If you browse through Steam Greenlight, you know it is full of uninteresting and poorly executed looking games that feature some sort of horror or survival element. Most have poor textures or use stock Unity assets, making them look even more unimpressive. Then you run across something like P.A.M.E.L.A.
P.A.M.E.L.A. is NVYVE Studios', a six person team, first game as a studio and they describe it as "an open world, sci-fi survival horror FPS with RPG elements ..." Nowhere have similar descriptions been added in Steam Greenlight before ... Nope. Definitely no games promising similar elements that take place in a relatively contemporary world to ours with rundown buildings, forests, etc. In other words, all things that are recognizable and all things that are dirty, grimy, decrepit, and otherwise unpleasing to the eye.
That is what really sets P.A.M.E.L.A. apart from all the other games promising something similar: it has a sci-fi setting. If you look at the trailer and other images shown throughout this article, you will see how astonishingly beautiful the game is, nailing that futuristic, clean aesthetic. Take that and juxtapose it to the bodies strewn about, pools of blood, and other horror elements, and you are left with something that is quite striking. It definitely separates itself from the other games you'll find out on Greenlight.
You'll play as what they call a "Sleeper," awoken in the fallen utopia of Eden. The only thing left behind is PAMELA, an AI overseer that watches over the used-to-be utopia that is Eden. PAMELA will be your companion as you explore Eden to find out what exactly led to its downfall. Eden is not exactly empty, however, as you will encounter what was left behind—Afflicted citizens, security droids, robotic custodians, and other "mysterious denizens."
Enough about that though—what does P.A.M.E.L.A. offer in the gameplay department? As you saw in the trailer, and read in the description of the game, P.A.M.E.L.A. promises some in your face action on top of some FPS style elements. Using various abilities and weapons, you will fight the Afflicted citizens and other enemies, which will have a "personality-driven AI system," meaning each encounter should be different. Eden is broken up into factions and depending on how you interact with each of them, each faction will develop certain behaviors and alliances. They'll react dynamically to become your ally or an enemy.
Scavenging the city will also play a big part in P.A.M.E.L.A. You'll find plenty of useful things left behind to customize modular equipment, as well as construct your own safe haven. Part of the scavenging will be in managing the power reserves to upgrade equipment and help in constructing that safe haven. Those power sources will also allow for Bio-Augments to give you an advantage, but will come at a cost. Everything having a consequence seems to be a big theme in P.A.M.E.L.A.
NVYVE is emphasizing the importance of decisions and seem to be pushing for a game with a little more grey, or at least something where there isn't always a clear right answer. Choosing to augment yourself may hurt you down the road, how and what you scavenge can have unforeseen consequences as well, and of course the decisions you make regarding the various factions should have some significant impact. Just as important as the combat, the decision making, even things that seem relatively minor, will play a big role: "Your every decision to eat sleep or drink may be your last. Time, you'll find, is the most precious commodity."
Another thing worth mentioning is the emphasis on immersion. P.A.M.E.L.A. features a holopad attached to your character's arm, which will display all the information you should need. Instead of having a series of menus pop up through your screen, everything will be accessible through the holopad, meaning you should never be taken out of the game.
To be honest, I felt a little guilty featuring P.A.M.E.L.A. It is getting some reasonable press and getting a ton of attention on Greenlight, so there may have been some other titles that needed some attention a bit more (we also talked a bit about it recently ourselves). However, P.A.M.E.L.A. looks so incredible I felt it was necessary to make others aware who may not know. I still do have a concern though, which is the game's ambition.
NVYVE is saying all the right things with the emphasis on player consequence in the world, choice, and immersion, but those are hard things to execute by themselves, let alone all together. Of course, we will all just have to wait and see, but for now, P.A.M.E.L.A. has an excellent foundation to show the game off with and looks like it could be something great. Hopefully NVYVE can capitalize on the potential they have created.
P.A.M.E.L.A. is being developed using Unity for only Windows at the moment, but NVYVE is considering other platforms at the moment. They don't have plans right now to put the game in Early Access but are considering it. Another common question is whether or not P.A.M.E.L.A. will have co-op, and NVYVE say that is on their to-do list and is something they want, but is not guaranteed.
P.A.M.E.L.A. has a tentative release date of Summer 2016. For more information check out the official website.
What do you think of P.A.M.E.L.A.? Does it look like something you would be interested in?