Unraveling the Mystery of ATOMFALL: REBELLION's Pioneering Venture into the Post-Apocalyptic British Countryside

Video gaming often leads the charge when it comes to innovation, and one studio is determined to redefine survival action games in 2025 when their latest title launches. REBELLION, creator of the Sniper Elite and Zombie Army series, will release Atomfall, a post-disaster setting blending survival, horror and sci-fi to tell a gripping story full of atmosphere.

The Genesis of ATOMFALL: A Leap Forward for REBELLION

Amid stylised forests of the rural English landscape, Atomfall draws us into an apocalyptic world in which humans and monsters are entangled and warring. Announced at Microsoft’s Xbox showcase earlier this month, it is another milestone in REBELLION’s development. It’s also a classic adventure in which players step into the role of a lone character, steering them through a vivid world of monsters in order to collect clues and find a way to make sense of that strange world. Atomfall is the pinnacle of REBELLION’s evolution into crafting single-player adventures that explore the liminal space of speculative fiction, filled with heightened emotions.

A Canvas of Desolation: The World of ATOMFALL

But set against this picturesque yet sinister scenery of post-war UK, Atomfall draws largely on the events of the Windscale disaster, which took place in 1957 and informed our impending quarantine zone. But the post-apocalyptic landscape of a nuclear disaster, littered with occultism, cultism and the relics of a dying society isn’t just atmospheric tension.

The Arsenal and Enemies: Survival in the Mutated Wilderness

Survival demands resourcefulness, stealth and the judicious use of the bow against enemies sporting antlered hats. Atomfall features another unique gadgetry, such as a robot with a flamethrower that we like to call fallout’s companion, proving REBELLION’s knack at fusing retro- and futuristic gameplay.

The Heart of Dark Mystery: Unveiling the Studio’s Narrative Ambition

It’s REBELLION’s commitment to storytelling – specifically immersive storytelling – that explains the narrative ambition at the centre of Atomfall. ‘I remember when the 1960s started, why it’s still remembered as this moment of upturning with popular culture, music and theatre,’ says Jason Kingsley, the CEO of the studio. He wants to turn the quiet British countryside into a dark tableau littered with terrors and secrets for the player to discover. Like so much speculative fiction of the 1950s and ’60s, REBELLION’s Atomfall draws on British sci-fi legend – Days of the Triffids (1951), Doctor Who (1963-) – and promises to fuse folklore horror with the paranoia of the cold war.

The Quarantine Zone: A Society Untethered

The quarantine zone inside Atomfall provides a concentrated expression of humanity pushed to its extremes. ‘The people [inside the quarantine zone] have lost all sense of society,’ says Ben Fisher, associate head of design at REBELLION (who also serves as senior producer on Atomfall). ‘As a player, you influence the world around you, the people around you. Each of your actions drives the narrative.’ Succeeding in the game involves both investigating your surroundings and surviving within its dystopian society, deciding what you will do, who you will help and who you might betray along the way.

Anticipation Builds: What Lies Ahead for ATOMFALL?

Atomfall is coming in 2025. Don’t worry, I’m not about to hit you with some Dark Souls-style chest-thumping about the enormity of Atomfall, or the challenges you’ll face as you embark on what I’m sure will be an incredible journey. And I certainly won’t be revealing a secret or symbolic name to those in the know, a hidden reference to the secret 90s biker movie that REBELLION’s developers grew up watching, and the team will likely be internationally recognised for creating the world’s first entry in the Atomfall series. For now, everything remains a complete mystery. All that I can share about Atomfall is what tells me it’s going to be great. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.

Exploring the Studio Behind ATOMFALL

From a small start-up back in 1992, growing through the first wave of 3D games to become one of the biggest independent studios in the world, REBELLION have consistently returned to the principle of inventive gameplay and strong stories. More than 20 million players are now enjoying the Sniper Elite games, with more than 400,000 players jumping into World War Z every week. REBELLION also produces novels, comics, TV and film, but gaming is at the heart of what the company does and it defined itself as one of the pioneers of the gaming revolution. Atomfall is set to be the company’s biggest project yet.

Atomfall represents the apotheosis of REBELLION’s ascent: a game that reveals all the ways this studio intends to continue to challenge the conventions of gaming. In the months ahead, as they prepare to release players into the now-quarantined English countryside, it is less a game and more an emblem for a studio willing to find new ways to reshape the world through dark, speculative fiction.

Jun 10, 2024
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