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You Are Empty

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You Are Empty is a first-person shooter video game based in a fictionalized postwar Soviet Union. The game begins with the protagonist waking up in a ruined hospital, and it soon becomes clear that the populace has been afflicted by mutation and madness. He then must battle to stay alive and unravel the mystery.

At E3 2006 the developers of You Are Empty gave GameSpot a private screening of the game. GameSpot expressed interest in the physics engine, saying that it might "have some unexpected consequences".[1]

You Are Empty was released in North America on October 16, 2007.[2]


You are Empty lacks any lighting or shader effects, and relies entirely on flat textures for the game's visuals.

There is a graphic problem with the latest Nvidia drivers (resulting in a white checker board corruption in the game), before a patch being released, the developer suggest the players to install an older Nvidia driver that was included in the game to solve the problem.[3]


You Are Empty features standard first-person shooter gameplay. Players can acquire a variety of both melee weapons and firearms, mostly based on real-world 1950's era Soviet weapons such as a Mauser C96 pistol or PPSH 41 machine gun. The sole exception to realism being the large electric gun, the last weapon the player receives.



You Are Empty takes place in 1955 in alternative Russia, where Joseph Stalin still reigns. In an attempt to ensure the global victory of Communism, the Soviet Union has constructed a massive psychic antenna to broadcast a reality-altering signal designed to transform the population of the Soviet Union into supermen. However, the experiment goes horribly wrong, and most of the population is either killed or transformed into homicidal mutants.

The game's cutscenes flesh out the backstory by telling the life story of the master scientist responsible for the disaster. As a young boy, the scientist discovers that he has psychic powers that allow him to control other living beings. Becoming a scientific protégé, he develops plans for a massive psychic antenna that would amplify his power and broadcast it across the world, initiating a Great Transformation of humanity.

Plot summary

The protagonist of You Are Empty is a high-ranking soldier in the Communist party who is hit by a truck while crossing the street on his way home from work. Because his brain is unconscious during the Great Transformation, the protagonist remains unmutated, and awakens in a hospital to a world populated by homicidal mutants.

The protagonist fights his way through various Russian locales, briefly meeting with a couple other survivors, and eventually encountering surviving human members of the Red Army. These soldiers are initially hostile to the protagonist, and eventually capture him and bring him to a surviving Communist party chairman who informs the protagonist of much of the backstory behind the disaster before committing suicide.

In an attempt to save the world, the protagonist infiltrates the massive psychic antenna facility and fights his way to the top, where he meets the master scientist, whose torso is integrated into the main reactor's machinery.

The scientist tells the protagonist that he is the self-reliant New Man that the Great Transformation was supposed to create, having managed to fight his way through so many obstacles, and that he can use the antenna to alter the fate of the world. The protagonist decides to use the antenna machinery to rewind time back to before the Great Transformation. He travels to Red Square, where he finds the master scientist about to propose his plan to the Soviet leadership. The protagonist walks over and shoots the master scientist in the head, and in response is quickly beaten to death by Soviet bodyguards. The game ends with numerous clips of post-1950 20th century history, ending with the September 11th attack on the World Trade center, showing that because of foiling the Great Transformation, history happened as we know it.

It bears mentioning that the master scientist offers the protagonist two choices, the first being to use the machine to rule the future; however, only one choice is available - after using the machinery, the "go back and restore everything" movie starts. It is unknown whether this is due to time constraints during development or if it was always intended that the player can only make the one choice.


The game received generally negative reviews from critics. On the review aggregator GameRankings, the game had an average score of 40% based on 15 reviews.[4] On Metacritic, the game had an average score of 34 out of 100, based on 14 reviews.[5]

Brett Todd of GameSpot gave the game a rating of 1.5 out of 10, saying "It's hard to imagine how anybody could make the Stalin-era Soviet Union less appealing than it was in reality, but You Are Empty sure does the trick." Todd described the game as an "atrocity" and a "painful exercise in shooter stupidity." Todd said the English translations from the original Russian were "awful", the game has a slow, boring pace, the monsters are "mostly ripped off from other games" (mentioning Doom, Painkiller, Serious Sam, Silent Hill, and Redneck Rampage), and the missions are "geared around hunts for keys and levers." Todd did say that "some of the music can be effectively creepy." Todd ended his review by saying, "the nihilistic name of the game is never explained. Now move on with your life and try to pretend that games like You Are Empty don't exist."[6]


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Facts about "You Are Empty"RDF feed
ContentTypeVideo Game +
DesignerYaroslav Singaevskiy +
DisplayNameYou Are Empty +
GameCatVideo Game +
NameYou Are Empty +
NamePageYou Are Empty +
NamesYou Are Empty +
PageNameYou Are Empty +
PageTypeVideo Games + and Games +
StatusReleased +

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