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Preview: Exploring an Alternative Timeline in Close to the Sun

We all know Einstein for his contributions, but what if we were in a world where Nikola Tesla could fulfil his full vision? This is where we start with Close to the Sun.

Last week we were invited to go hands on with Close to the Sun, the latest title by Storm in a Teacup. A first person - story driven horror game, Close to the Sun takes place in an alternative 19th Century where the world has been dramatically changed by the vision of Tesla.

Check out 30 mins of gameplay from the demo here:

We play as Rose, a young journalist who steps aboard the Helios (another creation of Tesla) after receiving a mysterious message from her sister. Here is not only where the game begins, but also where things get a little weird... in a good way of course.

After a brief presentation which gave us a break down of the game, what it was trying to accomplish and seeing some of its core inspirations, which after playing makes sense, we were able to go hands on and play through two chapters.

First off can I just note how beautiful the game's visuals are. We were informed that the development team were focused on making the graphics as photo realistic as possible and it clearly showed in the demo. The game was also developed in mind for next gen going all the way up to 8K, so what we previewed wasn't even what it could look like at its best which was quite shocking to hear.

During our play through, the game seems to be heavily puzzle oriented as we were searching for switches to activate doors and various machines, reading as much material as we can in the environment to not only learn more of the story, but also unlock clues for situations later on such as a locked safe.

I think the one thing that really felt eerie to me was just how quiet it was. You are exploring the Helios and you can see something very bad happened, however there is nothing jumping out at you are trying to purposely scare you, just trying to make you feel alone and in this place, it is the creepiest thing. Of course that only means that the developers pick the right moments to allow things like that to happen and when they did happen, I had a genuine jump or two.

The demo does climax in a chase between Rose and what I can only describe as a complete mad man. Clearly you where getting a little too close to the truth and he didn't like it. Escaping from him was a little difficult in the preview, however we were assured that his speed would be adjusted so it didn't feel like you were trying to run away from Usain Bolt.

So far it looks like the entire game will take place aboard the Helios, however there is so much happening in all the rooms and different areas you can enter that keen explorers will be kept busy for hours with all the secrets and Easter eggs you can find.

I've really enjoyed the premise so far and what I'm the most curious about is how Nikola Tesla's involvement in all of this will not only affect the story, but the game as well.

Close to the Sun is currently set to be released on Windows PC via the Epic Games Store and consoles later this year. For more information on the game, check out the website here - http://www.closetothesungame.com/

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