Tangiers is a stealth game like no other. Its art style is derived from dark surrealist landscapes, its levels alter and rebuild themselves based on how you play, and your weapons are pieces of dialogue that you snatch out of the air. It’s also set in “a parody of 1970s concrete Britain.”
Since the game’s Kickstarter campaign completed two years ago, the team missed its original aim for a 2014 release and I worried that the game might not see the light of day. The trailer released today shows how entirely wrong I was.
It’s looking better than ever and has a new release date set for November 26th, 2015.
Tangiers sees you playing a strange creature, an outsider, dropped onto an unfriendly world. You’ve one goal: to kill five specific beings. As you explore the landscape, tracking down your targets, the game analyses how you play and alters itself to fit.
“One area revolves around some docks, featuring the obligatory lighthouse,” designer Alex Harvey explained to me back when I wrote for PCGamesN. “Careless play will cause the lighthouse to be embedded in the architecture of a future level (levels can be completed in any order). Now, depending on the magnitude of your interaction in the docks (did you go around back stabbing and killing everyone?) the lighthouse will appear at harsher angles - its rotating light going on to illuminate not just the rooftops, but to illuminating the streets you’re trying to infiltrate through, providing an additional hazard to avoid.”
In this way, chunks of levels can slot into other parts of the world, increasing the challenge, and countering your specific play style.
The other bizarre feature of Tangiers is the weapons you use. Enemies patrolling the world speak to each other in harsh, clipped sentences. These appear above them in speech bubbles. You can grab these babbles and use them as weapons.
Harvey explains the system on Tangiers’ Kickstarter page:
The spoken words of its inhabitants materialise physically - collect the frustrations of a guard unable to locate you and use them to distract, mislead and spread disinformation. Gather the intimate words of an illicit conversation and use them to unveil secrets, hidden pockets within the city. Turn them into reality - a character mentions rats and you can turn his words into a devouring swarm of them.
I can’t wait to try out Tangiers. I’ve been watching its trailers over the years and other games simply aren’t attempting the same things. It promises to be a truly different stealth game.