LIZ: Before the Plague is a VR adventure game which combines puzzle/investigation and shooting dynamics in a near future sci-fi setting.
The player will live this immersive adventure as the BPD agent Elizabeth Reed (Liz).
The story begins at Liz' place. She was sleeping on the couch, watching TV, when she receives a call from her superintendant, telling her of an emergency.
Two agents were sent before her, but BPD lost contact with them long ago so Liz immediately leaves for police station where she takes her gear and heads to the place where the emergency call came from: Ankh Pharmatech.
Once there, the player will have to help Liz making her way through the building, find out what happened, find her collegues and rescue any survivor.
Liz is equipped with some experimental gear including:
- an holographic PDA helping her during investigation, that includes environment scanning features, evidences file database and other useful stuff
- a floating drone, B-4, which helps her by giving her hints, lighting dark areas and providing magazines during shooting sessions
Liz will need to find out what happened at Ankh Pharmatech and, more important, how to make her way through a secure building under an emergency lock-down.
Before clearing each room, the player will have to find a set of important items and information, and to solve puzzles in order to unlock accesses to next areas. To do this Liz has her PDA with a lot of different tools for every possible situation, like hacking devices, analyzing objects in the environment, remotely interacting with elctronical devices spread throughout the environment.
Ankh pharmatech is not a place for bookworms. Being able to solve puzzles and find clues and evidences is not enough to get out of the building safe and sound.
The deeper th player proceeds in the builing, the closer he/she will get to some threats and will be forced to defend himself/herself. Here shooting skills will come in very handy, so, the player can do some practice at the police station shooting range, to become a true gunslinger before starting the mission. Reloading process is even more important than the shooting itself, that's why the player needs to master that mechanism to be sure he/she won't be defeated.
LIZ: Before the Plague is built around the idea of the immersion. In fact, the player won't see any kind of non-diegetic GUI, voices, music or sound effecs. This means that all the player sees and hears is what Liz, the main character, sees and hears. Game settings are embedded in Liz' PDA and touch screen devices on her desk at police station, the music the player hears during the shooting phases comes from Liz' earpiece that she also uses from communications, briefs between levels come from phone calls with BPD or voice notes, the level loading itself is Liz' walking from an area to another or driving from one place to another and subtitles ad textual hints are part of the PDA or projected by B-4. Cinematic sequences and movements will be seen in third person but the player will never lose the feel of immersion in the scene as he/she will gain control of Liz in no time, still having a good point of view for more intense scenes.