Adventure games these days want to show a branch of receptors to allow emotional and realistic design to keep enthusiastic gamers and non gamers, but sometimes it can be too trivial and not a great cup of tea for everyone. Today’s games are all about shooting things, weird simulation games, and unlimited jump scares with found footage, springing galore of gore in the face of scaredy cats and cat lovers. It makes you want to take a break and light a smoke. Speaking of light, there is plenty of that going on in the adventure game Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. Not just sparks, and fire, and sunsets in a time lapse photography phase, but it’s within every character in the story, as they figure out a life threatening event sent from an extraterrestrial life form in a small English village under quarantine. You’d think light is the way of life and all good in the universe, but it’s more scarce than that.
Here are some things to point out. First are the small bits: handkerchiefs, bloody tissues, radios that broadcast number coordinates, chalk tags. Than there’s the big stuff: outbreak warning flyers, dead birds, and the everybody disappearing. All are clues as to how an end of the world scenario is presented. More importantly, how and why does the light bring towards everyone. There is gossip running around about the final hours, as well as telling secrets no one would dare say to ruin a good moment or try to change a repeating cycle before the otherworldly entity finds the host and bring them to “The Rapture” so to speak. The story can almost relate to the book of Exodus, where Moses lives the good life until God tells the horrible truth about his adoption and how he sends down plagues from heaven, including the infamous Angel of Death, as a way of telling the Pharaoh to let his people go. Villagers would put blood on their doors so that the Angel of Death could pass over them and go to the ones who don’t have a bloody print. The handkerchiefs could be a sign that those who knew about the light entity and were sick with the flu warned other people about the dangers and staying indoors with communicating people using phones or walkie talkies (The light travels quickly through cable lines). Next, the dead birds, opposite to living frogs, fall from the sky. It’s not nearly as comprehensible as the handkerchiefs, but it’s one of the first few plagues that happens. Then we have people disappearing and the chalk outlines, similar to turning water into blood, and the random timing of people falling over dead. The radio broadcasts can be a cryptic messages much like guardian angels who watch over those who wish to forgive their sins. The outbreak flyers are like teachings from God or from non believers to follow orders.
Finally, there’s the floating light showing the player where to go. It’s hard to tell which character the player is controlling in the game, but as the story progresses, the light entity shows spores in certain areas, like pieces of memory being played on a tape recorder. And everything is empty and desolate within the village. If there’s one accurate source of information, with Kate trying to communicate with the light through the radio broadcasts, and all the drama between everyone in the village, it would be the player is the light entity all along and the time lapse atmosphere going from day to night would indicate the light is interacting with the final moments of the characters and then taking them to The Rapture and then coming back to the present era.
The game is divisive, and it’s a classic take on faith and science, and presenting it like an H.G. Wells novel with pretty graphics. There’s a lot of theories surrounding this tale and while it may some wrong or out of touch, it’s still a route I came up with.