After exceeding all expectations during a successful Kickstarter campaign, indie developers Suzaku have now announced that their 2.5D horror adventure, Sense – 不祥的预感: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story, is set for a release in 2020 on a multitude of platforms. Don’t expect a horror full of jump scares though, with Sense hoping to take the genre back to its roots to create a prolonged feeling of dread.
Inspired by the likes of Clock Tower and Fatal Frame, the narrative of Sense takes us to2083 Neo Hong Kong, where a young woman named Mei Lin Mak is dragged into a maelstrom of supernatural horror. As she delves deeper into a century-old mystery, Mei will be forced to question her perception of reality and her trust of the cybernetic eyes she possesses. Under the neon lights of a cyberpunk dystopia, the ruins of the ‘Chong Sing Apartments’ hide a bloody mystery that’s illuminated by both the traditions of Chinese folklore and the innovations of the industrial future. If there is any hope of escaping this nightmare, Mei must explore the complexity of it all, piecing together the stories of 14 lost souls to discover the truth of her own family curse.
“After lots of drafting, feedback, and help from an established publisher and fellow developers, I think I found a solid look and feel, and most importantly, I feel was finally able to craft something unique and exciting” said the lead developer and owner of Suzaku, Benjamin Widdowson.
In terms of art, Sense utilises a hand-painting 2.5D style, as this provides the added benefit of shifting the perspective to give off a 3D feel with 2D illustrations. It’s worth noting that it also happily embraces eroticism and fan-service throughout, but not to the point that it detracts from its roots in the horror genre. You can still expect ghastly spirits, ghouls, and deformed creatures of all types to be found lurking in the shadows. As for the game’s locations, and well, it’s clear they are heavily influenced by futuristic environments, drawing plenty of inspiration from the architecture of Asian cities and buildings. The aesthetic here consists of bright, colourful neon lights, which is in stark contrast to the dark, brooding streets and back alleys of the dystopia that the protagonist finds herself in.
The immersive, atmospheric and rather brooding soundtrack that accompanies the goings on in Sense is composed by Andy Andi Han – a composer with significant experience in games and was the co-composer of the famed visual novel Katawa Shoujo. With influences from John Carpenter, Vangelis, and traditional Chinese Opera, the synth-meets-eastern sound aims to provide a lasting and memorable auditory experience for players. The music is an essential sensory element, complementing the journey through Neo Hong Kong’s moody, neon-filled streets… and wherever else the adventure may lead!
Sense – 不祥的预感: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story did so well in its Kickstarter that it’ll also have a few additional features, including voice action, two bonus chapters arriving as free DLC post-launch, and localisation in Japanese, Spanish and Russian. The horror experience it hopes to deliver is planned to release on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PS Vita, Nintendo Switch, PC, Linux and Mac in 2020. Those of you on Steam can check out a demo right now too via its store page.
Will you be keeping tabs on Sense – 不祥的预感: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story and its unique blend of cyberpunk and Chinese folklore?