DARQ was last in the public spotlight with a jarring teaser that spelt cinematic jump scares, two-dimensional delusions and really, pure-blooded psychological horror.
That was back in 2016, hot on the heels of a naturally successful Greenlight campaign and a less-than-successful Indiegogo one. Two years later, not only does the nightmare continue to persist in its promise but might finally see release this Summer.
I say that it continues to persist this morning, having spent several moments following-up on the past year’s progress after a night of disturbed shut-eye myself. Visually for instance, everything’s different.
Lloyd has undergone a makeover that creator Wlad Marhulets attributes to plenty of calculated, yet undisclosed reasons. The game’s mind-altering physics, assortment of sleep-deprived puzzles, user interface and lush ambience which now includes weather effects have all taken meticulous form; I mean look.
— Unfold Games (@UnfoldGames) August 31, 2017
Bizarre yes? Topping all of which is Bjørn Jacobsen’s recent addition to the sound department, bringing with him a roster of work that looks something like HITMAN, EVE – Online, EVE: Valkyrie, Dust 514 and even the much-anticipated Cyberpunk 2077.
At least on Instagram and Twitter then, the game has continued to garner for itself a considerably enthusiastic audience kept whetted by regular behind-the-scenes design footage. No inhibitions when it comes to fan-art either.
Prospective ‘beta-testers’ and ‘when-can-I-play-it’s are all directed to DARQ’s mailing list one and the same, while a pre-release demo is unlikely given how, in Marhulet’s own words, it would only hinder the full-experience.
DARQ isn’t all about jump scares, in fact they rarely occur, he can often be seen reminding inquisitors. The focus lies instead on the deep-seated tension that will precede these, an element the award-winning composer intends to weave into the fabric of his lucid-dreaming simulator. It’s a fascinating and surreal experience brought to life through the medium of interactive entertainment.
Here’s hoping it does make it to consoles as well.