A collaborative multiplayer sandbox in an open-world flavoured by mid-20th century communist regimes and powered by cascaded voxel cone ray tracing – The Tomorrow Children’s a tricky one to wrap your brain around. Announced as a PS4 exclusive at Gamescom 2014 by Q-Games head Dylan Cuthbert, it wowed with its freeform design and striking visuals, but that first look was as bemusing as it was impressive.
And after going hands-on with the closed-Alpha we’re still bemused: we found ourselves mining gold nuggets from deep within an enormous soapstone foot without a clear understanding of why, and logging in each day to find our town had been attacked, its citizens deployed elsewhere.
But we also got to dig deep into the class system, which offers Citizen, Miner, Commander, Radio Officer, Engineer and Combatant variants. You’re still free to work the mines as an Engineer or blast away at the Izverg invaders as a Citizen, but you’ll get bonuses depending on your class so you’re gently guided into a certain role.
In its early Alpha phase, the game’s systems remain a mystery, but essentially it’s about performing tasks for the greater good and earning spendable rewards for it… which enable you to work more efficiently. (Communism.) It’s a mystery wrapped in an enigma, this one, and unravelling it is the real hook.