Everybody's Gone to the Rapture Reviews
Walking simulator as a term started as a dismissive joke, and Everybody's Gone to the Rapture is the punchline, a shaggy dog effort determined to mock the idea that games need players. It's not meta. It's not clever. It's banal and tedious and if your narrative focused do-nothing game wouldn't work as a halfway interesting short story, then it won't be better just because you force people to walk slowly around a wholly un-interactive game space while you drip-feed them unconnected plot points.
Nice as it can be to look around the world of Everbody's Gone To The Rapture, its story is dead, empty, and filled with redundant notions of player engagement.
As with Dear Esther before it, it offers up an admirable and atmospheric experience that simply isn't all that much fun to play.
Everybody's gone to Rapture… but sadly not everyone will like it.
Everybody's Gone To The Rapture really is a walking simulator, and possesses all the traits associated. Really nice soundtrack though.
Rapture deals with mature, human subject matter -- failing relationships, aging, death -- with notable verisimilitude before acquiescing to its lurid, fantastical bent. The latter feels disconnected from the initially analog apocalypse and your thoughts on Dear Esther will likely echo off this ornate end. What Rapture does well feels slight. Interwoven character sketches stretched out like clippings of a short story dropped every mile.
As much as this game could have been a great suspense story, it falls short in making clear what the story is about.
Everybody's Gone To The Rapture really tried to be something more powerful than a video game. It tried to be art. However, instead of becoming a Mona Lisa, it felt as though the paint was still awaiting its first brush stroke. It never quite got there, but if it ever achieved that first stroke, it was bound to be brilliant.
An engaging story, gorgeous environment and well-written characters can't distract from the fact that Everybody's Gone To The Rapture's gameplay is buggy and lethargic.
A sci-fi short story masquerading as a video game, and while it's often fascinating and beautiful it makes even other walking simulators seem fast-paced by comparison.
Everybody's Gone to the Rapture spins a good yarn, but it does nearly all the spinning, leaving little for the player. Its impact falls flat after trudging slowly across a world with little of substance for players to find, explore, or interpret.
Until quite late on in the game, I struggled to figure out what I thought about Everybody's Gone to the Rapture. An absolutely stunning piece of visual art, it's somewhat let down by its impossibly slow pace, and the ease of which key plot points can be missed. It felt at times like I would rather have been "in the moment" of the apocalypse, experiencing the titular Rapture first hand, rather than piecing together the events after the fact. A game in which you sometimes struggle to find yourself caring about some of the people involved, but with enough atmosphere to enable life on the Moon, Rapture really is a mixed bag. If you want a change of pace from the regular "shooty bang" fodder, then it's worth a look, even with its (very obvious) flaws.
It's a shame that Everybody's Gone to the Rapture falls for the trap of slowing players down to force engagement because it does the exact opposite. There's plenty to latch onto here, but the slow movement speed and technical problems distract from the otherwise moving story.
Fans of slower-paced story games will enjoy it, but others may very well lose their patience.
Everybody's Gone to the Rapture contains astounding humanity beneath its flaws
Eavesdropping on the echoes of the village's former residents is worthwhile, but the overarching mystery leaves a pretentious aftertaste
I personally love the idea about how the developers used this instead of showing us what has happened during the apocalypse, since it adds more drama to the game. The game showcases each character's trait, depending on what predicament they're in. The idea of "how the people would react/feel about the tragedy" is certainly the strongest point in this game. The gameplay's simple feel makes it a bit boring and lackluster, though, since you can't run and there aren't really any other mechanics present in the game, but you won't be able to deny that the game's story would most certainly be aesthetic.
Everybody's Gone to the Rapture feels trapped by its medium, forced into one of a handful of approved genres because that's what is expected of videogames. The Chinese Room knows how to create vibrant worlds, and fills Rapture's with a number of believable characters. If they trusted fully in these characters and their lives, or the audience's willingness to be fascinated by them without a sci-fi hook, Rapture would have been stronger for it. Anybody interested in games as a storytelling medium should play it, even if its light is reined back in right on the verge of transcendence.
Everybody's Gone to the Rapture has an original and engaging story to tell over its roughly 5 hours of play time. If you enjoy narrative-driven games it could be worth a look, but it's not a huge step forward for the genre.