Will this melancholic art house title be considered a progressive triumph, or is it likely to be washed from our memories in a deluge of mediocrity?
In the last few years, gamers have been blessed with a fascinating array of avant-garde adventures. Eschewing convention and focusing on eliciting emotion, experimental titles like Journey and The Unfinished Swan have captured hearts and opened minds to new and exciting possibilities. SCE Japan Studio is a team well-versed in creating games that are both captivating and unique, although often their projects are more eccentric than they are profound. Rain however, takes a more thoughtful, introspective approach – and while its simplistic gameplay offers little in the way of challenge, the atmospheric experience it does provide is both compelling and affecting in its enchanting simplicity.
This PSN exclusive tells the surreal tale of a young boy, who follows the spectral silhouette of a girl into a mysterious world of perpetual night and unending rain. In this extraordinary place he is turned completely invisible, and his shimmering form can only be distinguished amidst the downpour.
Employing minimalist storytelling, plot details are purposely meagre and vague, with nameless characters and no discernible dialogue. Instead, the game features written narration that hangs in the air as you explore desolate surroundings; an archaic European city with oppressive, neoclassical architecture. Precarious scaffolds line peeling walls, with scattered papers and worn furniture cluttering winding, cobbled streets.
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Rob Gisbey is a games journalist and music production graduate from Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. To listen to his acoustic demo, read his articles and listen to the VxM Videogames Podcast head to his blog.