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May 2021

Sense: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One
Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: Top Hat Studios
Developer: Suzaku
Release Date: 2021

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'Sense: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story' (ALL) Comes to Playstation Vita Next Week

by Rainier on April 19, 2021 @ 9:05 a.m. PDT

Sense: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story is a 2.5D cyberpunk horror game with a chilling supernatural story happening in the distant future (2083) of Neo Hong Kong.

Inspired in design by Clock Tower and Fatal Frame, story-wise by sci-fi classics like Bladerunner as well as heavily from Traditional Asian Folklore, Sense: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story is presented in gorgeous hand-drawn 2.5D graphics

Set in the year 2083 in Neo Hong-Kong, the story follows Mei-Lin Mak, a young woman with cybernetic eyes pulled into the maelstrom of an unsolved supernatural mystery from centuries past. As she peers deeper into the mystery, her perception of reality slowly crumbles around her, leaving her to question every intricacy of her surroundings.

Under the neon lights of a cyberpunk dystopia lays the ruins of the Chung Sing Building; an obscured reminder of a bloody mystery illuminated by both the innovations of the future and the traditions of the past. Caught in the midst of a conspiracy from years past, our protagonist Mei-Lin Mak finds herself stuck in these crumbling ruins, trying to decode a mystery whose answer may reach past what even the technology of the future could produce.

In an industrial world stricken with fierce division between government and individual, rebellion and order, and human and machine, Mei finds that there may be a greater division undiscovered; the division between normal and supernatural. If there is any hope of escaping this nightmare, Mei-Lin must explore this complex, piecing together the stories of 14 lost souls, and discover the truth of her own family curse. With careful attention to pacing, atmosphere and storytelling, Sense hopes to return the horror genre to its roots; celebrating the slow, fearful creep of dread instead of turning to action and jump scares. Mei is not a trained agent; she is a programmer and not a soldier; the ghosts - the glitches of reality - are spirits and not spectral zombies; and the scares are from within, not from the horrors around.

After extensive discussions and technical conversations with Sony Interactive Entertainment, Top Hat Studios, Inc. has secured what may be the last ever releases for the Playstation Vita platform.

Currently available for Nintendo Switch, PS4 and PC (Steam), Sense: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story is coming to Playstation Vita on April 27, 2021 with cross-buy available for the PS4 versions of the games (also available on PS5 via backwards compatibility).

Sense: A Cyberpunk Ghost Storywill continue to be available for just under 4 months - up until the point of final closure for the PS Vita store; this digital release comes following a previously released limited physical edition for both titles, each of which sold out in under a day. Unfortunately, due to technical limitations with PEGI and the SIEE Vita storefront services, these releases will be digital-only for the NA and Asia regional Playstation Stores.

The game utilizes a Hand-Painted 2.5D style for its art, which combines the benefits of 3D (such as shifting perspective) with the intricate, colorful style of 2D illustration. Sense also happily embraces eroticism and fan-service in its art, which can especially be seen in character designs. However, this embrace does not detract from its roots in the horror genre. Ghastly spirits, ghouls, and deformed creatures of all types can be found lurking in the shadows. The game's locations are heavily influenced by futuristic environments, drawing inspiration from the architecture of Asian cities and buildings. The aesthetic consists of bright, colorful neon lights, a stark contrast to the dark, brooding streets and back alleys of the dystopia that the protagonist finds herself in.

The immersive, atmospheric and brooding soundtrack of Sense is composed by Andy Andi Han, a composer with significant experience in games and the co-composer of the famed visual novel Katawa Shoujo. With influences from John Carpenter, Vangelis, and traditional Chinese Opera, the synthesizer-meets-eastern sound provides a lasting and memorable auditory experience. The music isn't just tacked on - it’s an essential sensory element, accompanying the journey through Neo Hong Kong's moody, neon-filled streets... and wherever else it may go.

Key Features

  • Interaction: The player will need to search and examine every nook and cranny of the world around them in order to progress. Some items may not be visible until specific chains are completed, and some items may be hidden from Mei's cybernetic eyes at all times, as if spirited away by the ghosts stalking her. Some may require quick wit - and have urgent consequences.
  • Dialogue: NPCs will be heavily populating a few areas of the full game, but there may be some wandering the halls with you. Talking to them can reveal information about the world, the mystery at hand, and even some unexpected secrets.
  • Zooms: Some interactions require a closer look, zooms allow for a different view of items, areas, and puzzles. Make sure to search every inch.
  • Lore: The world of Sense is huge and complex, each location will reveal details about Neo-Hong Kong and the surrounding world. From Geo-Politics to inter-character relationships, don't be afraid to click on anything that looks interesting.
  • Ghosts: The ghosts of the Chung Sing building can hurt you, but can you hurt them? Short answer is no, but you can help them pass on. Shrines, offerings, and solving mysteries will be your only weapons.
  • Shinrei Spots: The 14 lost souls of the Chung Sing building are not the only spirits lurking the halls. Dozens of hidden ghost photos fill the locations of Sense. Finding them all may reveal a secret!
  • Death and failure: Like all the best games, failure and mistakes should be punished, but in a heavily narrative game how do you do that? How do you promote stakes and risk? The answer is simple, fill the world with dangerous events and deadly spirits. Just make sure to record your progress at the occasional TV, there are NO checkpoints or autosaves in the Chung Sing building.
  • Replayability: Sense will be filled with secrets, only some of them will be revealed in a single play through. Some secrets wont be able to escape the spirit realm until the "Plus" appears.

Currently available on Nintendo Switch, PS4, PC (Steam), Sense - 不祥的预感: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story is set to release for Playstation Vita on April 27, 2021.

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