The Gap Preview – Diving into a multiverse of memories

Outside of death itself, one of the things that haunts humans the most is the idea that we might eventually lose our memories, our sense of self and effectively our existence. Dementia, Alzheimers and other neurodegenerative diseases are frankly terrifying, and it’s with good reason that so much research is being done to find ways to stall and prevent their occurrence. The Gap sees one neuroscientist’s quest to heal his wife send him hurtling into memories and moments from the past, and on into a multiverse where the cure might be found.

So no, The Gap has nothing to do with that once omnipresent fashion retailer, but instead leans into the narrative prop de jour, of a multiverse of possibilities. Conceptually, though, it’s far removed from the kinds of time travel and multiverse shenanigans that we see in comic books and movies, and rather has more common ground with hard sci-fi mixed into the psychological exploration.

The Gap study computer

Faced with the prospect of his wife losing her memories, neuroscientist Joshua Hayes is drawn into signing up to test an experimental treatment using nanobots to control brainwave patterns. This… was probably ready for human trials, to be honest, though does start to allow Joshua to explore memories in a much more vivid fashion, and eventually delve into the multiverse theories.

The game leaps back and forth between points in time, exploring a messy apartment with warnings daubed on the window, plants a good few months beyond the last time they were watered, and general disarray from a life that’s completely fallen apart. However, finding particular items within this environment allows you to delve down to a time in the past, experiencing formative moments in Joshua’s life as you quest for that all-important cure.

The Gap nightclub scene

One takes you back to his time at university with a test coming up the next day, and a bunch of things to pick up and interact with. There’s an actual neuroscience test that you need to take, and there’s all the research and information that you need in order to pass it placed around you. We accidentally went straight into the test without doing the pre-requisite study and naturally flunked the exam. Not only that, but we meandered off to go partying and bowling when we should have been studying.

As you explore those other points in time, you’ll start to piece together events and clues, creating a sprawling network of connections on the apartment wall, with a tantalising prospect of this tapping into multiverse and alternate time lines along the way. I’m already speculating over which style of this the game will tie into, whether it’s something more Steins;Gate, Fringe or one of the many other explorations of the theme.

The Gap wall of clues

There’s a lot at play within The Gap, from the potentially maze-like structure of time lines and memories, to the narrative that will weave sci-fi corporate intrigue with more tender moments and foundational memories. It’s an engaging premise and I’m looking forward to seeing more.

If you want to keep an eye out for The Gap, then you can expect to spot a new trailer for the game during the Future Games Show on 23rd August. Oh, and if you’re heading to Gamescom, The Gap will be playable at the conference that same week.