Sorry for the late submission guys, but work and some schedule shakeups in gaming have left me too spent yesterday to start this off. That said let’s get this particular series started.
Curse the Darkness is set in 2022, and it is a terrible time to be alive. Thanks to Him and the shadow creatures he commands, most of mankind is dead. The remaining pockets of humanity try to survive as best as they can without incurring his wrath.
With his commandment to cease any and all forms of ideology, mankind is reduced to a state where all they can do is survive. At first glance the loss of ideology might seem to be a good thing. After all, without political parties, national identity and religion, nothing should set people apart, nothing should be a source of strife and conflict… but being forced into this state is inherently unnatural, and knowing that He could call them out of the shadows to murder you for breaking this code is undoubtedly terrifying.
Much of humanity’s infrastructure is a state of barely working. Things like the internet are now a memory, while some few settlements still have access to electricity. However, even in this state, it is still possible for settlements to communicate with each other through special individuals called Openers. I’ll get to talking about these people later on, but to put it simply Openers possess the ability to Open a shadow and travel through the Between to appear elsewhere.
The Between, as indicated by the name is a real of shadows that exists somewhere else. Openers can pry this realm open and use it as a means of conveyance, but the Between is anything but safe, as They exist there. There are rules in the Between, and He provided a symbol that allows people to traverse the Between in order to provide a service. However the things inside can sniff out if the person using the Symbol is trying to do something in secret and usually don’t bother wasting time before tearing the person apart.
Needless to say this is a very bleak setting. With a nearly omnipotent and sometimes omniscient opponent and hordes of unstoppable creatures it’s almost enough to make someone give up in the face of such crushing adversity.
And this is where Curse the Darkness shines. Ultimately, the game is about making a choice: Do you curse the darkness, or light a candle? Both are valid choices, and I’ll discuss each in turn in a later article, but it’s important to remember that the game focuses on that essential choice. To curse the darkness is to maintain the status quo while hating it. To light a candle is to risk everything to do something against the oppression.
Curse the Darkness presents an interesting (if incredibly bleak) world. I can see a lot of people I know simply giving up given the near unstoppable nature of the opposition, but sometimes fighting the good fight means more than winning, if only to drive home a point.
Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at the systems behind the game.