The very first preview session I attended at gamescom was for the upcoming PSN exclusive Rain. This title immediately caught my attention when it was unveiled at gamescom 2012 due to its haunting soundtrack, intriguing plot premise and innovative gameplay mechanics.
A year later we still don’t know very much about the game so I was hoping that the preview session would shed some light on how Rain’s gameplay evolves over the course of your adventure.
The session was presented by the game’s producer, Noriko Umemura, and its director, Yuki Ikeda. Noriko began by explaining that Rain is a collaboration between first-party studio PlayStation C.A.M.P. (Tokyo Jungle) and established Japanese developer Acquire.
In Rain you play as a young boy who was forbidden from going to the circus with his family because he has a fever. He awakes to see a girl’s silhouette outside in the rain and pursues her after she is chased out of sight by monsters. Upon entering this mysterious world he finds he too becomes a mere silhouette in the rain and disappears completely when under shelter. However, even when you are completely invisible you can still judge where the boy is by observing his surroundings (such as the wet footprints he leaves in otherwise dry areas).
Rain’s control scheme consists of just three buttons – one button to run, one to jump, and one to perform other actions such as climbing up onto a ledge or pulling a lever. It’s clear that some of Rain’s design choices were heavily inspired by Ico and to this end environmental puzzles will play a major role as the game progresses.
It also seems like some sections of Rain will be fairly linear as monsters chase you towards your next destination, and since you can’t physically fight back your only way to defeat them or create a safe path for yourself is to use the environment to your advantage.
Some of the environments which were shown during the presentation include a factory, church, riverbank and sewer – all of which featured the same dull hues and melancholic atmosphere which we’ve seen in screenshots and trailers released for the game thus far.
Noriko told us that at the start of the boy’s journey the girl is not aware of his presence, although they do come face to face at a pivotal point later in the game. Some of the central questions which will be posed in Rain include why the boy and girl inhabit this mysterious realm, and how they will communicate with each other when vocalising their thoughts is not an option.
Noriko also mentioned that music plays a very important role in the game, enhancing gameplay by evoking the perfect mood for every situation. Renowned TV and film composer Yugo Kanno crafted the game’s soundtrack, and Rain represents his first videogame soundtrack despite his fame in Japanese entertainment circles. The game’s evocative theme song is Clair de Lune – originally composed by Claude Debussy, and sung by ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ winner – 12-year-old Connie Talbot.
Rain will be released exclusively for PSN on October 1st in North America and October 2nd in PAL territories. Head over here for El33tonline’s previous coverage of this melancholic adventure game from the creative minds at PlayStation C.A.M.P., which includes Peter’s hands-on preview from E3 2013.