The visual formula for delivering scares is pretty tried and true in most video games, movies and other entertainments: dim, obscured environments, weird, unexplained moisture and the use of light as a shock device. But these new screenshots from upcoming thriller The Vanishing of Ethan Carter look idyllic. Like someplace you'd like to go. Until you have a closer look.
Having a closer look is the whole point of the first game from The Astronauts, since the main character is a private investigator. These first screenshots give you a sense of the game's aesthetics and they look pretty darn good. If not for the ever-ominous buffalo skulls — and, OK, yes, there's something that looks like a pool of blood — you'd think that some fun camping trip is underway. Except for that image with the train tracks. Clearly nothing good is happening here.