The Tomorrow Children PS4

Back when Q-Games announced The Tomorrow Children at Gamescom 2014 earlier in the year, this editor recalls spending close to an hour trying to understand what the game is all about. The product of Sony’s long-running relationship with the Kyoto studio, this intriguing indie inspired by the Cold War and Soviet Union is one of the most outlandish exclusives in production for the PlayStation 4 right now – and that’s part of the point.

Writing on the PlayStation Blog, company president Dylan Cuthbert recalled one of his early meetings with system architect Mark Cerny regarding the game. “I want [you] to do something that’s a little outside of the box,” the Marble Madness maker said. Q-Games ultimately decided to run with that, and used the PS4’s emphasis on sharing and community in order to sow the seeds for its eccentric upcoming game.

For those that still don’t really understand what the title is about – and we’ve ploughed another hour of research into reaching this point, so we won’t blame you if you don’t – it’ll see you plunged into a post-apocalyptic city named the Void, which resembles humanity’s last hope. It’s here that you’ll encounter other people – both non-playable characters and other gamers just like you – all trying to fortify the location against a common threat.

Speaking with IGN, Cuthbert explained the loop in a little more detail. “Every single little thing that you do [in the Void], no matter whether you’ve been asked to do it or not, is recorded in a work log,” he said. “And then, when you go to the Ministry of Labour, it lists it all up, every single thing. So, like say if you carried a piece of wood ten metres, it will list that up, and you’ll get a point for it. And those points are totalled up, and then you’re paid.”

You can then use your wages to buy weapons to fight off the enemy threat, or better tools to help you to go about your work more efficiently. It shares similarities with Minecraft in that sense, as you’re constantly moving towards something better – but, like Mojang’s blockbuster, you also don’t ever need to do anything at all. Of course, should you fail as a community, your hometown will eventually be destroyed, and you’ll have to move to another instance of the world.

The gameplay sounds undeniably fascinating, but it’s also the release’s overall look that has put the spotlight on the title in recent months. The release employs some really nifty lighting effects which sees objects reflecting each other in order to achieve its stunning scenes – a technique that Cuthbert believes will become more predominant on the PS4 as the generation goes on. It’s also utilising some fancy colour grading tricks in order to get that sepia style.

All in all, The Tomorrow Children may well end up being an appropriate name, as this entire project sounds seriously ahead of its time. Q-Games’ biggest challenge may be communicating with the average gamer why it should care about this ambitious project, but with an alpha on the way, that should definitely help put it on the map. In the meantime, we reckon that this great social experiment is very much one worth keeping an eye on.

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