The Vanishing of Ethan Carter logo

The first in-game screens from The Vanishing of Ethan Carter show off a game world that’s equal parts lush and horrific.

Coming as it does from former owners and leads of the team that gave the world Painkiller and Bulletstorm, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is unexpected to say the least. It’s a first-person game of exploration and environmental interaction in which you play as Paul Prospero, an “occult detective” investigating the disappearance of a boy named Ethan Carter. Developer The Astronauts describes the game as “weird fiction” horror and says the focus is on “atmosphere, mood and the essential humanity of our characters.” It seems they’ve come a long way from “dicktits.”

Today the studio released the first screens from the game, and they look nothing short of spectacular – and yes, creepy too. They’re taken from the first few minutes of The Vanishing, and they are actual gameplay screens, not cinematics; the studio says it doesn’t plan to use cut scenes in the game.

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is currently being developed for the PC and The Astronauts says it hopes to “eventually” bring it to next-gen platforms as well, and while no release date has been set, “it’s a question of months, not years.” In the meantime, you can get a sense of what’s in store by way of this very cool “mini-comic” prequel.

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