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March 29, 2018 1 min read
Two minutes into my GDC appointment to play Downward Spiral: Horus Station (it has nothing to do with the Nine Inch Nails album, I checked), I floated painstakingly slowly across a small room. It was my own fault. I had weakly pushed off of a wall and inertia did its job. There was no way to speed up or change direction; I just had to wait until I reached some piping so that I could try again.
Downward Spiral takes place in zero-gravity, and it stays true to that premise. Locomotion can feel clunky and unsure until you train yourself to stop trying to move like you're playing every other game. It has a meaty feel to it, not unlike the cumbersome climbing motions in Firewatch. It takes effort and planning, and that's an interesting approach when most games just ask that you push forward to go forward.
The Finnish company behind Downward Spiral, 3rd Eye Studios, probably wants to do more with the setting because it has some familiarity in that area. While the development team has plenty of experience in games (Alan Wake, Quantum Break, Halo 5, and Ori and the Blind Forest are some of their credits), the lead designer, Greg Louden, brings film expertise to the table. He worked on Gravity and Prometheus in recent years.
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