Square Enix has revealed its latest project, and it is weird.
Earlier this morning, the company was tweeting teases of an “interactive reveal” of the next project from their Western studio. That project turned out to be something called Can’t Kill Progress, or Project CKP, although we have no idea if that’s the title of the game, or just this strange marketing bit.
— Square Enix (@SquareEnix) April 6, 2015
What is it?
For now, it’s some kind of interactive Twitch stream that features “live” surveillance footage of a man imprisoned in a cell. The prisoner mostly just lays there or sits around, but he’s also paced about the cell, swore at his captors, begged for food, had his jacket stolen by a man with a metal arm, was harassed by loud music, and realized the walls were electrified. Spooky stuff.
The stream also features a “vote” every couple of hours. Apparently, the viewers will be able to weigh in and effect the story in some way during these votes. In between these voting periods, Twitch users can also input a command in chat to switch the camera views. Some users are also experimenting to see if more commands are available, but so far we haven’t found any.
What is the story so far?
The stream began with a man tied to a chair with a bag over his head. Another man with a Russian accent, accompanied by two guards, began to interrogate the prisoner, although the questions felt like gibberish. He asked the prisoner if he liked music, and whether he liked classical or folk music. When the prisoner refused to answer, it was put to a vote on Twitch chat. Folk won, and folk music was subsequently played in the cell.
Following that, the feed cut out, and when it returned, the chair was gone. Hours later, the guards interrogated the prisoner again, and viewers were presented with a second vote, “stand your ground” or “plead.” Twitch users chose to stand their ground, and the guards ending up beating the prisoner. Eventually, the prisoner stated he needed his “medication,” and that there is a safe house for people like him. The guards left, presumably to go check out the safe house.
From here on out, it’s been a lot of the prisoner sitting or laying down, and occasionally getting up to walk around or speak. At one point, the prisoner was allowed to go to the bathroom. It also appears to be looping, and occasionally cutting out entirely.
Update: This window has been popping up, linking to two glitchy videos posted to Instagram. They’re pretty indecipherable, but you can make out a few phrases such as, “we don’t want you here,” “stop,” and “you are hurting.” The imagery also looks like police arresting people.
It seems that whatever these are for is not functional right now though, and will be unlocked in about 16 hours.
Update: Two men dressed in police uniforms entered the room with food. They taunted the prisoner briefly, before leaving him to eat. Moments later, another police officer with a metal arm entered, and took the food. The prisoner scraped up the crumbs left on the ground and began eating them.
Update: Earlier this morning, the prisoner was begging for his medication again. Later, a table was brought into the cell, and the prisoner was made to sign a confession. He was told it might save his life.
Update: The 10:00 AM vote just went down. We got a choice to determine the “entry strategy,” either “use password” or “infiltrate.”
Infiltrate was chosen and whatever was at the address the prisoner gave to the police was attacked off-camera. Gunfire and shouting was heard. Also, the chair was left in the room afterwards.
Additionally, apparently this guy’s name is “Tomasz” or “Thomas,” I must have missed that earlier on. The next vote is in about five hours.
Update: We also have a new code to solve, presumably to unlock another Instagram post: 123134341443231514
Update: Thomas appears to be tampering with the chair.
Update: He got in trouble, and they took his chair away.
Update: At table was brought in. They’re making him write in his “journal.”
We also decrypted the latest code. It leads to this Instagram profile, and a new video (“Bloodshed”). You can make out a man saying, “we will not stop,” and an explosion of some kind around a statue.
Update: He’s still writing. Some people have reported that he has something drawn or tattooed on his other hand, but the camera hasn’t gotten a close up of it yet.
Update: They took his table away.
And now there’s a face projected on the wall. People in Twitch chat are saying it’s already done this before.
Update: They’re harassing him with music again. Man, Thomas hates music.
Update: Thomas has to pee, so they let him out of his cell briefly. He did this yesterday too, I’m pretty sure it’s the same footage.
Update: Something weird is happening.
Update: Now they’re torturing him… with a mop?
Update: The guards are back and being dicks. They took the mop away though, so now Thomas is just curled up in the fetal position.
Update: Light’s out?
Update: And we’re back. It looks like Thomas tried to kill himself, and was temporarily removed from the cell.
For this vote, they’ve brought back the chair, and a new interrogator. he wants to know what Thomas’s group’s plan is. Thomas says there is a vault in a museum, and “Ivan” is there. The interrogator doesn’t believe him.
A woman is here now, and she is mad about how they’re handling things.
The choice is whether or not to “shield the prisoner from torture.” It’s between “step back” or “protect.”
This apparently takes place in the aftermath of a terrorist attack, and Thomas’s group has one of the cops held hostage.
Update: New code: 53214525445153
Update: It leads here (“embraced”). The next vote is in less than two hours.
Update: Thomas needs his meds, and is having a seizure.
Update: The woman is back, with what seems to be Thomas’s medication no less.
The hostage that Thomas’s group took was used to gain access to a police compound, where incendiary bombs were stolen. The woman needs Thomas to tell them what the target is.
The new vote is, “provide medical attention?” Twitch chose, “yes,” and the woman injected Thomas with something, causing him to pass out. The next (and final) vote will be tomorrow at 8:30 PDT.
Update: New code: GBKH
Update: It looks like the footage is looping again. We’re getting segments from earlier this morning and even yesterday’s stream.
Update: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided has been confirmed, watch the trailer here.
What could this be for?
A new IP seems very possible, but to me, the imagery and tone seem to imply a link to Deus Ex. The men with the metal arms, the futuristic prison cell, the “medication” (neuropozyne?), and the overall theme of an oppressive police state seem very much in line with that series of games. That, or I’m just really desperate to know more about that upcoming sequel.
After all, we’ve been waiting for news on Deus Ex Universe for over a year and a half now, and this feels like it could be a really intriguing way to finally reveal the project.
We’ll find out for sure when the stream culminates in… something, in about three days time.
Update: Almost definitely Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.