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Everybody's Gone To The Rapture by Jessica Curry (Review)

posted Sep 23, 2015, 9:49 PM by Koray Savas

Everybody's Gone To The Rapture is indie developer The Chinese Room's third game. Available exclusively on Sony's PS4, this exploration based game is set is a British countryside village after a cataclysmic event makes the entire population disappear. The game isn't without its flaws, but at its heart, there is a deeply beautiful story waiting to be unfolded by the player. I am not exaggerating when I say that 90% of Rapture's emotional resonance is derived from The Chinese Room's director and composer, Jessica Curry.

There is very minimal interactivity in the game, as one discovers the story by listening to radio broadcasts and seeing shapeless flashes of the characters and events prior to their disappearance. This means the story's pacing and structure relies entirely on the music. As things begin to fit together and form the narrative structure, the achingly gorgeous choral writing will guide you from town to town, character to character. There are six arcs to be told in all, the capstone of each anecdote being an audiovisual spectacle of how these people vanished. The pastoral hymnal writing fleshes out the game's setting to truly transport you to the rolling hills and sun drenched vistas of the fictional village. In addition to the spectacular chorus, there are lush, swelling strings and gentle piano to wrap everything up in a sorrowful bow. With lyrics like "So a-roving I'll go through my fields once more / With my ear to the maize and the corn, / And wait for the day that death comes for me / To carry me back to her arms," one can't help but get sucked into this mysterious world. The musical narrative is even more effective on album, as it is no longer dependent on how the player explores the environments. Curry instills an organic structure and build to the melodies, giving the climax a real sense of weight and elation.

Everybody's Gone To The Rapture is immensely special in its musical execution. The narrative and score are entwined, relying upon each other to deliver that wondrous feeling of discovering the unknown. The somber tone and elegant instrumentation will lure you in with curiosity, and bring you to tears with its sheer emotion. There isn't quite anything like it in the medium; listen as soon as possible.