Abandoned, a first-person survival horror shooter driven by high-end motion captures and photorealistic environments, has been in development for nearly four years in running. The weight of external projects back then however meant that developer Blue Box Game Studios has only recently started working full time on the game. That is why Abandoned was never announced until now.
Speaking with SegmentNext in a recent interview, Blue Box Game Studios explained that Abandoned will be exclusive to PlayStation 5 because of the small team of developers involved.
“We are doing the level design, motion capture; we are writing the scripts, we code the game, we do pretty much everything game-related. And then there is the part where you learn to optimize the game for PS5. Make sure what works, and what does not.”
Abandoned particularly places a large focus on realistic environments and character interactions. The game will not only be optimized to run in 60 frames per second at 4K resolution on PS5 but also designed to support the new DualSense controller features. The developer noted that creating the game for Xbox alongside PS5 for example right now “would be nothing short of chaos.”
When asked whether the new DualSense features are hard to implement or not, the developer responded that it really “depends on the design of one’s game.” However, “Sony helps a lot with explaining their hardware.”
Abandoned promises an open world setting but to an extent that players are free to go where they please. While the developer refrained from pointing out just how large the world will be by citing limited resources, Blue Box Game Studios did point towards its cinematic storytelling and survival elements which will add replay value but at the expense of side quests.
“We wanted to make sure to deliver a game that is durable and has replayability as many people requested. The game has slow tactical battles and each and every choice, each interaction shapes the game.”
The realism in gameplay stems mainly from survival mechanics. The developer explained just how players will be required to drink and eat. If they are unable to find food, they must hunt wild animals. “You get stronger by collecting enough resources like enough ammo, a good variety of weapons, food, water and even basic things like a backpack to carry all those things. The less you have, the weaker you are, the harder it will be to progress in the game.”
Shortly after its announcement, Abandoned became the subject of a rumor which labelled it as the next project of famed director Hideo Kojima and his Kojima Productions. When asked if the rumor added any pressure on the developer to deliver on the same scale, Blue Box Game Studios stated that “this just means people expect triple-a quality from us” and as such, the studio is pretty confident of “keeping up with the promise of making a new good game.”
Abandoned has only been teased at the time of writing but a gameplay reveal will be coming around soon, which Blue Box Game Studios stated will showcase a “polished, realistic and cinematic feel.” That however may have people accusing the developer of showing cinematics for gameplay, warned Blue Box Game Studios. There will hence be a playable teaser demo on PS5 shortly after the gameplay reveal takes place in order to avoid any confusion.
The game will also be supported ray tracing lighting on PS5 to make the creepy environments even creepier but which will not be available as part of the playable teaser demo. The developer stated that ray tracing support will possibly be added post-release through an update.
Abandoned remains in active development for an exclusive release on PlayStation 5 in fall 2021. Blue Box Game Studios is quite confident to meet the deadline but will still be preferring quality over quantity. The developer will not be rushing for the sake of a holiday release which is laudable.
“You should also consider that the images in the teaser were from an older version with placeholder animations and VFX like that ugly fire everyone is talking about,” said the developer when asked about possible delays. “But then again, we never expected so much interest for our game.”