The latest game from developer Quantic Dreams (Heavy Rain, Indigo Prophecy) is an exciting sci-fi adventure thriller. For those of you that might not be familiar with the title, you play as Jodie, a young woman recruited by the CIA due to her unusual telekinetic abilities that come from a second 'soul' inhabiting her body.
The demo we played started with Jodie as a young child (presumably at the beginning of the game), and saw her demonstrating 'her' psychic and telekinetic powers in a twisted version of the famous Ghostbusters opening scene. After things go horribly wrong, we briefly played a short snippet of Jodie's CIA training when she is a late teenager. From there we jumped to her present (maybe?), as she is on the run from the law. The graphics are even better than Heavy Rain's were, especially the character's facial expressions, which are detailed and nuanced. Anyone that has played either one of Quantic's previous games will feel instantly at home with the game's controls, while newcomers will quickly take to the QTE-style intuitive gameplay. The almost HUD-less game screen helps you get even more sucked into the story than you would ordinarily be, and it definitely appears to be a story worth getting sucked in to. Suffice to say, between this and The Last of Us, the PS3 is going to have one hell of a swansong.
Sony is continuing its tradition of releasing art-house games with its latest internally-developed PSN game, Rain. Rain follows a young boy (whose story is entirely told in beautiful water-color cutscenes), who after being home sick, happens to discover a hidden world that can only be seen while it is raining. The demo begins as the boy sees the rainy figure of a young girl being chased by a mysterious creature. Deciding to help the girl, he follows them through a door of white light into a different world. As soon as he enters the rain world to go after them, he is now subject to its rules; what this means is that you, your obstacles, and your enemies are only visible on screen while those items are being rained on. If they are not exposed to an area of rain, they are not visible. If this seems like it could be a little confusing, it is. However, there are plenty of indicators on-screen (wet footprints and a plethora of moveable/interactive objects in your way) that are used to help you get your bearing when it's not raining. The rain/visibility gameplay dynamic really adds a sense of wonder and mystery to the title, while at the same time adding an aspect of difficulty. In short, Rain is an incredibly unique and fun experience which will fit right in with Sony's other art-house titles, like Ico, Flower, and Journey.
To say the Vita had a bit of a rough start is an understatement, but Sony and its partners have been remedying that with a steady stream of top quality, enjoyable titles for the handheld. Sony's latest first-party Vita title, Tearaway, is from the Little Big Planet developers Media Molecule, and boy does its pedigree show. In Tearaway, you are the god of a beautiful and wonderful world made of papercraft, which oozes cuteness and originality (thanks to the Vita's front-facing camera, you will see yourself prominently featured in the sky as the sun throughout the game). It is up to you and your papercraft companion to save this world. The Vita's touchscreens, both front and rear, are utilized to facilitate the game's platforming and combat, with your finger literally bursting through the screen to attack enemies. Additionally, the touchpads are used to draw, cut, and craft new papercraft items to place in your world and help you in your adventure. Much like its console cousin (Little Big Planet), Tearaway is a fun, enjoyable, and creative platformer that takes full advantage of the Vita's capabilities. Of all the games I played at TGS, this was hands down the most original, and my favorite.