I’m sitting down, again, at the top floor of the W Hotel in Times Square, after getting my hands on the Oculus moments earlier, I’m now joined by a different crowd of people. Behind me sits two subjects who, had this not been Comic Con, might not have any reason to be here. Juan and Adrian of Team Gotham, a studio of four based out of Madrid. Juan and Adrian are here with me on behalf of 505 Games. 505 Games, I’m told, has such faith in Team Gotham’s The Guest that they had to make it a reality.
As I pick up the controller and begin to engross myself in the game, something odd happens. I’m not the only one playing – and I don’t mean that literally. Sitting besides me on the couch are my colleagues Rayven Hoffman and Kayla Marasiak, two woman who don’t typically game. As I take control of Dr. Evgueni Leonov and begin to explore my hotel I find myself very, very confused. Walking around the Cold War era hotel room is interestingly unsettling. Picking apart the various puzzles with my colleagues felt extremely satisfying. “Can we combine a screwdriver and a match?” are some of the ideas we began to throw around. Eventually, the solving of one puzzle came when Rayven instructed me to combine two items. “That won’t work,” I retorted back, “that’s not how games work.”
It did, though, to my surprise. Team Gotham has managed to craft a very grounded and lifelike world here in this alternate-reality Cold War era where history isn’t quite how you remember it being.
After clearing my way through my hotel room, things start to get weird. As I enter the bathroom and fall to the ground, things start to float and my vision becomes that of an acid trip gone wrong. Searching my bathroom for my pills calms things down, and I continue to make my way around the room searching for clues as to what is happening in the world, my room, and with myself.
What I have gathered is that I am Dr. Evgueni Leonov, I have been brought here to visit with some very important people, and things are not as they seem.
I’m not speaking too deeply in detail about what precisely happened in The Guest, simply because the game is so interesting I would feel in the wrong for taking that interesting level of discovery away from you. I played approximately thirty minutes of the three to five hour game, and even that was full of surprises. Simply put, Team Gotham has done a wonderful job of peaking my interest and creating a game that combines exploration, curiosity, and puzzle-wonder and places them all in a grounded, intensely absorbing world. This is certainly a title you’re going to want to watch out for.