British game developer, The Chinese Room is giving us a new look at their ’70s horror Still Wakes the Deep as part of today’s Xbox Partner Preview.
According to Lead Designer Rob McLachlan, the early elevator pitch for the game was “The Thing on an oil rig.”
The game takes inspiration from that 1982 film by John Carpenter and the novella Who Goes There by fellow John [W Campbell] — which served as the inspiration for the film.
McLachlan says that the ideas they found in both helped “the overall atmosphere of Still Wakes the Deep. A group of professionals, cut off and alone, facing an undefeatable enemy, creates just the sort of character drama needed to support the velocity of our story. Paranoia, fear, isolation and brutal destruction of the human crew are our backdrop.”
The apparent goal of Still Wakes the Deep is an inherent sense of dread, which is why the ’70s horror film influences continue throughout the oil rig.
Associate Art Director Laura Dodds states, “Domestic or innocuous scenes in which nothing overtly frightening is happening become all the more unsettling as if something is lurking just under the surface.”
Dodds compares this to how films like Rosemary’s Baby and Don’t Look Now use horror.
While a genuine enemy is stalking around for you, another less alive one is surrounding you: the North Sea.
McLachlan says that the team wants players to fear and feel trapped by the waves, so the team looked to Irwin Allen’s 1972 classic The Poseidon Adventure for guidance on using water as horror.
The waves of the North Sea will attempt to drown us in fear on Xbox in early 2024