­čĹż The lost Atari arcade game returns with Jeff Minter's Akka Arrh

You Are Empty

Description official descriptions

The USSR has gradually become the world leader in science and technology, and the government has researched the creation of genetically engineered humans to serve a perfect totalitarian communist society. The experiment fails, and the city where it was tested becomes a dead zone. The protagonist wakes up in the city, having somehow managed to avoid the effects of the mutation. He has to explore the ruins, escape, and figure out how this tragedy could happen and why he is not affected by it.

You are Empty is a 3D first-person shooter set in the end of the 1950s in an alternate Soviet history. During the search, the player can collect notes that tell more about the background of the game. The entire city is in decay, with dark environments and a constant atmosphere of isolation. The mutated opponents include giant hens and rats, mutilated dogs and nurses, watchmen, soldiers and workers. There are also a few characters that provide help. The available weapons include a wrench, Mauser, shotgun, nail gun, PPSh, rifle, electric gun and molotov cocktails. Most weapons have a secondary function to zoom in or for close combat. Ammo is scattered around and health can be replenished through water stations or canisters. The gameplay is mainly action-based, with a few minor puzzles that involve switches and keys. The level path is entirely linear.

The game uses the in-house developed DS2 engine, reminiscent of Valve's 3D Engine: Source, with a similar graphical style, and an interactive and physics-based environment for both items and characters. There are both indoor and outdoor environments, with villages, factories, large cities, underground passages, a subway, a canyon, an opera house, and a level entirely on the rooftops. In the beginning of the game and between certain levels, rendered cut-scenes are shown. These are entirely in black and white, with a few hints of red, and tell the events that lead up to the Great Transformation.

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Credits (Windows version)

82 People (61 developers, 21 thanks) · View all

Technical Director
Engine Core & Architecture
Sound System
Game System
Game Scripting
System Administration
Game Idea
Art Director
Concept Art
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[ full credits ]



Subject User Date
What does this mean? (Russian safety poster) xroox (3955) 2008-04-13 14:48:44
New interview with designer Yaroslav Singaevskiy xroox (3955) 2008-08-31 21:38:25
How do I get rid of these graphic bugs? chirinea (46950) 2011-09-05 00:15:54


Cut content

Several things changed during the game's 3 year development period. Previews stated that your character would run the risk of turning into a mutant himself. You'd have to find antidotes to stop yourself from going completely insane. Also, you could gain superhuman powers that could be used to your advantage.

Early builds featured additional gameplay elements, like the ability to hide bodies (for more of a stealth-based style?). There was talk of boss battles with adaptive AI, and a general focus on AI over scripting.

A few enemies didn't make the final cut including an imposing-looking butcher (who can be seen in screenshots and trailers). A brief look at the game's files suggests that all the assets for these enemies are still there... but they don't appear in any levels.

Two weapons (a heavy machine-gun and a 'stick bomb' style hand-grenade) don't appear in the game but are accessible via console commands.

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Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 28719


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Sciere.

Additional contributors: xroox, Alaka, Dimitriy Dyachenko, Victor Vance.

Last modified February 22nd, 2023.