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Centum: Everything We Know

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Centum Promotional Art

Remember The Stanley Parable, and how it had us “loosely” following the rules of some overarching narrative while simultaneously presenting us with numerous alternate ways to manipulate the system? Well, that concept has recently been carried over into a brand-new world—an upcoming “unreliable” game in which players will also have the opportunity to flex their stubbornness and tamper with the outcome. It’s called Centum, and it’s currently due to arrive on consoles and PC at some point later this year.

As we’re still a few months away from seeing it arrive on its chosen platforms, we thought we’d scrape the barrel for a few more details, if only to shed a little extra light on its core gameplay mechanics and lore. Care to join us as we unpack it ahead of its debut? Then let’s jump right in.

What Is Centum?

Puzzle box mini-game (Centum)

Centum is an upcoming “unreliable narrative-driven adventure” game in which players will take to the scenes of a twisted and manipulative world—a place where every action has a consequence, and every path you follow will result in some form of climax, for better or for worse.

In the words of its creator, Hack The Publisher, “Centum challenges traditional gaming conventions by weaving an intricate narrative where reality is as fluid as the mind of its narrator.” In other words, it will allow users to toy with the experience by choosing their own pathways in order to generate an AI-controlled conclusion—a climax that will rely on the decisions that you make over the course of the journey.

“There is no singular protagonist in Centum; instead, players shape the behavior of an artificial intelligence through their choices, guiding it towards different outcomes and experiences,” the developer explains in a press release. “With hidden variables persisting between game runs, each playthrough offers new twists, ensuring that no two experiences are alike.”

Story

Prisoner sitting in a cell (Centum)

As far as the potential plot points go, we’re still a little confused. What’s not to be confused about, though? It appears that, for the most part, the story will center itself around a prisoner whose sole purpose is to escape from their cell. According to the developer, however, it’ll be about a lot more than a basic prison escape; it will also tap into several other aspects, too, all of which will seemingly blend with some form of overarching narrative. It’s a little hard to say at this point, but from the sounds of it, we can expect quite a lot of interweaving story arcs and characters.

“You’re a prisoner in a cell. You have to escape. But is that really the goal?” That’s it. That’s just about everything that developer Hack The Publisher has to say about its premise. Granted, it doesn’t give much away, but it does stoke our curiosity, that’s for sure.

Gameplay

In-game dialogue and choice (Centum)

Going by the game’s description, Centum will allow players to explore a tapestry of “daunting scenarios”—locations in which the outcomes of each scene will revolve entirely around the actions that you make. Again, think The Stanley Parable, in the case that there’ll be a narrator who has the power to advise you and manipulate your narrative, and you’ll have a vague idea of what it’s getting at. That, in our mind, is what Centum will consist of: exploring a wide range of possibilities, and creating your own conclusions based on one of several contributing factors.

“Every click and decision is remembered, forcing you to grapple with the unreliable nature of the narrator’s hints and guidance,” the game’s description expands. “Centum speaks of themes that challenge players to question not only the game’s reality but also their own perceptions and beliefs.”

Of course, there’s still a great deal that we don’t actually know about the gameplay, much less how it will operate. From the sounds of it, though, it will take full advantage of a myriad of possible endings, meaning, there’ll be several ways to reach the final portion of the story.

Development

Vacant office space interior (Centum)

In case you missed out on the ID@Xbox Showcase that aired earlier this week, both Hack The Publisher and Serenity Forge brought the project to the table as part of the two-hour presentation. Aside from posting a short trailer of the upcoming game (we’ll get to that shortly), the team also stapled a rough “summer 2024” release date to it, signaling that it will likely arrive at some point before the fourth quarter.

Hack The Publisher, for those who’ve yet to embark on their own research expedition, is an independent studio that’s based in Tallinn, Estonia. Aside from Centum, the team has also worked on games such as Vengeance of Mr. Peppermint, and Dwarven Skykeep. You can check out some of the studio’s other works by visiting the official site here.

Trailer

Centum Official Announcement Trailer

Thanks to the ID@Xbox Showcase, we do, in fact, have a bit of footage of Centum to share. Need we say more? You can check out the initial announcement trailer in the video embedded above.

Release Date, Platforms & Editions

Ominous doorway (Centum)

According to the developer, Centum will be shaping up for a Q3 2024 launch on Xbox Series X|S and PC via Steam. As for whether or not it’ll eventually find its way over to PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch, however, is still a bit of a mystery. From the sounds of it, though, it’ll be exclusive to Microsoft on launch.

Interested in staying up to date with Centum? If so, then be sure to check in with the team over on their official social handle for all the latest updates here. If anything does change ahead of its global debut, then we’ll be sure to fill you in on all the key details right here on gaming.net.

 

So, what’s your take? Will you be picking up a copy of Centum when it releases on consoles and PC? Let us know your thoughts over on our socials here.

Jord is acting Team Leader at gaming.net. If he isn't blabbering on in his daily listicles, then he's probably out writing fantasy novels or scraping Game Pass of all its slept on indies.