Rain – A Story of Sacrifice and Hope

Rain is about a young boy who sees a ghost being chased by a demon, and follows her into her world with the intention of helping. I thought the story was really beautiful. The boy and the girl help each other throughout the game. There were times that I could run ahead of the girl and let her catch up but because I really cared for the characters, I would wait for her instead.

There are eight chapters total and while the first six chapters are fun and completely enjoyable, they’re also very slow and nothing really happens story-wise. The journey is interesting since you don’t actually fight enemies, but use the environment to avoid them and block their paths on occasion instead.

The game as a whole ended up being pretty amazing. I think mostly because the final two chapters really fleshed the story out in a completely unexpected manner. Not that the story itself wasn’t predictable. It was the way it was presented that made it special.

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While playing Rain, for some reason I couldn’t help but think of it as a 3D pop-up book. I think because most Adventure games stick you in a 2D world with 3D elements, while Rain thrusts the world out at you. Unlike a lot of other Adventure games, you play out the entire story with the controller. You don’t sit and watch 90% of it. Text displays across the screen as you walk or run through the game, textually narrating the story as you progress. Unfortunately it wasn’t perfect.

As cool as the textual narration was, I missed a couple of story-based one-liners because I moved too fast through the scene that showed it, which did have an effect on my mood and the games atmosphere. Instead of continuing on with ease, I wondered what I missed! The good thing is the story is very simple and easy to follow, so whatever I missed wasn’t important, but it would have kept me emotionally involved a tiny bit more.

I thought the use of rain and cover from rain was a neat looking mechanic in the trailers. I enjoyed it even more playing it for myself. The rain effect was really nice, but I really love rainy weather in real life, it’s my favorite! So that probably contributed to how immersed I was into the game.

A lot of the camera angles in the game are just amazing. They really set a wonderful scene and let me get a real good idea of the world I was in. One of the developer diaries had mentioned how they wanted the game to make you feel like you were alone. Throughout most of the game I couldn’t help but laugh at the idea because you are almost always avoiding demons that want to harm you. But there were a few parts where I actually did feel completely alone, not in a depressing way though which makes it hard to describe. It was really neat.

Thankfully the music is actually original. After all the trailers I had seen for the game, I was worried that the famous song they kept using in them would have been the most used song in the game. It wasn’t.

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Overall I really enjoyed the game. The visuals are beautiful. The story was simple but interesting. The gameplay was fun. The music is wonderful and really sets the mood. Rain is a beautiful experience. And the best part? The whole time I played through the game I couldn’t help but think it had zero replay value. There’s exploration but it’s unrewarded, at first. After you beat the game, you can play it again and find hidden memories that offer more story. That was a nice surprise. I was wondering why there were so many areas I could explore in the game but were there for no apparent reason.

That’s all the good stuff. I saved the bad for last.

Having to hold the run button practically the entire game was pretty silly. It would have been nice if they had made running the default movement, and had a walk button instead.

Some of the control mechanics were purposefully slow which could get you into needless trouble. For example opening a door would have a delay. Pushing objects would take a ridiculously long time even if you weren’t in any imminent danger. This ruined the mood for me sometimes because it unnecessarily slowed down the pace of the game.

During some parts where my character was invisible except for footprints it was really hard to tell where I was. Obviously, right? Sometimes it would be a little frustrating because the camera angles would make it hard to tell where I should go next. It was just another thing that could ruin the mood, fortunately it never lasted long.

Those are all my notes so it’s not too bad. The game is short but wonderful. I will definitely play again but probably not any time soon. I look forward to finding the extra memories I unlocked the next time I play.

Rain is exclusive to PlayStation and was developed by PlayStation C.A.M.P!, the creative minds behind Tokyo Jungle and Echochrome.

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