Ever wanted to fly Firefly-style around the ‘verse, on the run from the law with a ragtag crew, taking on whatever odd jobs you can find to keep your supplies up? Ever wanted to do that, but in a game that puts queer stories front and centre? Ever wanted to be the spaceship instead of just piloting it? If your answer is “yes” to any of those questions, then Crispy Creative’s A Long Journey to an Uncertain End has you covered.
Coming from a team of former Obsidian and Telltale devs, A Long Journey to an Uncertain End combines space opera, narrative adventure, and simulation elements. It’s due out later this year, and from what I’ve seen in a preview build, it’s shaping up nicely—this is one to keep an eye on.
You play as a sentient spaceship, the product of unchecked AI development that quickly got outlawed when people realised they couldn’t handle what they created. But you just want to get by, so that means a life on the run, flying from planet to planet and picking up whatever work’s available to keep your supplies up. You’re joined by a crew of misfits, each with their own secrets and their own reasons for sticking around.
Much of the game revolves around managing your crew’s time and your resources. Land on a planet, and you’ll find a list of available jobs to send your crew out on, the success of which depends on how well you can match a crewmate’s skills to the job at hand. Send in the musclebound drag-queen to do a job that requires subtlety and finesse, and you’re in trouble, but a smooth-talking con-artist might be just the right fit to get a decent haul of supplies or fuel.
As these jobs unfold, so too do the stories that go with them. The cast and worlds of A Long Journey to an Uncertain End are a lively, colourful bunch, and even in the relatively short exchange that comes with a quick job, you can see the personalities of both the people and the places shining through. Jobs that take a bit longer typically come with choices in how to handle things, letting you catch a glimpse of the people you’re running with.
Inevitably, each planet-side visit will get cut short, be it by catching word of an incoming security patrol or a deal for a cloaking device gone sideways. Each of the couple of planets in the demo has a “main” job as well as a few others—though not marked as such, this is the one that needs to be complete in order to continue. It’s unclear at this stage if the full game will be a bit more open, but given the presence of a whole system to manage how far you can fly in relation to your current resources, I’d imagine that’s in the pipeline. Regardless, these “main” missions do a decent job of carrying some ongoing plot threads, rather than letting the game be limited to the little vignettes related to odd jobs.
Crispy Creative is strongly committed to being a “radically inclusive” studio, and that’s abundant in A Long Journey to an Uncertain End. From drag queens to non-binary folk to people with disabilities, the crew of your ship represents all walks of life, and not just as a diverse character checkbox exercise. Even in the space of a relatively short demo, there’s an emphasis on exploring the depth of these characters and their identities, and challenging assumptions. A Long Journey to an Uncertain End also lets you pick your pronouns as part of character creation, including an option for custom ones—it’s wild how you can just… do that, instead of tying it to a chosen body or voice type.
With its charming cast, humorous writing, neat crew management system, and the whole space cowboy thing, A Long Journey to an Uncertain End is shaping up to be something special. It’s planned for release on PC later this year.