Routine is all about first-person perma-death exploration horror - on the moon!
The first-person horror genre just got a little more crowded with the announcement of Routine, a game in which you're sent to investigate the disappearance of all personnel at a research station on the moon. It looks like a fairly conventional addition to the field at this early stage, at least as it's been defined by the hit Amnesia: The Dark Descent, with "full body awareness" and no HUD or hit points, but it adds a few unique twists of its own that could turn it into a seriously compelling experience.
For one thing, it will be entirely non-linear. The lunar base will be fully open and explorable from the get-go, allowing players to solve the mystery on their own terms and even discover secrets that others miss. Not that solving the mystery is a given, though, because Routine also makes use of a "Perma-death system" and while it's not actually described to any extent, it seems pretty obvious: you die, and you start over.
That's a ballsy move and will no doubt drive people crazy, but I like it. One of the few weaknesses of Amnesia is that it could be "beaten" simply by blundering through it, because death carried no real consequences. But if dying means starting over, you can bet that people will work a lot harder to stay out of trouble, and to haul ass when they run into it.
Routine is the first project for three-person development team Lunar Software, an indie studio based in the U.K. No release date has been set, but you can bet we'll make some noise about it when it gets here. In the meantime, you can find out more at routinegame.com.