Clockwork Revolution's Setting is Its Make-or-Break Feature

Highlights Clockwork Revolution draws inspiration from games like BioShock and We Happy Few, emphasizing the importance of a strong and immersive setting in creating an engaging experience. The trailer for Clockwork Revolution showcases a Victorian-inspired metropolis called Avalon, which looks stunning and has the potential to become one of the most memorable settings in gaming. Clockwork Revolution will need to offer a varied and visually appealing city in order to keep players engaged. The quality of its setting will be crucial to its success.

As hardware continues to improve, video games’ ability to fully immerse its players in a fictional world is ever-increasing. From The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’s extensive fantasy world to the cosmos in Starfield, gaming is allowing people to escape into something new at a rapid rate, and future titles look to be continuing the trend. One such project is Clockwork Revolution, which drew parallels from the get-go with BioShock, We Happy Few, and Ghostwire: Tokyo.

Mechanically it may be very different, but the way it put its city at the forefront felt familiar. It’s a game that looks in-keeping with the direction of the industry as BioShock 4 and Judas are on the horizon. In order to succeed among such strong competition, the setting for this inXile Entertainment title has to be nothing short of special, and all signs point to that being a very real possibility.

A Good Setting Goes a Long Way in Games Like BioShock bioshock rapture adonis luxury resort

Though a lot of games prioritize gameplay, storytelling, or character development, others have shown that the world where it takes place can massively contribute to the immersion. Hyrule in Breath of the Wild, Yharnam in Bloodborne, Pandora in Borderlands and particularly Rapture in BioShock are all essential to the visual and tonal prowess of each offering. Without the setting being as strong with attention to detail and art direction, the story or the game mechanics can feel pointless.

In BioShock, a game that Clockwork Revolution is clearly inspired by, the city under the Atlantic is the most important part. The audio diaries that players collect make up most of the stellar story, making the setting inherently linked to the reason why players remain gripped throughout. Titles like Forspoken and Rage 2 show that, without an interesting place to roam and explore, an experience can lose its charm quickly, even if the project prioritizes other aspects. Clockwork Revolution puts the steam-powered city of Avalon at the center of its promotional material, and though much remains a mystery, inXile Entertainment clearly wants players to be wowed by the setting.

Clockwork Revolution’s Victorian-Inspired Metropolis Has Potential Clockwork Revolution Avalon

Despite only having a trailer revealed at the 2023 Xbox Showcase to go on, Clockwork Revolution’s city setting of Avalon already looks gorgeous, taking cues from Victorian England and adding more than a dash of steampunk fiction to make it look like an industrial utopia. If it achieves what fans may be expecting, it could solidify itself as one of the most memorable in gaming, but in order to do this, the beauty has to be more than just skin deep. It has to be varied in aesthetics, and have a structure that compliments the visuals, not just grid-based streets that make its style just feel like window-dressing.

Unlike games it is inevitably being likened to, Clockwork Revolution is an RPG, meaning it will implement some kind of progression system to enhance replay value and keep players returning. Like Night City in Cyberpunk 2077 or Kamurocho in Yakuza, this will only be enticing if the city itself is worth exploring, and still presents new things to see dozens of hours into the story or post-game content. The recently released trailer and limited information about the project are making all the right noises, and fans are right to be excited about the game knowing its coming from the developer of the Wasteland series. Its success is not guaranteed, however, and the quality of its setting will play a big part in how it is received.

Clockwork Revolution is in development for PC and Xbox Series X/S.

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