Jun 14, 2013

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E3 2013 Hands-On Preview: Rain

E3 2013 Hands-On Preview: Rain

Rain female Character

Rain is an action adventure game being developed exclusively for the PSN by PlayStation C.A.M.P!, creators of Tokyo Jungle and Echochrome. Rain is about a boy who is chasing a girl with an “invisible silhouette. I know it doesn’t make much sense but it works. He discovers she is being hunted by ghost like creatures and decides to try and save her. He enters this universe and he himself becomes invisible and can only be seen in the rain hence the title.

The game revolves around a pretty simple mechanic. You can only be seen in the rain through a silhouette, along with the creatures who are attacking you. Every time you move into an area that is sheltered from the rain you go invisible and while you can still control your character you can’t actually see him outside of footsteps on the floor, but that only lasts for a short period of time before you r feet dry off.

While it’s labeled as an action adventure title, it’s kind of a hybrid adventure game/puzzle platformer. From the demo I played I didn’t have any attack moves and I had to use my surroundings to solve platforming puzzles to move onto the next area along with solving how to get past enemies. There were also stealth sections where you have to utilize your invisibility to navigate past creatures. I found these sections in the demo pretty simple as the enemies simply path back and forth, however it is tricky and some other players struggled with it a little.

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Your character can’t jump very high or run very fast, but your enemies can definitely run quickly so this creates another puzzle like mechanic where you have to move smartly around a particular area and keep your distance from the creatures. Throughout the demo there were areas where I could distract the creatures by jumping in a puddle or creating noise away from where I wanted to go. In one particular area I had to lure the enemies over to a scaffolding which I needed them to crash into in order for me to progress.

There were breaks in the rain due to overhangs so I used that to get closer to them and once I was close I used a puddle to create noise or simple stayed in the rain so they can spot me to start chasing me. After that it’s just running like crazy to lure them into the scaffolding. This scene here not only showed a different type of puzzle but also showed off the great aesthetics of the game going in and out of the rain and invisibility.

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The game itself is a mix of realistic rain effects and visuals with a hand drawn art style. The cut scenes at the beginning were told through water paint like art style and during the game you’ll see text pop-ups on the screen to progress the story. The text pop-ups though were done is such a way that it seamlessly blended in with the art style. It’s a great looking game and when you combine the visual style with the sound effects and music, you really get immersed you into the world.

Rain is an easy to pick up and play game with very few controls. I never had any issues climbing objects or jumping to another platform. Your character moves a bit sluggishly which makes him easier to control in my opinion. Although the demo featured pretty simply puzzles I fully expect there to be more challenging puzzles later on in the game. Especially because you’ll be able to pick up objects to distract enemies or move objects to create cover, so I’m curious as to how that will change the game.

Rain Story Gameplay Trailer

YouTube Preview Image

I enjoyed what I played of rain, it was a bit slow to start because of all the story build up, but once it gets going you kind of get sucked in. Some might not enjoy that the story is told basically through text, but I felt as if that way of telling the story fit the game very well. It also helped immerse you into the environment more as well. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more from this upcoming PSN title.

Rain is set to release exclusively for the PlayStation Network this fall. Be sure to check out the trailer and the screenshots in the gallery below.