A Light In Chrous Hands-On Preview
A Light in Chorus demonstrates a number of things.
Firstly it highlights the sudden switch to more organic and natural games. Games embracing nature for exploration and inspiration. Ori and the Blind Forest and Never Alone are two other prominent titles from this year’s EGX London that prove that point.
Secondly, a game can look absolutely beguiling without a squad of texture artists and object modellers. Without millions being spent on motion capture technology. One brief look at A Light In Chorus will have you intrigued. Seeing the game actually running will leave you open mouthed.
Using a similar visual style to the “Echo” feature found in Tom Clancy’s The Division the world of A Light In Chorus is built from thousands of points of light. Millions of particles suspended in a black space building up the world around you. The initial portion you look at is a street. You walk down the street but the “street” is blank. The only thing that defines it are the buildings and environmental objects. These are all built from these coloured points of light. Shimmering and shaking as you move the world is an ephemeral dance of colour and light. Looking at stills of this game will never give you the sense of impact it has when running.
As we moved down the street we break out in to a wooded communal area that has lights strung over it and a progressively more rural feel until we finally happen upon the outskirts of a massive carnival. Walking around inside the carnival you’ll encounter Helter Skelters , carousels and a big wheel. Watching the big wheel made of light points was a particularly impressive portion of the experience.
As it stands at this time A Light In Chorus is a long, long way off from release. Speaking with the developers at the time they were saying 2016 was a possible but there was a way to go yet. They have an vision, they have some things they want to achieve and some areas they’d love to explore. Think of A Light In Chorus as a game with no firm “win” state. No stars to collect, no complex mechanic to wrestle with. You, as a ball of swirly lovely particles travel the world which you see as light dots. You can absorb certain objects around that world and then use them to help solve the odd puzzle or bring life to areas of the map. It’s a noble and slightly artsy concept that Elliot Johnson and Matthew Warshaw manage to pull off without the concept seeming pretentious – it’s just beautiful and it knows it!
To use the developers own words:
A Light in Chorus is an exploration game set in a world made entirely of particles. It’s probably fair to say that it’s a game that’s more concerned about mood and feel than win-states. You move around the world as a reconfigurable swarm of points;- adopting the shapes of things around you, illuminating hidden landscapes and revealing shadowy fragments of a much larger mystery…
Also, shifting a bunch of particles around a glowy world is quite fun.
Of all the Leftfield titles on display at EGX London this year A Light In Chorus is the one I want to see more of, to watch it grow, gain some narrative and some social conscience and maybe take us on a journey through a beautiful world whilst enthusing us to do a little more about our own.
No release dates but I heartily suggest you take a look at www.lightchorus.com and follow the project on @ALIGHTINCHORUS on Twitter. This really does personify the phrase “one to watch”!