[dropcap size=big]W[/dropcap]ith the Early Access showcasing a more polished product than the student demo from last year, Nevermind has managed to flesh out the concept more vividly than before. Beginning with a renovated Neurostalgia Institute, the game concept itself has already taken form, and begun to cement itself as a living entity in the games industry. The check-in process to enter as a new employee has been extended, and the building interior has been spruced up, featuring registry terminals, automated doors, and a pleasantly decorated atmosphere. Upon entering your name in the system, a customized plaque outside your office will feature your name as well, which adds to the ambiance. However the game is not about trotting around the institute taking in the sights. Once in the office, the player will look through the patients list, choose a brain to probe around in, load it up, and jump in.
For those who have played the early build of Nevermind, you’ll notice there’s a sort of tutorial client that essentially walks the player through how the game is played, while telling an extremely twisted, yet familiar tale. Developer Flying Mollusk didn’t spare the gritty essentials, as there are plenty of disturbing bits of imagery to paint a wild and macabre piece, which is a change of pace from the typically in-game tutorials that are extremely invasive or insulting to our intelligence. For the first client in Nevermind, the mission has been set up no holds barred, and lightly topped with markers for interfacing with the player. Markers can be activated by the player in order to listen to how a certain aspect of the game is played, or if there’s any advice with dealing with a certain situation. Going from the alpha to the early access, it doesn’t look like much has changed in the gameplay. Players will wander around inside a client’s head, find the paintings or photographs, and put them in the right order to help the client recall their traumatic experience that may be the cause of their current affliction.
Items in Nevermind may be lifted up and rotated in order for the player to examine them. Some objects may be carried, and are a part of a puzzle in which they need to be placed properly to allow the player to complete the problem. The player can take damage, and will experience a more horrifying adventure should they fall prey to the client’s darkest memories. At this point, it should be noted that when a turning point in the client’s memory is reached, the music may take on a darker, more chaotic tone. The sound engineering in the game has improved, and certainly adds to the horrifying nature that lurks beneath each memory.
The first client after the tutorial memory is a re-mastered version of the demo client. The visuals have improved, and completed models have replaced the placeholder content. Originally, the demo client herself had a rather disturbing and mesmerizing story, that has only improved this time around. Those who aren’t familiar with the original demo are in for quite a treat, as this revisited experience is a guaranteed thrill. These first clients serve as a testament to Flying Mollusk’s story telling prowess that’s not only fueled by experience and creativity, but a willingness to dive into what causes anxiety and trauma, and shows that the team genuinely wants to help sufferers of these conditions. Nevermind was created with the goal of helping people deal with their anxiety, and those who go in thinking they don’t suffer may find that there are things that they’ve dealt with their whole lives and never knew was there.
Nevermind is without a doubt an original creation that’s pioneering Bio-Feedback technology, contributing to a new era of game development. With the presence of VR headsets and heart monitors, video games are soaring to terrifying new heights, and Nevermind is leading the pack. Making great use of the technology, writing meaningful, believable stories, and throwing players into a dark and immersive world of nightmare and wonder, Flying Mollusk created a wonder of nature that will continue to wow their audience for years to come.