Double Fine's Taking Us Spelunking
I'm getting a serious Lost Vikings vibe here, but I should back up a bit. See, there's this magical, talking cave with hundreds of labyrinthine tunnels and corridors within it. It's said that The Cave is capable of granting any wish. Seven characters, from different periods in time and space have managed to find their way here. A Time Traveller. A pair of Dickensian Orphans. An intrepid adventurer. A nigh-toothless hillbilly. A brilliant scientist. A brave knight. A serene monk.
Each one of these characters has their own dreams, desires, and skills, and each one of them has a rather grim secret that they'd rather keep to themselves.
You won't be playing as all of these characters, mind you. As the game starts, you're limited to three (though you can only control one at a time and will be required to swap between them fairly often). Once you've made your choice, you're stuck with them for the rest of the game. Different areas of The Cave will be accessible (or inaccessible) depending on your choices, as each of the characters has something of their own to bring to the table. Take the scientist, for example, and you'll have access to a sprawling, mechanized laboratory, as well as the ability to repair and modify objects. The knight, meanwhile, will explore ancient castles and do battle with enraged dragons. As for the hillbilly, well… You get the idea.
In keeping with the "Metroidvania" feel, The Cave is fairly free-roaming, with a fair bit of backtracking involved as you track down new items and unlock new locales. There'll be a number of puzzles for players to solve as well. Unlike traditional adventure games, where the solution would only make sense after blunt-force trauma, Monkey Island's Ron Gilbert says these puzzles will all be logical in nature; nonsensical solutions are a pet peeve of his when it comes to adventure games.
Not surprisingly, self-exploration is a rather huge theme in this game. There are some pretty heavy implications that the characters are exploring their own minds (the developers even stated that the "character specific" areas represent their darkest desires), in a sense, seeing what they are, what they were, and what they might become as they wander through the complex, coming ever closer to their goal. There's a good chance they won't reach that goal unscathed, as they come face to face with their inner demons.
The Cave, while primarily a single-player affair, will also feature three-person co-op. Local only, I'm afraid. Still, The Cave isn't a game you get for the multiplayer. It's one you pick up for the beautiful 3D graphics, the quirky yet dark environment, the immense replayability… and the fact that it's made by Double Fine.
I'll be picking up The Cave when it hits shelves in 2013. Will you?
A gamer at heart, Nick started writing when he was a child. He holds a BA in English, works as a freelancer, and loves every minute of it. One day, he hopes to net himself a career in game design - but that's something for the future.
[View The Cave images / screenshots +]
[Watch The Cave videos / trailers +]
[View more The Cave articles (news, previews, reviews) +]
[View The Cave cheats / guides +]
More from GameDynamo