inkle, developer of 80 Days and Sorcery!, has released a new trailer for their upcoming game, Heaven’s Vault. With a focus on narrative games, inkle strives to push the boundaries of storytelling. Their new title looks to capture the thrill of discovery that only history can offer.
Linguistics and Game Design
Heaven’s Vault may not feature villainous Nazis or minecart chases, but it still makes archaeology an exciting adventure. Players assume the role of Aliya Elasra as she navigates The Nebula, an ancient network of scattered moons. With her robot sidekick, Six, Aliya will traverse the cosmos and unearth its secrets.
These secrets, however, don’t come easily. The Nebula’s history lies hidden within its entirely hieroglyphic language, a treacherous minefield of double meanings and contextual bias. With every glyph that Aliya translates, those choices feed back into the story, for better or for worse.
Heaven’s Vault will boast a non-linear design to its gameplay, allowing the player to create the story as they go. Powering this experimental style of storytelling is inkle’s narrative engine, ink. ink “remembers every choice you make and every path you follow – and every path you don’t – and feeds that into what happens next.” Whether that means Aliya takes on the mantle of a thief, a detective, or a savior is up to the player.
In a market saturated with Telltale-style gameplay, Heaven’s Vault promises a fresh take on a tired genre. Hopefully, inkle will shatter the illusion of choice with a game that truly gives the player agency.
Heaven’s Vault is slated to release on PS4, Windows, and Mac, with an iOS release at a later date.