Close to the Sun is a murder-horror adventure that recently made its way onto the Nintendo Switch following a massively positive reception on other platforms. After reviewing the game for the Nintendo hybrid console, Prima Games sat down with Studio Manager Roberto Semprebene to talk a little more about what it's like to be compared to such heavy hitters like BioShock as well as whose idea it was to give Tesla such a prominent role.
A big comparison commonly made when talking about Close to the Sun is to that of BioShock. Though it's easy to see why this conjecture has been made over and over again, I personally saw a lot more of SOMA throughout the game's experience - something that the devs said was absolutely intentional.
"Being compared to such great games is always a compliment," exclaimed the studio manager. "Actually, Soma was much more a reference for what we were aiming to, while Bioshock is something we bumped in when we decided to set the game in a Steampunk environment, with art nouveau and art deco involved. We were a bit worried people would compare Close to the Sun to be a Bioshock-like game also in terms of mechanics, with the exception of being disappointed by a game that has a totally different concept. However, we were thankfully surprised to see that a lot of people appreciated the no-combat approach and had received a ton of positivity about it!"
Sometimes being compared to such a beloved franchise can set up unrealistic expectations, which can, in turn, create a toxic effect on a title's reception. Luckily, that wasn't the case when it comes to Close to the Sun, though the comparison does give players an idea of what sort of aesthetic they can expect - especially since we have no idea when we will possibly get another BioShock.
Another thing I loved about Close to the Sun is that Nikolai Tesla was such a huge focus throughout the narrative. When asked what the driving factor for him and Edison's tensions being such a huge part of the story, Semprebene mentioned "Our CEO, Carlo Ivo Alimo Bianchi, as well as the team here at Storm in a Teacup love Tesla and his work, more than anything else! We wanted to pay our tribute to his genius, creating a story involving him, under an alternative reality in which he could compete head to head with Edison, eventually winning."
Interested in seeing the SOMA-inspired adventure for yourself? Learn more about Close to Sun in our full Nintendo Switch preview here!