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Unknown 9: Awakening is a AAA third-person narrative-driven action-adventure game that was announced for PC and next-gen consoles at Gamescom 2020. The debut cinematic CGI trailer showed off the protagonist Haroona, a street-smart young girl from Kolkata (India) who has struggled to survive for most of her childhood. She has haunted visions that predict her own death, as she tries to understand her mysterious abilities to influence the unseen – like slowing down the perception of time and manipulate the energy of people’s bodies as seen in the trailer. She will meet her mentor, who will teach her to access the hidden dimension called the Fold, which will propel her to unravel an ancient web of secrets.

In an exclusive IGN interview, Alexis Ottier (Producer) and Tomas Street (Narrative Director), of the Montreal based dev studio Reflector Entertainment, said that the game is set in a new transmedia Unknown 9 universe with inspirations being The X-Files, The Matrix, Heroes, and Indiana Jones. The ‘storyworld’ already has an expanded universe in the form of a novel trilogy by author Layton Green, a 3 episode scripted podcast, a comic book series by Brandon Thomas and Francis Portela, and an interactive experience called Chapters. The video game’s story is set 100 years prior to the other Unknown 9 stories, and is “designed as an initiatory experience”. The game will help in further understanding the deep lore, connected history and mythologies, as well as conspiracy theories that are woven into the larger narrative.

We haven’t ever seen a move like this before where media is created simultaneously on different platforms to promote a shared universe. Usually, stories have to prove their mettle in one media first – like in the form of a book or comic, a television series, or a game – before being provided with the opportunity to move into others to mitigate risk. Unknown 9 seems like a unique and ambitious move, where readers or players are being asked to become invested in the story of that universe from diverse media backgrounds. All we can do now is wait and watch to see if this experiment is successful. There is no announced release date, but we are guessing that you will be seeing this game sometime late next year.

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