E3 2014 – White Night Hands-on Impressions

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: you’re in a game exploring a mansion – go ahead and stop me if you want – and you’re all alone in the dark – go on! – it’s really scary and you’re defenseless. Drat, you didn’t stop me! All right, that was a lame attempt at humor, but that’s what White Night is all about. On paper.

On paper, White Night doesn’t seem exciting at all. Everything changes when you see it in movement. First of all, the most striking thing your eyes will probably notice are the visuals. White Night takes place in complete darkness – black as pitch – and everything your limited light sources illuminates turns white. It’s a very unique looking effect that’s put to great use throughout the entire demo that I got to play at E3.

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Alfred Hitchcock and Alone in the Dark served as inspirations for White Night. Such influences become quite obvious the further I got into the mansion. I started facing ghosts which could only be killed by light and the indirect means of dealing with them. Since my on screen character had no means of defending himself, other than some matches and the occasional light switch, the demo got very tense quickly and I failed a few times.

Puzzles are introduced through combat as well, since some of the light sources aren’t quite as direct as needed, and some of the means in which you further explore the mansion are hidden away and not in plain sight. The demo itself didn’t go in too deep into puzzles, but according to the developer minding the booth, there’s a lot more to White Night we won’t be seeing until release.

And I believed him.  That might seem like a cheap tease but the little of the game that was shown at E3 really made a mark. White Night is set for release sometime later this year, on the Xbox One, as part of their indie game promotion.

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