As “Clair de lune” gently yet solemnly weaves the start to this adventure game’s tale, you are presented with a beautifully unique game for PlayStation 3 this Autumn. Rain is the story we all know so well–boy meets girl–but with a lovely dark twist. It is during a gloomy rainy night that our protagonist witnesses a young girl around his age only from the outline she makes in the rain; the girl herself is completely, magically, and quizzically invisible.
Just as any nice gallant boy would do, he follows the girl in an attempt to save her from the invisible monster he sees chasing her. The consequence of his action is he falls into her world. A world that is somewhat familiar, and yet is not. In this world there is, of course, rain; never-ending and cold. One more surprise for the boy is that he too is now invisible.
As the player, thus in lies the challenge and mechanics of this game.
You must deal with being invisible, and all the worry and fear that comes along with your new state. The monsters you saw before chase the girl now chase you as well. And what of the girl? Who is she and will your paths ever meet?
Rain challenges the player to use their invisibility as a strength, even though it appears only to be a weakness at first.
Noriko Umemura, the game’s producer, explains:
“…We didn’t want to impose stress on the player because the character was invisible. We wanted to give them challenges and new experiences, so we had to make sure that even when the character is completely invisible there should be hints to tell the player where he is. The player should be able to guess. We crafted the game design very carefully.”
The game has layers of music and environment that blend together to complement each other. The world itself is a mesh of different cities, from Japan to Europe, which gives the player a familiar yet still different feel so that “…anyone can find some sort of connection…”.
A connection seems likely, for we all know how it feels to be a child and experience a moment where all we want is to go home. However, what becomes of the boy, and if he ever returns to his world or finds the girl, is an ending we all must wait to know for now.