I like to think that the first-person exploration genre started way back when with Half-Life 2: Lost Coast, though it can be argued that Valve’s effort was more of a tech demo than a real stab at the exploration genre. The reality is that Dear Esther was the first such game, with titles such as Gone Home and Montague’s Mount taking a stab at the alternative take on first-person action. They will soon welcome a new genre-mate as The Old City: Leviathan is due for release December 1st.
Promising to be the first part of a larger story, this is a début release in the mould of the aforementioned titles from PostMod Softworks. The team have focused on the narrative which is explored through the protagonists poetic musings and the secrets that you will find around the world. These secrets include a 30,000 world novella which is revealed as you progress through the game.
The developers made the following comment in the press release confirming the launch date:
Our goal is to create a story that relies on your ability to explore, and in doing so we are exploring new topics in the gaming medium. Beyond this, we want to show that narrative and visuals alone can make a fantastic experience, and that they are not necessarily secondary to elements like gameplay. Games can be for whoever and about whatever, and our game is for people willing to discover and about how to exist with differing beliefs.
There is apparently up to five hours of gameplay for those who take their time and it will be available for $15 with a first week discount at $11.25. The art style from the video is very interesting, I get a distinct Dishonored vibe from it. And there is nothing wrong with that.