E3 06: You Are Empty Impressions

Taking on communists is one thing, but mutant supercommunists? That's another matter entirely.


LOS ANGELES--1C Publishing gave us another behind-closed-doors look today at You Are Empty, the shooter we first took a look at two years ago at E3 2004.

The story of You Are Empty hasn't undergone any major changes that we know of since we took a look at it last year. It takes place in an alternate reality during the 1950s, in a world where the Soviet Union has become the sole superpower in the world. Unfortunately for everyone else, they aren't content with just being a superpower; they intend to spread the revolution to all other countries, as well. Instead of doing it the old-fashioned way by sending out the army, they apparently intend to take on a sneaky methodology and begin experimenting with making a "supercommunist." How, you ask? By bathing small Russian towns with something called "psycho-rays." Attempting to meddle with human nature ends poorly, though, as it usually does, and the towns become overrun with caricatures of Soviet-era propaganda. You're inserted into this mayhem with a single goal: survive.

Since last year, Digital Spray Studios, the team developing You Are Empty, has gone through and upgraded the graphical engine with new effects, such as HDR and bloom lighting, and added many new features, such as particle effects, destructible doors, and more physics effects. While it might not be Unreal 2007, it still looks like the graphics engine fits into the somewhat-cartoonish horror feeling of the game, with many of the enemies being mutant grotesques along the lines of the humanoid enemies in Painkiller.

Although we only had a few minutes to see the game, it looks like it could wind up being an enjoyable first-person shooter. The Iron Curtain atmosphere of the game allows for some interesting enemies and weapons, most of which are based on the weapons that were available at the time, such as Mauser pistols; PPSh submachine guns; Mosin rifles; and hydraulic, industrial strength nailguns that tear into the flesh of your foes. 1C is also promising multiple melee weapons, since the game is named, after all, You Are Empty.

The new physics effects seem like they'll have some unexpected consequences. In our demo, the player accidentally knocked a propane tank onto a conveyor belt that he was riding. Although he managed to avoid the flow of molten metal at the end of the belt and survived, the explosive barrel dropped into the lava and exploded, almost killing him.

You Are Empty is currently slated to be released in the fall of this year in the US, so stay tuned to GameSpot for more details and a full review when it becomes available.

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