Inkle Studios, best known for their work on the mobile game 80 Days and the Sorcery series, have revealed the first look at their newest title Heaven’s Vault.
In a brief 15-minute video via IGN, Directors Jon Ingold and Joseph Humphrey play through a small section of the game and explain the mechanics and world of Heaven’s Vault.
The player controls Aliya Elasra, an archeologist whose goal is to uncover the secrets of an ancient civilization. Aliya Elasra isn’t alone as she has a sidekick, Six, a “robot with a secret past”
Heaven’s Vault is a “Narrative-Adventure” game where you spend most of the time deciphering an ancient language created for the game. As Aliya explores the world of Nebula, she will come across different inscriptions where it will be up to the player to translate the ancient language.
In the same vein as Jonathon Blow’s The Witness, Heaven’s Vault is about learning a new language and solving the puzzles, albeit this time while literally learning a language.
She’ll take the translation the player has made and will work that into the dialogue. Then, the dialogue options that follow are based on the translation you made, Ingold elaborated.
Once a word is translated, there won’t be a prompt telling the player if they got the word correct. The dialogue will all change and evolve depending on what translation of the word is chosen.
While the player will never be told outright if they translated a word correctly, over the course of the game it will be possible to infer whether they’ve been on the right track.
“Eventually you’ll start to piece together information from lots of different inscriptions,” Ingold said. “So, eventually you’ll confirm some stuff.”
The way the player learns the language, while seemingly different from other puzzle games “frees you up to do quite a few interesting things with the puzzles” according to Ingold.
Similar to other Inkle games, the dialogue and writing are dependent on the choices one makes and will revolve around creating a timeline as Aliya discovers more about the ancient civilization.
Heaven’s Vault is looking to be Inkle’s biggest project yet, as the world around Aliya will be more than just some text boxes with a puzzle included every so often.
A three-dimensional world has been created, and along with two-dimensional, hand-drawn character animations helps to create a memorable art style.
Heaven’s Vault is coming to PS4 and PC Spring 2019.