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Past Cure is a stealth action game inspired by Inception, Silent Hill, and the Metal Gear series

Past Cure.jpg

Past Cure by Phantom 8 Studio was announced at E3, and you might've missed it among all the big announcements. The first thing I noticed about the game was the "Inception inspired" description, as it was one of my all-time favourite movies. Secondly, the title of "Independent AAA" next to the graphics section. It reminded me of Ninja Theory's Hellblade journey as they ushered in the 'movement' so to speak of the Independent AAA game development studio.

"We believe there's a third way to develop and distribute games. Neither AAA nor Indie. Where games can take creative risks, can be made for a smaller audience, but still strive for AAA quality. And this is what Hellblade is all about," explained Chief Creative Director, Tameen Antoniades back in 2014. Past Cure seems to be following the same route, and that is exciting. Let's take a look at what we know about the game so far.

Past Cure screen.jpg

  • Genre: Third-person, stealth action game
  • 25% action / steal / thriller / horror
  • Platforms: PC, Xbox One & PS4
  • Graphics: Unreal Engine
  • Gameplay: Varying across two different worlds (dream and real)

Again, like Ninja Theory, Phantom 8 will use 3-D scanning and real-time performance capture techniques to deliver AAA quality - but at a much more affordable price. What we've seen so far of Past Cure certainly looks promising when it comes to good quality graphics.

"PAST CURE follows the submerged Elites-soldier, Ian, who with all his might chases the men who once betrayed and transformed him. For years, Ian was the object of secret human trials, held in a dark prison somewhere in Europe. The experiments left him changed. Ian developed powerful skills such as thought manipulation and telekinesis. He paid the price with his sanity. Each time he uses his powers the madness grows in him. This is fully revealed in his dreams – and now stretches its claws to reality. With the help of his brother Markus and the opaque double-agent Sophia, Ian pursues the men in the shadow. He takes on Eastern European cartels, secret lodges and unscrupulous scientists. And he encounters an adversary who does not seem to be of this world."


As I mentioned, the game takes the player across two worlds, with different gameplay echoing the 'rhythm ' or 'energy' of that world. In the nightmare / dream world, players will solve puzzles, face nightmares, and experience the survival horror part of the game. According to Phantom 8, they drew inspiration from the likes of Silent Hill for the nightmare world. The real world section not only looks different, but also plays different with a strong focus on action and combat. Stealth also plays a big role in Past Cure, and for that Phantom 8 looked to the Metal Gear series for inspiration.

Nvidia had a chat with Phantom 8 MD, Simon Gerdesmann about the quality of the gameplay, and as you can see in the above video, it is quite impressive for a 10-man studio. Phantom 8 used martial artists and real-time performance capture for the action sequences, with the result of seamless combat. The two game worlds provide that alternate reality feeling while the story binds the two together to form what they hope will be an exciting and fresh game experience.

Past Cure is still in its early stages of development, and so far it does look very promising, and deserves our attention. PlayStation Lifestyle had some time with the demo at E3, and according to them, the game is "Familiar, yet different."

"If this sounds like a bit of Alan Wake, we got the same vibe during our demo as well, but Past Cure did appear to maintain a much different look and feel throughout. The nightmare world that Ian found himself in every now and then was presented as a maze of sorts, with these creepy, all-white mannequin-like enemies chasing him. They were surreal and freaky, much like the world itself during these sequences. Phantom 8 claims the movie Inception as a point of inspiration, so hopefully they will incorporate that into their level designs as well as the concept of overlapping realities."

I find games like Hellblade, Ether One and the upcoming The Occupation fascinating. The creative freedom that come from being an independent studio typically delivers something unique and exciting. Add the commitment to develop a top quality gaming experience, and you have the promise of a treasure. I find these games to be hidden gems and a joy to play.  Find Phantom 8 on Twitter and Facebook, and follow development on their website here.

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