After Us, recently announced at the Game Awards, blends post-apocalyptic platforming with a narrative seemingly about renewal, renewal, hope and loss, coming to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X | S and Steam. The trailer shows the main character, a female spirit, walking towards an industrial wasteland as flowers bloom behind her. The world you explore has been destroyed, with factories clogging up the sky, architecture on the brink of collapse, and acid rain and smog choking the air.
Each surface of the protagonist – from IGN notes that it was named Gaia, spirit of life – walks rejuvenate and returns to nature. Throughout the game, players will jump, climb, crush vines, and explore the ruins of a posthuman world.
However, platforms aren’t everything to After Us. Fighting seems to have some presence or movement around it. Gaia appears to have gained the ability to shoot blue energy balls to defend itself. However, you will likely spend most of your time playing out of harm’s way rather than actively engaging with the world’s various enemies.
As you might expect, After Us’ story feels both hopeful and sad as Gaia looks to get the grass, trees, and air back to normal. In doing so, she releases the spirits of long-dead animals to restore the planet and allows new life to grow where it can, but in the end seems to sacrifice herself in the effort. Alternately, the bright flash ending the promo could be a huge expansion of her powers, and the section of gameplay that will follow will be her attempt to recover without many of the tools she normally has.
Currently, there is no confirmed release date except for Spring 2023, and the game will not be coming to the latest generation of consoles. The game’s developers, Piccolo, previously created Arise, a Simple Story, a game where controlling time in a colorful world allows the player to examine memories – both sad and happy – of its aging protagonist.