Everybody's Gone to the Rapture Devs Address Criticisms of Slow Player Speed; Reveals There is a Run Button
After a long-awaited release, The Chinese Room and SCE Santa Monica Studio’s Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture has (so far) garnered very positive reviews from gaming outlets, though a common criticism has put negative marks on the player’s slow movement speed: however, a surprising development has revealed there is actually a way to run in the game.
In a new post on its blog, developer The Chinese Room took to addressing the numerous critiques on the player character’s movement speed in Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, explaining that the game does implement a run option by holding down the “R2” button for a gradual buildup in speed.
However, without that knowledge you wouldn’t be criticized for thinking the game didn’t have the feature at all: the game’s control layout graphic in the options menu doesn’t show the “R2” sprint button at all, and the game’s (brief) tutorial doesn’t point out the feature either, as the game largely consists of simple inputs from moving, looking around, and interacting with the environment using either the “X” button or tilting the DualShock 4 controller.
The Chinese Room explained in its blog post on the mixup regarding the run feature in Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture:
A couple of weeks before the game went to final, Santa Monica did a last round of playtesting. At this point, the game included an autosprint. That meant that if you kept moving, you’d gradually ramp up to a run speed, specifically to deal with issues with how long potential back-tracking could take, given the game’s non-linearity. The problem was, playtesters wanted to be able to trigger it themselves. It didn’t matter about the speed, it was the psychology, the choice.
So together with Santa Monica, we made a late call. We replaced the autosprint with an R2 trigger hold, keeping the gentle ramp up to main speed. This then needed testing, because it potentially threw out all of the pacing we’d been working on for the last year, plus could cause issues with accidentally parkouring into places you couldn’t escape from, creating game-breaking bugs. All this took time.
And then suddenly launch was right on top of us, and something had been missed. The controller icon in the options menu was missing the sprint instruction, and it hadn’t been localised. Localisation takes about 24 hours, but because the UI is build in Flash, it would have to be changed, and that would mean a full round of testing before creating a patch- about 4-5 days through the global QA pipieline, which we’re doing now, but wasn’t ready in time for release. It’s in the online manual, but not at the start of the game.
We probably should have announced the run button before launch, but we didn’t. That was a bad call, and we’ve paid for it in the reviews. But the most important thing is that we get the word out to players, so here we go – although we’d love you to take your time and explore Yaughton at a slow, steady pace, if you need to backtrack or get around more quickly, hold down R2 – it’ll take a few seconds before you are running fully, but it will speed your movement up.
And sorry for those of you who already played and were frustrated by the speed. Hopefully it didn’t spoil the experience too much for you, and knowing you can get around faster if you need to will make you want to return to explore more.
Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is available now for PS4.