‘Rain’ makes a splash in puzzle adventure game

Courtesy of Sony Computer Entertainment
Courtesy of  Sony Computer EntertainmentBy Caitlin Piper, Opinion Editor

Released on Oct. 1 on the PlayStation Network, “Rain” is a low-budget adventure game with stealth, platforming and puzzle elements. Despite its somewhat unpolished gameplay, “Rain” is an incredibly emotional and atmospheric journey.

Set in an unknown city in the midst of a heavy downpour, “Rain” tells the story of a nameless little boy who finds himself invisible and lost in the storm.

Unable to interact with the world around him, he finds an ally in a little girl who shares his affliction. Together, they struggle to escape the monsters pursuing them. This proves to be a challenge, as they quickly learn that the ever-present rain makes them visible to their attackers. Over the course of their bleak and sometimes frightening journey, they form a close bond as they work in unison to navigate the city.

Players can guide the children through the rain-slickened streets by completing puzzles and sneaking past monsters who cannot see them when they take shelter from the rain. Simultaneously, the player must learn to locate the boy by following his wet footprints when he disappears completely. Additional obstacles are introduced over the course of the game, such as large puddles and mud splatters, which can also make the characters visible even when they are out of the rain.

Though its atmosphere and sound design are impeccable, “Rain” suffers from sometimes unresponsive, sometimes hypersensitive controls and unimaginative, if serviceable, puzzles. This can lead to a lot of trial-and-error, and while it should never take more than two or three tries on a puzzle or stealth sequence, these problems could have been easily remedied with a little more developmental polish. There is also a recurring enemy called the Unknown who appears just a little too often in the latter half of the game, making an otherwise genuinely menacing enemy a distracting annoyance.

While it’s not for everyone, “Rain” is one of those games whose flaws are far outweighed by its personality and charm. Managing to tell an emotional story with only its music, visuals and atmosphere, “Rain” is a diamond in the rough that deserves at least one try.

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