'Spec Ops: The Line' Creator Partners With Nine Inch Nails Guitarist for Cosmic Horror Game

The creative director of Spec Ops: The Line, Cory Davis, has revealed Thursday that he will be teaming up with Nine Inch Nails guitarist, Robin Finck, on a cosmic horror game.

The pair have founded a new development studio together, known as Eyes Out, which will specialize in art-house projects that would not typically be greenlit by AAA publishers. According to the official announcement, Davis and Finck decided to embark on this partnership after they realized that they shared a passion for interactive media and atmospheric storytelling.

Speaking of which, their first project will be a narrative-driven horror title.

Who Are Cory Davis and Robin Finck?

A horror game seems like a natural fit for Davis, given that he has already produced incredible output in the genre, having worked on the original Condemned and F.E.A.R. during his stint at Monolith Productions. More recently, he served as the creative director for the 2014 PSVR experience Here They Lie.

With all those games under his belt, it is fair to say that Davis has a talent for unnerving players and pushing the boundaries of video game storytelling. Even Spec Ops, which is nominally a military shooter, is best remembered for its disturbing white phosphorus scene that is far more harrowing than anything you see in The Last of Us or Resident Evil Village. As such, it will be exciting to see what dark vision he can conjure up next, especially now that he is no longer beholden to a major publisher.

As for Finck, while the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee might be best known for touring alongside Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross as part of Nine Inch Nails, he too has a background in horror.

The musician first collaborated with John Carpenter on the soundtrack for the 2001 movie Ghosts of Mars. He then later transitioned into video games, scoring the guitar arrangements for titles like Observation, Wolfenstein: Youngblood and Noct.

What Is Eyes Out Working On?

Eyes Out Logo
Image shows the official Eyes Out logo. The indie game studio has been founded by Cory Davis ("Specs Ops: The Line") and Nine Inch Nails guitarist Robin Finck. Eyes Out

Finck and Davis have assembled a team of like-minded creatives who will be helping them develop Eyes Out's debut title. According to the official announcement, this will be a "single-player [...] cosmic horror game with strong environmental storytelling."

If you are not familiar with the niche of "cosmic" horror, it is a sub-genre (often associated with the literary works of H.P. Lovecraft) that revolves around ideas of scientific discovery, existential dread and madness. Recent examples include the TV show Lovecraft Country, and games like The Sinking City, Dead Space and Call of Cthulhu.

The announcement also mentions that the untitled project will make "imaginative use" of audio and visuals (particularly ambient music), which makes sense given Finck's involvement.

Speaking about the collaboration, the Nine Inch Nails guitarist said: "Cory is a true and impassioned artist [...] We connected about films and games and music and all the minutia and it was a really positive charge colliding with him. We have a simpatico work ethic and drive, and we see each other soul to soul. Our play together is inspired."

Davis is similarly complimentary about Finck, saying: "When I was finishing up work on Here They Lie, Robin wandered into our studio and I felt a very strong connection to his open, creative view of existence, and the power of music. [We] instantly started working on some prototypes I had in development at the time and together we launched straight toward something unexpected [...] It's such an exhilarating trip to venture into the darkness together."

More information about Eyes Out's untitled cosmic horror game will be revealed in the coming months.

Robin Finck Performing With Nine Inch Nails
Image shows Robin Finck of Nine Inch Nails performing onstage on day three of FYF Fest 2017. Rich Fury/Getty Images