Past Cure: A Psychological Thriller Game You’ll Need To Binge Play

Player.One Interview Past Cure
  • Playstation 4
  • Xbox One
  • Action-Adventure
2018-02-02

Ian is on a drug trip that refuses to end. It began when he willingly enlists to serve in a military special forces. Instead of returning as a hero, Ian comes back a superhuman after he was abducted by unknown persons. He can somehow manipulate time and project his consciousness to help him fight, but even that’s oversimplifying his experiences as he constantly pop pills to help control his hellish scenario. The past three years of his life is a compilation of hallucinations and fuzzy details he can’t remember.

In Past Cure, we meet Ian at his brother’s beachfront home. He’s gone back to look for clues about his current mutant status. Ian’s brother is a doctor who found someone who’s pimping out drugs that have the same side effects that Ian experiences daily. Ian believes this mystery dealer’s connection to the black market will lead him to the people responsible for ruining his life.

Ian lives in two realities, a dream state vs. the real world. In Ian’s dreams, he encounters mannequin-like beings that want to kill him.  They’re these white figures with piercing black eyes that follow Ian in his recurring nightmares. We don’t know what these mannequins are, but they aren’t a manifestation of Ian’s consciousness, according to Phantom 8 Studios Managing Director Simon Gerdesmann. No, there’s something much more sinister about them.

“You learn [what they are], I don’t want to spoil it,” Gerdesmann said. “There’s no name for these [mannequins]. We call them porcelain figures. They’re inspired by the Greek statues. You will find out later on where they come from.”

These mannequins will change from these perfect figures to cracked statues as the story progresses. Past Cure is a psychological thriller, but not a survival horror game like Resident Evil. It offers combat-based gameplay with puzzles and stealth options. You can power through the game and finish in less than 10 hours or take your time to explore the world. There are also clues to what’s going with Ian in plain sight. If you’re a bit confused about the game’s premise, it’s because Gerdesmann is purposefully vague. The game is unapologetically story-driven and to reveal too many details would ruin the experience.

Past Cure
Shank, shank. Photo: Phantom 8 Studios
Past Cure
CAN WE JUST TALK ABOUT THIS? Photo: Phantom 8 Studios
Past Cure
Death...ok. Photo: Phantom 8 Studios

“We decided against making this game 16-20 hours long. Many people play triple A games and put 10 hours in but never go to the ending,” Gerdesmann said. “They never experience the whole story. We wanted to make a game where people can enjoy a really great story and play through it. We didn’t want something where you [binged] two-three weeks to get through the game. We wanted something where you can play through it in a couple of days and have fun with it.”

That said, there won’t be much replay value in this game. While you can always do another playthrough and check out what you may have missed, it’s a linear game. Gerdesmann confirmed the team will release an enhanced difficulty mode after the game’s release. There will also be an arcade mode where players can dive deeper into the fighting system. No DLC for the game has been announced at this time.

As far as the gameplay is concerned, you will be thrown into high combat situations or super stealth modes. You’ll have to adapt to the situation and be aware of your surroundings. It’s first and foremost an action game, so you can’t stealth your way through everything even if you wanted to. You might not have as much freedom to choose your gameplay style, but the challenge is there.

“We don’t make it easy. We want the player to plan their approach and use their skills, and they have to use their skills. You will investigate and plan [your attack.] For instance, use the slow motion or the time manipulation. You have to use it. It’s trial and error sometimes.”

Gerdesmann’s development team consists of nine people, including himself, and most of whom have never made a video game. They aren’t looking to sell Past Cure and turn it into a triple A title. Gerdesmann is aware more resources can add more content, but that’s not what drove the team to work on this game. This story is meant to be short. It’s meant to be binged played in a day or two. It’s not meant to sit on your console untouched until you have enough time to dedicate to it. Past Cure is meant to satisfy the horror junkie in you and take you on a disturbing trip.

Past Cure will be released on Feb. 2 on Xbox One and PS4 for $29.99.

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