Endling: Extinction is Forever has a large component of social awareness towards the environment.
Many video games feature apocalyptic worlds where the human being must survive with few resources. However, it is not said how the the most vulnerable and innocent: animals. Endling: Extinction is Forever tells the story of a fox, mother of three cubs in a world that has completely collapsed. As a result, forests have been burned, polluted rivers and seas, and there are extreme weather conditions. This survival game launches on July 19 for Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One and PC.
In 1996, the journal Nature created the term “End” to designate the last known individual of a threatened species or subspecies. Endling: extinction is eternal offers us more than a game, a reflection on the importance of protect the environment for generations to come. “We needed to create a game with a social impact”explained Javier Ramello, programmer at Herobeat Studios. It is the first work of this young spanish studio of 20 people and they have taken care of every detail to convey what they want.
Getting to the launch, pandemic involved, wasn’t easy. Already in 2018 Javier Ramello and the artist Pablo Hernández created a demo and signed up for a video game incubator that helped them develop the concept. Ramello assured that “we put our savings, our life to realize the dream”Therefore the gamescom showcase this helped them get publisher Handy Games interested in the project. “We completely agree with the the ideals we wanted to convey“.
Endling is the last individual of an endangered species
This is how Endling: Extinction is Forever was born, a survival game with metroidvania elements who seeks social awareness of the environment. The player controls a fox that runs away from the fire in a protected reserve and you must seek shelter soon. To the user’s surprise, their young are born, which are a essential part of the game. The puppies not only represent the mother fox’s own life, but provide **different abilities** throughout the game.
Herobeat Studios’ intention is to create a strong bond between the user and this family of foxes. The action takes place in the year 2050 in a dystopian world free-roaming and side-scrolling, where you can continuously backtrack to find unlocked paths or new resources. However, Endling places more emphasis on storylines so that ecosystem degradation over time, a more visual way to connect with history. “We put a lot of love into details that no one may see”.
“We wanted that after playing Endling, the player felt something was taken and create a moment of introspection”Ramello explained. Some decisions therefore have consequences and they are permanent in the game like the death of a puppy, emphasizing this idea rather than extinction of a species. “Not only is it a problem to lose a puppy because you bonded with him, but you lose an ability”. In this regard, all skills are actions a fox might do because it was designed to be authentic. The goal is simple: to survive.
In fact, the dog does not understand what is happening, she moves on her own. survival instinct. For his part, the player can perceive situations around this character to understand the context and narrative at any time to draw their own conclusions. The design of the game also relies heavily on the sound part, made up of Manel Gil Inglada and interpreted by Tina Guo and Rusanda Panfili, respectively cellist and violinist of the Hans Zimmer Orchestra.
Puppies, life insurance
Why is sound so important? every puppy has assigned a different instrument and if one dies, that instrument will no longer sound throughout the game, creating a feeling of greater silence in its absence. Herobeat Studios wanted thus symbolize the loss, which has a direct consequence on the gameplay because the player will no longer be able to use his abilities. All this is based on real elements, since “is designed for improve mechanics and it didn’t sound like science fiction”.
The sandbox world It is made up of 3 poles that deal with different real environmental issues. He came to a point of no returnbut the game don’t want to name the human being as the enemy of the planet, but he tried and he came late. “We may not be on timebut in Endling there is always a glimmer of hope”, explained the programmer after talking about the investigations on which they were based. The game includes nods to renewable energy, but that wasn’t enough in this world.
the foxes are super adaptable animals, they can live in environments where humans live. They are nocturnal, so the player must enjoy the nights go in search of food. Little by little, the puppies will grow and will be able learn skills with life experiences. During the day, men appear who want to hunt foxes because of their own despair. Despite this, worrying issues such as intensive animal husbandry, abuse or exploitation of animals in factories are exposed.
All this leads to a untenable situation also for human life. In another advanced section of the game, they talk about climate displaced people, forced emigration of humanity to seek refuges which guarantee their subsistence. All for the same purpose of conveying these thoughts to players through storytelling with a strong emotional component which has already conquered many players. On platforms like Steam, already a free demo is available.