Something is Very Wrong Here. Maybe It’s You.
Some horror games make you fear for the protagonist’s safety. Others make you fear for the protagonist’s sanity. The best get so deep under your skin that they make you genuinely afraid for both. Judging by everything we’ve seen and heard from developer We Create Stuff, the upcoming psychological horror title In Sound Mind will be a type three. Players take on the role of Desmond, a psychologist whose patients have a history of dying on him, as he wakes up in an abandoned building with no clue how he got there. “Right off the bat, you’re gonna see that something is wrong,” promised Lead Producer and We Create Stuff Co-Founder Ido in an interview with us, and we believe him. Exploring quickly reveals a sinister truth: the once-bustling town of Milton Haven is now empty, flooded, and unwelcoming. If you want to find out what happened–and more importantly, why it happened–you must dig up the tapes of Desmond’s therapy sessions. Each tape serves as a portal to a distinct new area where you can relive what happened to your patients, and hopefully find a way to move forward. Also, they’re all terrifying.
“Our goal is to create an experience that changes every part of the game for every tape in the game,” said Ido, and he’s doing a great job so far. The demo of In Sound Mind focuses on Virginia, a woman with a deep fear of being looked at, but the game will be experimenting with many different kinds of phobias–Virginia’s level is cramped and claustrophobic, Alan’s level takes place outdoors on a beach that is slowly being consumed by darkness, and future levels promise an industrial hellscape and a rain-soaked forest. The environmental design will sync up with the issues being explored and the fear they evoke, which sounds like a fantastic time to us. Each tape will contain new tools, like the mirror shard from Virginia’s tape, which can be used to expand the world and uncover hidden secrets.
Complex and unpredictable story beats, gorgeous scenery, tricky footing to navigate, luminous monsters, excellent voice-acting, inspiration taken directly from classic Source games like Half-Life so the player is in control as often as possible–though in control doesn’t mean safe–all in all, this game is setting up to be great. But if you’re not convinced, listen to the soundtrack. In Sound Mind partnered up with internet icon The Living Tombstone to produce the game’s music and the results are stunning. And yes, before you ask, the songs do hook into the game’s story. Each tape will have a record hidden somewhere in it. Collect them to listen to the character songs in Desmond’s office. Or you could just buy the soundtrack. Either way, it’ll be a great time.
In Sound Mind will be released for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and PC sometime in 2021.