From the looks of it, the Content team may have a hard time categorizing this newly announced arcade title from Frima Studios. Seemingly taking inspiration from Christopher Nolan's Memento
and film noirs, Lives and Death
tells the twisted tale of Phillip Bester, private investigator and recent victim of severe memory loss. This loss soon becomes a near descent into madness as Bester navigates his damaged psyche through the Coronado Hotel, where much of the game will take place. Based on this new trailer, it seems Bester has witnessed his own death and is now looking to prevent it.
The game utilizes a very unique split-screen presentation where Bester's world — and reality itself — literally begins to split, and he lives out multiple consciousnesses simultaneously. These reality splits can occur two, four, even up to sixteen times at once, and each reality has slight differences among them that players will have to navigate. Maybe some rooms will have a hole in the floor while others lack it, or instead have a bed placed there. Another example given is when you come to a drawer that contains a note but in a parallel reality, it contains a gun.
The game promises to be extremely story-driven, and it really sounds like one of the most ambitious titles to grace the XBLA service. The characters and story will change based on what you do and what dimension you're observing, as well. A helpful woman may be more nefarious in a parallel timeline. The game is still in the prototyping phase using the Unreal 3 Engine, and as of right now, the developers say the game is largely based around contextual quick-time events, like PS3's Heavy Rain
, another story-driven noir title.
There is no set release date or even a release window for the game, but we'll be sure to keep up with news of this promising title. Currently, the development team is looking for a publisher, so that would appear to be the logical next step in the process.