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Everything we know about The Chant

This game is a CULT classic in the making!

The horror genre is ever evolving. Gone are the days of point and shoot games like House of the Dead dominating the field. Short stories with simplistic gameplay, such as the original Resident Evil, have also expanded into something more stylized. Remakes are rolling into the arena with rapid fire paces. The Last of Us and Resident Evil 4 are only the latest in a flooded bloody plain of gore and ghouls.

And because horror refuses to be bound by a singular convention, we get unique titles that stretch the boundaries of storytelling and game play. One I always go back to as an example of pushing the envelope is The Evil Within. That game, though similar to RE, was its own monster, asking players to handle situations with brains instead of brawn. So too have studios like Supermassive Games, which we will get to at a later date. Nevertheless, their approach to horror has redefined what an interactive story can look like.

Now, Brass Token plans to do the same with their debut title The Chant. Set to release next month, the survival horror game has already won over critics with its style, atmospheric chilling surroundings, and intriguing characters. Let’s get lost on Glory Island as we examine everything we know about The Chant.

A weekend unlike any other

Glory Island, set somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, is idyllic. As a PNWer, many of the vistas, flora and fauna are very familiar to me. In fact, I’m quite sure I have camped in a spot almost identical to Glory Island. And that’s how the story of The Chant starts- a weekend trip to a gorgeous retreat. But Glory Island harbors dark secrets. At one point, it was home to a cult. And we all know how that story goes.

Yes, this cult dipped its toes into the darkness. Unfortunately, it looks like that darkness is ready to rise in the form of The Gloom, “a psychedelic dimension of terror that feeds off negative energy.” This isn’t at all what main protagonist Jessica Briars signed up for when her old friend Kim Mallari convinced her to come to the Prismic Science Spiritual Retreat on Glory Island.

Kim and Jess share a dark and troubled past, one that left scars upon their relationship. But charismatic leader Tyler promises healing. He, along with his other followers, unite for this one weekend, to take a “transformational journey into Prismic Science.” What happens next will be a matter of life or death.

Roll call of the damned?

The Chant is a third person over the shoulder game, much like Resident Evil’s early titles. The gameplay focuses on Jess as the main character. However, Glory Island hosts a whole cast of characters.

Tyler Anton, (and if that last name doesn’t give you chills…think of how close it is to Afton from FNAF) is the “founder” of the retreat, having inherited the island from his mother. She apparently was part of the cult previously inhabiting it and is called “troubled” by the developers. Tyler definitely isn’t all he appears to be, gathering his small group of followers with the hopes of leaving “his mark on the world- maybe even the cosmos.”

Each of his followers seems to have special skills. Sonny Sonti met Tyler at the Spirit Ember Festival. He immediately saw a way to encourage Tyler through his family’s wealth. Promoting Prismic Science as a movement and seeing the retreat as a “working prototype” for things to come, it’s unclear what his objective is.

Hannah Wilson is an influencer who has been with Tyler for several months. In her role as his right-hand, she promotes his teachings to his community with optimism and excitement. Whether she knows about Tyler’s possibly darker motives or not, remains to be seen.

Noteworthy is Maya Kalani. Considered the mother bear type, she is kind and always open to deep conversations. She is the cook for the retreat followers, and can be found in the kitchen, or out in nature dancing. She, too, has a dark past and murky issues.

Last but not least is Kim, Jess’ friend. She was first introduced to Tyler and his teachings at his “Groundwork Possibility” seminar. She has said she feels alive and even-tempered because of Tyler’s influence.

Whether or not these characters are playable, similar to The Quarry, is unclear at this time. However, they all have an important role in the story.

Checking in…for life

As mentioned previously, Glory Island is set somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. The Retreat is comprised of several sprawling landscapes in The Chant that players will explore. Built on an isolated lakeside clearing and surrounded by old growth trees, it is a peaceful and idyllic area hiding a more sinister history.

If you’ve been hiking anywhere along the PNW forest trails, you know how beautiful and alive they are. Mountains lined with old trees, rustic bridges and even a cave or two, the first trails in The Chant are straight out of a mountaineer’s journal. Not to be understated is the rumors of a spiritual vortex overflowing with special energy… or the cursed origins of some of the trails.

Geometrical shaped buildings, designed to draw on the islands energy, make up the Commune area. This was the primary residential area for the Prismic followers in the 1970s.

Light or Darkness?

Glory Island is a lot like a ghost town. Two relics of old businesses stand empty, silent in what they’ve witnessed in the past. The Anton family’s legacy reaches back into the 1800s. The cannery and the mines were both bustling businesses for them but shut down for various reasons. However, on Glory Island, nothing stays dead for long. The cannery reopened for Prismic healing practices, which seemed to do more harm than good for those subjected to its experimental methods.

The mines, on the other hand, remained a fascination for those looking for enlightenment. During the 1800s, spiritually attuned gemstones were found. These became part of the Prismic Science practices. And there could be more to discover in its depths.

Off of the main island, connected by a wooden walkway is Flea Island. Here, a small lighthouse stands, eerily vacant. Built as a sacred site by the commune members in the 1970s, passersby have often seen a gloomy light shining from the lighthouse. Who’s running it? Maybe we’ll find out.

Bumps in the Gloom

After the group “accidently” release The Gloom from its prison, Glory Island takes on a whole new tone. Granted, from the bits of gameplay we’ve seen, the island isn’t exactly hospitable before the chant opens those cosmic gates. But afterwards, the landscapes are alien and freakish, to put it mildly. Even the vegetation weaves in an almost liquid manner.

It’s not just the landscapes that grow more sinister. The Gloom releases the cultist and prismatic creatures upon the unsuspecting retreaters. These things look like they are straight out of every survival horror game we’ve played in the last decade. They instantly gave me chills, with their design and guttural noises. It’s also apparent that they will not be easy to fight.

Konami codes, please?

Which brings us to the most important part of this article- gameplay. The Chant draws on ideas from its predecessors. The player will have to keep Jess balanced as she explores, fights, or flees from the terrors of the island. This includes her mind, body and spirit, which are essential to her wellbeing. Every action she takes will influence those aspects, and upgrades will be attainable throughout the game.

Meditation, interactions and dialogue choices and the resources she finds will help with that balance and will change the outcome of the game, possibly drastically. Keep Jess calm and panic free.

Additionally, meditation also enables Jess to access spiritual and cosmic powers, giving her a leg up in the fight. Play your cards right, and Jess will be able to harness the power of The Gloom for herself with some truly awesome results.

The Chant isn’t just about fighting, though. Resource gathering and crafting will allow her to create special weapons to use should you choose to fight. And it is a choice. Not every confrontation with the horrors of the island is suited to fighting.

At times, Jess will need to flee, especially in times where her mental state is teetering on the edge of unbalanced. Survival is everything, and resources and weapons are limits. So, picking her battles requires thinking on the part of the player. To help, it looks like we will have meters that give us a clue as to how her mind, body and spirit are faring at any given time.

Who survives at the end of the weekend? We eagerly look forward to playing and finding out.

Ready to face the Gloom

The Chant will release on November 3, 2022. through publisher Prime Matter. It is open for pre-order and wish list on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S and PC through Steam. Physical and digital options are available on consoles. Pre-orders include the Retreat outfit for Jess, and ’70s VFX Filter Mode. All editions are priced at $39.99USD.

We will continue to bring you breaking news as it comes out. Look forward to our review upon release and playthrough streams on our Twitch channel.

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Alicia Graves

A bit nerdy, a bit punk rock princess, and a whole lot of mom, I'm constantly in motion. I have an enthusiasm for gaming and the cultural complexities of entertainment, both past and present. I don’t believe in limiting myself to one kind of genre in books, comics, manga, anime, music or movies. I prefer to seek out hidden gems in panned pieces, uniqueness in the mundane and new outlooks on nuances.
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