by Chris Priestman
previewed on PS3
An Intriguing Concept
Working outwardly from these thoughts, the universe of Adrift sees its people able to digitize, buy, sell or trade their own personal memories. Each citizen is fitted with a brain implant technology known as SenSen that somehow records experiences and memories. The exchange of personal information has been blown out of control and it now dominates the lives of its people, even acting as a form of currency. As is often the case with dystopian worlds, this corruption of humanity has allowed the transfer of power to a very privileged few who are under the false impression that they can control it. Mega corporations dictate above everything else, and the population is enslaved to their service.
With all of these ideas set up, DONTNOD needed some cohesion and so they brought in two award-winning sci-fi authors to carve a narrative out of their ideas. Their work is still shrouded in mystery as the team were not keen to unveil any plot or character details, but they were clear in their intentions regarding how the game will play. A big influence for Adrift seems to be Rocksteady's Batman titles, with a heavy focus on combat, complimented with light exploration and some puzzle elements. At the moment, the team is working on creating a solid action adventure experience, but they say they have at least one innovative feature to brag about as their unique selling point. No further details or clues were provided on this apparent 'blow your mind' idea, but we remain cautiously optimistic. The team were also keen to invite comparisons to Bioshock's ability to make players think outside of the game - this seems inevitable considering the initial ideas the game was built upon.
A Confident Secrecy
Not much else could be pried from the tight lips of the developers regarding in-game details, despite begging, whinging and diversionary tactics being employed. The title of their newly-formed studio seems to have been based on this very situation - with a simple nod revealing precious information to crafty journalists. What we can confirm is that the game will be available on the Xbox 360 and PS3 in Fall 2012, and to answer recent rumours, it was indeed a PS3 exclusive for the first year of its two year development lifetime. Adrift will adopt a photorealistic look and is in development on Unreal Engine 3. It will be a single player experience and at the moment is a full box release, although the team is still arranging for this to happen and are prepared to release the game as a downloadable title if they fail to secure a deal.
We knew the announcement of DONTNOD's first title was going to provoke more questions than answers. We left as the developers had planned: teased and with a grin on our face. More details on Adrift will come at some point, but it is likely that this will not be until the New Year has passed. If the concept art is anything to by, Adrift will be a thought-provoking, impressive-looking action adventure title. How is that for some ostensible reasoning? As to the promise of this innovative feature, we have mixed feelings after having been hurt by over-ambitious teams before. Let's just hope DONTNOD can keep to their promise.