E3 2011: Catherine Preview
It's a weird one, but it sure caught our attention
Sitting down with Atlus in a quiet room gave me the chance to check out Catherine, the action/adventure puzzle title that you could call 'odd' the same way you could call the sun 'mildly warm'. Describing it isn't exactly an easy task, so here's my shot:
You play as a software developer named Vincent who cheats on his girlfriend, then has nightmares every night in which he must clamber up a towering number of blocks as the world falls away beneath him, his inner demons want to kill him (and will, if you aren't quick enough), and his only was to live is to push, pull, and manipulate all kinds of different blocks to make it to the top of the tower, to safety oh good lord I'm out of breath.
Oh, and there are sheep men.
Anyway, despite being a puzzle game at its core, there are a number of things that set it apart from others in the genre, from what I've seen, like being able to make choices on questions about love, relationships, and commitment, to influence an order/chaos meter that will influence certain parts of the game, notably the ending (the number of endings is, officially, 'numerous').
There are also 'boss fights', which basically means that something monstrous chases Vincent up the tower, using special abilities such as making blocks harder to move, which makes it really easy to die to a demon fork (don't...don't ask).
In any case, look for the most atmospheric horror puzzle block-pusher game on the market, Catherine, when it comes out on July 26th for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.