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How Tacoma’s ghosts of the past will help you in the present

While it wasn’t a horror game, the utter abandonment of the house in Gone Home made every turn around every corner feel like an imminent encounter with the supernatural. It was only in the material possessions of that house’s residents that any sign of life was even evident. Take that format and throw it out into the cold isolation of space and you have the recipe for an even eerier experience. But on board the space station where Fullbright’s upcoming game Tacoma takes place, it seems we won’t be completely alone.

If you count the virtual presences that occupy the empty rooms and corridors of the Lunar Transfer Station Tacoma, the spacecraft is actually alive with company. Administrative staff, researchers, engineers, and more haunt the halls as digital ghosts, or more specifically, holograms projected around the station thanks to AR body-positioning data recorded from the real Tacoma residents while they were still on board.

We got a glimpse of these AR ghosts in Tacoma‘s E3 trailer, but a new five-minute long preview from Game Informer offers a deeper look at what role they’ll play on board Tacoma station.

You play as a character named Amy Ferrier who finds herself alone on a space station and must determine what took place there. Because you’re guided by AR manifestations rather than video or audio diaries, you get to actually see how crew members lived, worked, and interacted with others on the station, rather than just dig for clues in the aftermath of their departure.

The ability to stand among these AR recordings as they replay via hologram could add new dimensions to the familiar type of detective work in Gone Home. If crew members branch off into different rooms as they converse, following one instead of the other might reveal some new information, like where they hide a certain item or what their station login is. Maybe body language plays an important role in some interactions. Maybe certain things just can’t be conveyed with words.

Maybe body language plays an important role 

If Gone Home is any evidence, Fullbright does a good job exploring the different ways people occupy and move through physical spaces. Seeing how the team handles Tacoma’s unique approach, and in such a drastically different setting, will make for interesting comparison.

Speaking of movement: in the video, we also get a look at some of the zero-gravity exploration that Tacoma’s E3 trailer showed off, where “surface transfer” technology lets you quickly turn ceilings into floors and vice versa, changing up your perspective and maybe opening up some hidden nooks to investigate.

Tacoma is headed to PC and Xbox One in 2016.