Rain

Game Title: Rain

Publisher: Sony

Reviewed On: Playstation 3

Available on: Playstation 3

Fri, Oct 4, 2013, 00:00

   

Any game that opens with Debussy’s Clair de Lune is at least aiming for grace. Rain sets out its stall early with a delicate piano score and a simple, poignant set-up: A boy wanders the rain-sodden streets of Paris in pursuit of a girl. They’re followed in turn by mysterious, malevolent beasts.

Rain is a game where visuals, story and gameplay work in rare harmony. The main character is visible only when showered in raindrops. Find shelter and you’re invisible to the predators. Use the space, props and sounds to outwit, distract and avoid the beasts. The story is drip fed, as the boy tries to find out what brought them to these soaking streets and rendered them unseen.

As a stealth and puzzle third-person game, Rain owes a small debt to the classic Ico (which also had an unusual boy-girl relationship at its core), but this is a genuine original. The game mechanic of using precipitation and shelter is unique and elegant, and it’s impeccably rendered. Gorgeous compositions constantly remind you of the hero’s vulnerability and isolation, and it’s as captivating to watch as it is to play.

Rain’s hero jumps and runs like a child, stumbling and slouching. This is an unusual game hero who depends on his inner strength and his wits, as opposed to outer strength and super skills.

With their extra lives and fast-paced trial and error, modern games often struggle to make an impact with death. This is not the case here. It’s devastating when the hero dies. Or as Rain puts it: “The children were swallowed by the darkness”. playstation.com