505 Games has released Variable State’s enigmatic first-person thriller, Virginia, on Mac, PC, PS4 and Xbox One. The game is currently available for $9.99 / â‚¬ 9.99 / Â£ 6.99.
Set in the last days of summer 1992, Virginia is an original detective noir story, where players investigate the disappearance of Lucas Fairfax, a young boy in the rural town of Kingdom, Virginia, through the eyes of a graduate FBI agent assigned to her first case. As a rookie detective, youâ€™re paired with an experienced partner whom your superiors instruct you to keep a watchful eye on. As the story progresses, your partnerâ€™s trust in you will be tested to breaking point, all while your investigation takes on an increasingly sinister and supernatural turn, as the lines of ethics, morality and sanity become increasingly blurred.
Influenced by the genre-bending dramas and science fiction TV shows of the 1990s such a Twin Peaks and The X-Files, Virginia is an interactive mystery told with a striking art style, cinematic soundtrack and a story that mixes the inexplicable, the absurd and the mundane. The game features a striking, unconventional approach to videogame storytelling, by bringing cinematic editing – the fundamental language of film and TV – into the context of a real time game experience.
â€œGames such as the pioneering Thirty Flights of Loving have shown us that techniques we take for granted watching TV and film are a natural fit for real time game experiencesâ€ said Jonathan Burroughs. â€œThe cinematic edit is just as powerful a tool in film drama as dialogue and art direction. Using it in a game has presented unique opportunities weâ€™ve been thrilled to explore.â€
â€œVirginia is greatly inspired by films and television I grew up withâ€ said Terry Kenny. â€œBut the game has fast found its own identity. And that extends to both the story and the presentation, such as in the gameâ€™s painterly art style.â€