Virginia

Get Your Detective On in Lynchian Interactive Drama, Virginia

Twin Peaks was one of the most successful TV dramas of the 1990’s. Striking worldwide critical praise, Lynch’s exploration of a quaint Washington village and its shady underbelly has since inspired a number of television shows such as Bates Motel and The Killing, and video games like Alan Wake, Link’s Awakening and more recently, Life is Strange. Now, developer Variable State’s Virginia joins the force, with its very own Lynchian tale, Virginia. 

Virginia is an first-person-adventure game heavily inspired by 90’s TV giants like The X-Files and Twin Peaks. Set “in the birthplace of America nothing is quite what it seems,” the game follows the efforts of a graduate FBI agent Tarver and her partner Halperin as she attempts to unearth the elusive mystery behind the disappearance of a young boy.

Amidst its nineties’ nods, however, co-creator Jonathan Burroughs also cites Brendon Chung’s 2012 interactive drama Thirty Flights of Loving as a major influence. Similar to Brendon Chung’s adventure game, Virginia employs filmic styles to aid its burgeoning storyline.

“We realized that bringing cinematic techniques and editing into the real-time environment of computer games… that it just worked,” co-creator Jonathan Burroughs told The Verge. “Having played [Thirty Flights of Loving], now it’s completely obvious that it works, but so little is made of that game and I hope that in years to come people will reflect on it and think that it was a landmark moment in first-person computer games.”

Virginia 2

Unlike most interactive adventures of today however, Virginia features no dialogue at all, instead relying totally on environmental exploration to support the game’s narrative.

Virginia was announced back in 2014, after creators Jonathan Burroughs and Terry Kenny left Google-AI company, Deepmind Technologies to work on their own game, alongside composer Lyndon Holland. According to The Verge, the game was originally intended to release in 2015, but was delayed after external funding allowed the game to widen in scope. Now that new changes and developments have been made, however, Virginia is now expected to release later this year.

Virginia is slated for a 2016 release for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. For more information, you can visit the game’s official website here. Alternatively, you can follow the game’s progress via Variable State’s official Twitter.

 

 

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Charlie is a platforming romantic from England, that still speaks in a fashion that died with the Elizabethan era. Having been gaming since the days of Crash Bandicoot, he champions the Playstation, and is only a little bit embarassed that Super Mario Land keeps spelling his defeat.

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