there are NO checkpoints or autosaves in the Chong Sing building.
- Replayability – Sense will be filled with secrets, only some of them will be revealed in a single playthrough. Some secrets won’t be able to escape the spirit realm until the “Plus” appears.
Sense – 不祥的预感: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story is out today on Steam for $19.99 USD / €16.79 with a 10% discount over the first week. PS4, Xbox One, PS Vita, and Nintendo Switch versions are scheduled to launch this fall.