Literary lovers, rejoice! There’s a new take on one of Franz Kafka’s most well-known works. “The Metamorphosis”, a surreal novella written by Kafka in 1915 in Germany, will be the basis for an upcoming game. The public has already seen a flea-sized portion of the game last year. Now, with the presentation of a trailer, Ovid Works reveals that the Metamorphosis release date is crawling closer.
Ovid Works is based in Warsaw, Poland. They focus on making “story rich [sic] and immersive games,” and have been doing so since 2015. A team of 15 people, their first game was Interkosmos. Putting players in a Soviet capsule cockpit falling to Earth, it really leaned into the VR experience and their attempt at telling “expressive stories.”
Metamorphosis, however, is a puzzle platformer that uses the novella as the basis for its narrative. The developers have said that Metamorphosis won’t be the only work by Kafka to be used; they will also delve into his other stories.
Get the Bug Outta Here!
Metamorphosis finds the protagonist, known as Gregor Samsa, awaken to discover he’s been turned into a giant bug. The story begins in Gregor’s bedroom, with his family and boss (Gregor missed work) wondering what’s wrong.
I won’t spoil more than that, but let’s just say it isn’t the most pleasant story (depending on how you feel about the family). It leaves a lot to interpretation, leading to many debates about its substance or meaning; the game plans to lean in to that ambiguity.
Gameplay will challenge players with puzzle-platforming, where the skills of bug-Gregor will help. They will have to climb walls, parkour, even use a liquid to create sticky surfaces for Gregor to walk along. As the player progresses, they will learn more about what caused Gregor’s transformation. He will also attempt to rescue his friend who has been arrested.
The atmosphere of the trailer suggests that Ovid Works has been able to capture the surreality of Kafka’s original story while still making the story playable. It looks to be an interesting mixture of narrative and gameplay, and if it gets some people to read the novella, then all the better.
With the release of a trailer, Ovid Works has indicated that the Metamorphosis release date is crawling closer. Metamorphosis will release on August 12th, 2020 for Nintendo Switch, PC (Steam), PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
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