The Vanishing of Ethan Carter are in-game, during gameplay moments, developer The Astronauts promises. There are no cut-scenes in the game at all, though the screens look more like oil paintings or concept art, showing a beautiful forest marred by moments of blood and signs of death – precisely the tone Ethan Carter is going for.
Ethan Carter is a first-person discovery game starring occult detective Paul Prospero. Paul is a simple, serious man, and he knows that this will be his last case, one way or another, as explained in the game's beautiful mini-comic (which is accompanied by gentle music and sound effects). Ethan, a young boy, disappears after a brutal murder, and Paul must uncover the dark mysteries of the town to find him.
The Astronauts, composed of former People Can Fly developers, are focused on immersive storytelling and "clammy unease," creating a psychologically creepy mood more than making people jump from their seats. Ethan Carter is due out this year for PC.
"With its mixture of a beautiful world with the haunting and macabre, this story is for adult players," The Astronauts writes. "That said, there is no combat in our game. If our game leaves any scars, you won't be able to see them. Also, we want gamers to experience the story of Paul and Ethan at their own pace, and without the need for sedatives."