Even though it has been more than 25 years since the classic comedy Groundhog Day came out, the film is still as popular as it ever was. The story in which a TV weatherman visiting a small town for the Groundhog day becomes stuck in a 24-hour time loop became something of a pop culture phenomenon. Interestingly enough, in spite of its massive popularity, the film never saw any kind of a sequel. Now, Sony has decided to change this. However, the change will not include another motion picture but a virtual reality game. This release should hit the market before the end of 2019 and it will be coming to both HTC Vive And Oculus Rift. Check out the games official teaser trailer below.
The name has been revealed as well – Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son. Developed by Tequila Works, best known for their impressive zombie platformer Deadlight fro 2012, the VR game will showcase the son of the original film’s main character, Phil, who was brilliantly played by Bill Murray. Sony stated that just like his father, the new protagonist will find himself stuck in an endless one-day-loop in the town of Punxsutawney. In his shoes, the players will be tasked with finding a way to escape the loop and learn the value of the most important things in life – family and friends. The game seems to be located in the casual VR gaming domain, with stylized graphics and plenty of colors. Punxsutawney looks detailed and full of life, while the gameplay locations will cover both interior and exterior scenes (starting with the waking up sequence and the famous flip-number alarm clock). Aside from this, developers will be trying to capture the film’s recognizable humor that blends family-friendly jokes with a subtle tone of dark nihilism.
Not surprisingly, the game will focus on its branching narrative setup, so the players will be able to explore numerous possibilities with each new day. Gameplay will include puzzle solving but also, as it seems right now, some well-known adventure gaming elements like item interactions and so forth. The VR setup will also provide plenty of novel adventure possibilities, like spatial orientation and motion control elements, but so far it is unknown how much of that will be in the game. What is known is that the developer is aiming for a total gameplay time of about eight hours.
As a studio, Tequila Works has experience with time loop games, primarily with the puzzle adventure The Sexy Brutale on which it worked with Cavalier Game Studios. In this case, the developer will be taking the lead while The Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son will be published by Sony Pictures Virtual Reality. Clearly, the company has big plans for the release, which is why Sony already set up its official website (http://www.groundhogdayvr.com) and even a fictitious Twitter account (https://twitter.com/_HalfPhilled) belonging to Phil Connors Jr. Right now, it is difficult to gauge the game’s quality besides the novel factor of being located in the famous movie universe, but all of that will be relieved when the game gets released and the players get a chance to explore in virtual reality the repeating nightmare in Punxsutawney.