Closer the Distance: Everything We Know
Osmotic Studios has announced Closer the Distance, an emotionally charged slice-of-life sim that not only dares to bridge the gap between life and death, but compose “themes of empathy, community, friendship, grief, and closure.” Quite the tall order, clearly, and yet one that just so happens to intrigue us the more we delve into it.
It's still a fair ways off yet, but the fact is, publisher Skybound Games and Osmotic Studios are working tirelessly to bring the story-driven tale to both consoles and PC as quickly as possible. But until the time does come, here are the key details you'll need to take note of before adding it to your wishlist over on Steam.
What Is Closer the Distance?
Closer the Distance is an upcoming “slice-of-life” sim by Osmotic Studios, an independent firm best known for games such as Orwell, and Unheard. In this latest venture, players are invited to oversee the aftermath of a tragic event that relates to your character, Angela. With the power to watch over your former friends and family members, you will make important decisions that help shape not only their lives, but your hometown of Yesterby.
According to Osmotic Studios: “Closer the Distance is a slice-of-life sim that tells a deeply emotional story about the connections between family and friends in the face of tragedy. Unearth long kept secrets, repair strained relationships, and help your loved ones move on.”
You play as Angela, a spirit who recently lost her life in a fatal car accident. In the immediate aftermath of this tragic event, the town of Yesterby enters the endearing five stages of grief, leaving you to oversee the impact and, with the help of her little supernatural ability, alter the emotions of its citizens and help them move on.
In Osmotic Studios' words: “Following a fatal car accident, players take on the role of Angela, a young girl from the town of Yesterby, who finds herself watching over her loved ones as they navigate the grieving process. Using her ethereal ability to influence the townspeople she once knew, Angela’s choices will ultimately determine the fate of Yesterby.”
Closer the Distance aims to provide “several key gameplay features for an immersive playthrough”—elements that will influence the overarching story and its grand conclusion. A story-driven game by heart, players will have the opportunity to unravel various character arcs and decide how each of them navigate the grieving process. As for what decisions you will make to carve the conclusion, however, is still unclear.
From what we've caught so far, Closer the Distance will employ something of honeycomb structure—relationships with which you can either develop or dismantle depending on the choices you make for each. Acting as the fly on the wall for several families and friends, you will watch over scenes and influence their actions. How the town of Yesterby adapts to your fate, of course, all boils down to the things you do and the emotional strain you put on its shoulders.
“Choices-matter gameplay allows players to make decisions that affect the outcome of the story, making each playthrough unique,” the blurb adds. “Closer the Distance offers something for everyone, and its emotional depth and engaging gameplay will leave players wanting more.”
Osmotic Studios, an award-winning independent developer based in Hamburg, Germany, first announced its intention to bring Closer the Distance to consoles and PC back in the beginning of March 2023. Since then, the studio has only let slip a short sneak preview, mostly outlining the platforms and the game's art style. Actual platforms weren't specified, but it's fair to say that an Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 launch is most definitely in the cards. You can also add it to your wishlist on Steam here.
Caught your interest? If so, then you'll be pleased to know that Osmotic Studios did actually go on to showcase Closer the Distance back in the beginning of March. It didn't specify the consoles it would be coming to, nor the date it would release. Truth be told, it didn't actually give anything away that pertained to the story, characters, or gameplay. If anything, it left something of an itch that, from this day forward, will be dying to be scratched. Until then, you'll have to settle for the sneak preview above.
Release Date, Platforms & Editions
Closer the Distance will be coming to “consoles and PC” via Steam at some point in the near future. And yes, that is rather vague, but it's also the most Osmotic Studios has given away since announcing it earlier this week. With a little luck, however, a definitive release date will be brought to the table over the next few months. Q3 2023, in any case.
As it's still early days, there's no telling whether or not the devs will be bringing Closer the Distance to Game Pass or PlayStation Plus. The likelihood of this happening is certainly strong, given the fact that most independent games tend to strike a deal with either of the two platforms. That said, until Osmotic Studios make any effort to shed light on the matter, we'll have to make the assumption that it won't, and that it will only be available on Steam and the respective marketplaces from day one.
For more information on the Closer the Distance launch, you can follow the official social feed here. If anything happens between now and its eventual release date, we'll be sure to fill you in on all the details right here on gaming.net.
So, what's your take? Will you be picking up a copy of Closer the Distance when it drops? Let us know your thoughts over on our socials here.