You Are Empty Hands-On

This horror-themed first-person shooter will take you on a nightmarish journey through the Soviet Union.

by

Imagine if horror novelist Clive Barker were Russian. The renowned author seems to be one of the inspirations for You Are Empty, a creepy first-person shooter about a Soviet policeman who wakes up to find himself in a ramshackle world occupied by deranged humanoids. As such, you have to battle your way across a strange landscape while armed with an array of weapons.

Weird stuff abounds in You Are Empty.

The game is set during the Cold War, judging by all the photos of Joseph Stalin posted around, not to mention the classic Soviet propaganda paintings and patriotic music streaming over the radio. You play as a police officer who is hit by a truck while crossing a street. After being rushed to the hospital, you find yourself experiencing strange visions. Upon waking up, you find the hospital has been trashed, with gurneys and furniture barricading doors, and the screams and moans of lunatics present everywhere. This does raise an interesting question: Are you in the middle of a dream, or is this actually happening for some unknown reason?

Regardless of the nature of the game's reality, you'll still have to explore and battle your way through a run-down Soviet Union, starting at the sprawling hospital compound where you wake up. The place is infested with straitjacketed patients walking around with sharp sticks, as well as nightmarish nurses with faces that look like they've been chewed half off. Your first weapon in the game will be a trusty wrench you recover from a bathroom, but you can use it to club your opponents and also to smash wooden chairs. It's hard not to get the feeling that the wrench is inspired by Half-Life's iconic crowbar. As you progress through the game, you'll be able to recover other weapons. First up is a Soviet-era semiautomatic pistol, which is followed by a double-gauge shotgun. Health is recovered by drinking medicine, which is found in bottles scattered throughout the level.

The first two enemy types were just an inkling of the weirdness to come. Next we encountered what can only be described as something like a miner, armed with a huge pickax or maybe a giant version of the Soviet hammer. That was followed by crazed firemen armed with their axes, gas-mask-clad soldiers armed with weapons, and crusty old farmers or prospectors. They're all pretty insane, and they seem to spout some kind of gibberish when they come after you. In addition to combat, there's a small amount of key hunting or exploration to find the switch that will open a door. In one instance, you have to pull a fire alarm to send the crazed firemen your way; one of them will open up a locked gate.

The nurses are killer.

As you progress through the game, you'll get subtle clues that mention something about a "vaccine" that may be the cause of all the madness. These clues are mainly in the form of short, handwritten notes that help propel you forward through the plot. You'll escape from the hospital by finding keys to a car and speeding away just in the nick of time, and though you'll be able to watch the driving from behind the steering wheel, there doesn't seem to be any actual unscripted vehicle gameplay.

You Are Empty is a creepy game and that fear factor is helped by the solid presentation. There's something about the game's environment and atmosphere that reminds us a little of Half-Life 2's City 17. Even the game's audio seems inspired by Valve's classic shooter, given that the music in the game is restricted mainly to electronic noise that kicks in sporadically to ratchet up the tension. The game makes for a potentially interesting mix of horror and action and it ships later this month.

Discussion

52 comments
unbentonslaught
unbentonslaught

the al the preview dosent mention how horrible the game is cause they didnt play the whole game yet!

The_AI
The_AI

Another preview that doesn't bother to mention how terrible the game is.

simonpeggisace
simonpeggisace

I remember reading about this game a while back. I wouldnt mind playing it but its not out in the UK =|

Fredde001
Fredde001

Mengzor ; The game was released WAY back(2005) , so don't compare it to modern shooters. This release is just the "digital dist" , which includes ZERO changes(well maby the sound-patch...) The atmosphere in the game is quite good , but the lack of leveldesign , and "buggy" controls/how the game behaves just pulls the rating down.

Maximiliator
Maximiliator

hmmm... thats rather not my type of game :/ . I'm more in roleplayin and strategy right now... OBLIVION FOREVER !!! :D --- Max

jawshoeuh
jawshoeuh

vast array of weapons=pipe wrench

nanofear
nanofear

Is this like a high school class project or something. The only shocking thing about this game looks to be the monstrous size balls it must of taken to release this colossal turd. Ive seen better looking games on a cellphone GEESUS.

401225
401225

looks good, but nothing really innovate... :)

ldonyo
ldonyo

It doesn't look pretty, although it doesn't look terrible. If it plays well, and I'll need to try a demo to know for sure, I'll add it to my collection.

namkrats
namkrats

the game looks ok but it could be better like the graphics need some work. what would be cool is if a video game designer made a game about 28 days later you no the movie if you havent seen it yet go see it but don't see 28 weeks later that looks dum but ya this is what i think they should do

Mengzor
Mengzor

wow. this game looks pretty damn horrible by todays standards. Could have been good 2 years ago.

equili3rium
equili3rium

Actually uberjannie not everyone wants team play and multi player. The fact that you seem to think so shows an ignorance beyond belief. Many people find multi player games a good distraction for a short while but need a good story driven game to get their teeth into. I for one find the repetitiveness of MP games boring for the most part and see gaming as an added medium to the normal entertainment in my life like reading, movies and a good night out with friends to name but a few. BUT, I don't for one second think that everyone feels the same as me and would be quite horrified if they did!

SpazH3d
SpazH3d

Their last game got 2.0 by gamespot, righty-o. :) Edit: Ohh, what the hell, im downlo.. erm, buying this. :D

DonMega187
DonMega187

I played this game all the way back in June. Its is actually good the enemies are really fun and scary(at times) to fight. And there are giant chickens nuff said.

DocTerminal
DocTerminal

Do the production values look great? No, but some of the creatures seem disturbingly inovative enough for me to check it out.

uberjannie
uberjannie

enough with the creepy shooters already.. they are dead.. people want teamplay! And if we dont get teamplay we dont fking play the game! unless its something like mass effect or bioshock.. WHY cant developers realize that we live in the 21 centure and want MULTIPLAYER with friends.. why would we else waste 30£ on a useless game that you bore YOURSELF to death with..

Tinhamodic
Tinhamodic

Nice try but not very impressive. Left 4 Dead smokes you in action and atmosphere.

prowler666
prowler666

this game looks horribly outdated

Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

On behalf of all (about 80% !) PC gamers without uber PC's can I say thank you to companies finally fighting the grognards (like on this thread) and releasing games that look plenty good, but run on many more PC's without the need for expensive upgrades. By accident STALKER did this, while still looking beautiful. I don't care that gamers with money to burn decry 'dated' graphics, or for that matter, the media. But what everyone in those two camps need to know, is that if all PC games had Crysis level graphics and Crysis hardware demands, you may be able to play it, the media will be able to play it, but the other 80% will not and that kills PC gaming. So continue the way you are - and watch PC gamings importance continue to decline!

RedShadowDragon
RedShadowDragon

1st to agree with everyone and say it doesn't look that great (especially from watching the 2nd trailer). It doesn't look "creepy" at all & perhaps the same people that are so critical in reviews should be doing the previews. 2nd for the little debate in the comments section it IS "double barrel shotgun" NOT "double gauge shotgun". why don't you try googling those two in quotes? you will get 359 results for the wrong one, and 95400 for the correct one.

davsschwarz
davsschwarz

The early version of this leaked on one of Russian download sites couple of months ago so iv played it. Its RUBBISH. Has anyone seen the old unreleased version of TIME SHIFT? This is worse. Linear doesn't even fit into the game-play description - more like "follow that narrow path before you and dont even think going back". The best thing in the game are the posters on the wall if you are into that stuff.

Ahurigaan
Ahurigaan

I dont know really what to say about this, it sounds sorta interesting, the videos were sorta creepy, but I think in the end this game will not be worthwhile at all, oh well, thanks for trying, russia.

My_Name_Is_Sin
My_Name_Is_Sin

As "eerie" as this game might be it looks like a bad knock off of Half life 2. I dont know the story will have to be pretty freakin amazing to make me want to buy this

McAleece
McAleece

The Term Double-Gauge Shotgun Has Been Used For A While. Maby Its Jut my Age Group? The "correct" term Is double barreled, But This Isn't English NRA 101. I Use Double-Gauge When I Talk.

kylito21
kylito21

Wouldn't any trip through the Soviet Union be horror filled?

scarletsnake
scarletsnake

WTF is a double-gauge shotgun? Do they mean double barreled?

cellchook
cellchook

this game is not worth to be reviewed, go play painkiller folks

Kapitan_eXtreme
Kapitan_eXtreme

Can somebody please enlighten me as to what a "double-gauge shotgun" is? :-P Just thought I would be a stickler and point that out.

Slappywhite2001
Slappywhite2001

To be honest, this game looks like a poorly-made HL2 mod. Don't expect to see this in my shopping cart anytime soon.

soldado_nazi
soldado_nazi

Looks like a painkiller, wich i like too. And also a diferent theme, new weird weapons, but the sound track didnt seem very good enthusiastic. Let's see the game when it comes out.

LastSymphony
LastSymphony

To AnubanUT2, You Are Empty has been out for almost 2 years now in Russia, so no they did not steal the idea of a wrench from BioShock. And you hate a game just because it has the same melee weapon as another.

hrah
hrah

it looks like the original max payne way way back outdated graphics

AnubanUT2
AnubanUT2

The wrench thing has already been done with BioShock. I think they need to come up with a different default clubbing weapon. They are already inviting comparisons (rip-offs) of games like Stalker, HL2, and now BioShock. No thanks ... the game sounds interesting but looks very low budget. It would have to get a 7.0 on average for me to even be interested in buying it.

cqdemal
cqdemal

Silent Hill plus 28 Days Later in crappy-looking Russian game?

darrenchan217
darrenchan217

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

endtype
endtype

didn't look like that amazing of a game....didn't see much detail

generalville
generalville

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

ender140
ender140

game is mediocore. and it is not a "drinking medicine" as you wrote but spirit. it is Russia, remember that;)

42316
42316

thats what i hate about g.spot and sometimes ign........their previews always make the game sound like its good (7+) but they always end up giving those game a 3 or 4.......they should bash the game from the get go, so as to open the dev eyes.......cos if i'm reading this article and i start praising it along with 100 other ppl the dev might think they're on the right track.......which it isnt.......if i say bad stuff about the game...the devs can go back to the drawing board and improve their game..........AAARRRGGGHHH Come on Gamespot be honest with your Previews.....................in fact.....lets guess wat this game is gonna get.........i say.....4.1.....anyone else

GrimBee
GrimBee

Gamespot are almost ALWAYS positive about thair hands on. No matter what. This game will probably suck - big big style. And gamespot will give it something like a 3.0 - but the hands on makes it sound actually better than it is :(

NoAssKicker47
NoAssKicker47

GameSpot, what about the bugs, the audio problems, the bad A.I and the slow pace? I doubt you haven't noticed those yet because they're so apparent from the very beginning!

dexfx69
dexfx69

This is one of those games that's a quality fps with great tension and action, and a unique theme and story.

dexfx69
dexfx69

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

F0U666
F0U666

This game is fun, it reminds me of "Blood" just because of the sawed-off shotgun and the weird enemies & monsters... I even saw some kind of huge "Chokobos" like those from final fantasy. I unstalled the game before having finished it because there is not enough weapons you can use, there's not enough different kind of monsters and the levels are all similar. But anyway, this game is cool and maybe this release will have something new & better than the copy I got... who knows?

leosdel
leosdel

mmmm, it really seems like a game with a lot of fun to offer...