Aftermath Promises Astronauts, Monsters and Laser-Happy Aliens

Aftermath

Aftermath, arriving next year, takes The Cloverfield Paradox’s premise and runs with it.

Okay, that might not sound like a good thing, given the straight-to-Amazon movie’s middling reception. But we’re not talking about Roy from The IT Crowd losing his arm or a Russian scientist eating too many gummy worms. No, what was intriguing about The Cloverfield Paradox was the chilling prospect of returning to a world that had, in your space-based absence, been ravaged by an apocalypse.

Aftermath follows the exploits of Charlie Gray, an astronaut who, going by the teaser trailer, is in space when an alien apocalypse engulfs the Earth. She returns to discover monsters roaming the streets and a massive laser-equipped UFO carving the earth up. Could she have stayed in space? Maybe, but with her daughter somewhere amidst the ruins, that was never really an option.

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It’s billed as a “psychological thriller” but the threats you face look to be very real and very alien. The trailer appears to be pre-rendered, so while a third-person perspective is all but confirmed, we’ve yet to see the actual game in action. But there is one thing about Aftermath that does have us intrigued. No, it’s not the whole mother-daughter relationship angle. We’ve had games tell us it’s “our” daughter/son/spouse in danger, but that doesn’t magically make us care.

No, what’s got us paying attention is the fact that Aftermath’s aliens don’t seem to give a hoot about Charlie or, indeed, humanity as a whole. The monsters you face seem to be mutated humans, acting on instinct, almost like.. dare we say it.. zombies. But the aliens are happily carving away at Earth, mining it for whatever their species values. There’s shades of Roadside Picnic there, of the “threat” being so vast or truly alien that we can’t comprehend it.

Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait a while to find out what Aftermath, arriving in 2022, has in store. It’s early days for the game and, since the trailer is essentially one long cutscene, our money’s on it being released in the latter half of the year. But given that developers One-O-One were behind the excellent The Suicide of Rachel Foster, we’re reasonably confident they can deliver something that does Aftermath’s premise justice.