Grand Theft Auto is one of the most successful multimedia franchises of all time–regardless of medium. But the series as we know it didn’t begin to take shape until the 3rd entry in the now gargantuan franchise. The open-world, story-driven narrative in GTA 3 changed gaming forever, but indie developer Michael Blackney remembers the good old days; the top-down bullet hell that plagued our dreams long before joy rides with virtual prostitutes and bank heists. Blackney not only remembers these earlier games in the GTA universe fondly, he’s spent the last several years of his life recreating that feeling within his own beautiful, minimalist, lovecraftian nightmare–Dead Static Drive.

Blackney has referred to Dead Static Drive as “Grand Theft Cthulhu” multiple times, and it’s easy to understand why. Billed officially as a “road trip survival game”, Dead Static Drive sees players tour through barren lands plagued with ghoulish monsters in search or survival resources. And while combat is certainly an option, considerable work has been done to ensure players can get through the entirety of the game without a single bullet or strike.

As awesome as all of that sounds, the real star of the show is Blackney’s gorgeous and haunting visual aesthetic. There’s no word on a release date (the game has now shown twice at PAX), but we do have a pretty lengthy gameplay video to share. It’s worth mentioning that this is still very much a work in progress. Blackney tweeted as early as last week that he has recently doubled frame rate while adding even more visual flare.

I can’t wait to see how it all turns out. We’ll keep you updated as new information becomes available. Until then, Check out some early Dead Static Drive gameplay, below.

Game Synopsis:

An existential road trip adventure game through a nightmare, nostalgic Americana world. Drive through a fictional USA, stopping in small towns, gas stations, and rundown city limits. What starts as a road trip evolves into a game of survival against a progressively oppressive world.