FutureFive NZ - Review: Rain

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Review: Rain

Rain is usually something people like to avoid whenever they see it. They would either put up a umbrella or at least find shelter to stay away from it.

This isn’t the case for the boy you control in the game simply called “Rain”. The boy needs the rain in order to become visible to the player. He will become invisible if he goes under any piece of shelter.

Rain starts off similarly to the game called Limbo. You control a little boy who is somehow inside a mysterious type of world in search for a girl. He will have to go through the rain-drenched city in order to seek her out and meet up with her.

This is easier said than done because the boy isn’t the only thing lurking in the rain. In his way stand lots and lots of enemies that are also invisible until they step inside the rain. They will try their best to prevent the boy from progressing.

Much like the aforementioned Limbo, Rain is a puzzle and platforming game at its core. You will roam in a 3D environment, while at the same time trying to find ways to get to you next location. Obviously the little boy has no super powers of any kind so he’ll have to use his brains and the surrounding environment to get to new locations.

The unique aspect of the entire game is the concept of the rain turning the boy, the girl and all of the creatures visible when they are all wet. This gives the game a kind of stealth-like feel to it because the boy can usually hide under shelter to avoid the creatures roaming in the rain.

The A.I. of the creatures is pretty dumb because they think the boy has disappeared forever every time he becomes invisible when he’s not visible in the rain. The player can still track the boy’s movement by looking at his wet footprints on the floor.

In order for the boy to avoid the creatures roaming in the rain, he usually has to create some type of distraction.

This can include making noises to get their attention, using alleyways to move around them and even set loose some piranha-like creatures to maim and kill any creature in his way. He’ll also have to do standard platform-gaming affair like jumping and pushing crates most of the time.

The game opens up and becomes a little more exciting when you meet up with the girl in the middle of the game. From there, both the boy and the girl have to work together to avoid the creatures and find out why they appear like this. Not to mention they’ll have to find out what type of insane world they are inside as well.

The soundtrack of the game is excellent, but I thought it sounded a little cliché at the beginning. The music had that traditional horror sound that doesn’t really appeal to me, but it did fit the mood of the game. It wasn’t until the boy meets up with the girl did some nice piano melodies kick in.

These relaxing piano pieces occurred at points when they boy and girl were travelling and there weren’t any enemies lurking around. Needless to say, I loved the relaxing music as it reminded me of similar piano melodies that featured in Final Fantasy X-2.

As it is with several independent-type games, Rain is probably a game that won’t appeal to some people. The main example I can give is that my family members didn't take too kindly to the game when they saw me playing it. I told them what the game was about and its premise, but they thought the game looked too drab and boring to even pick up and play...

I would have to agree that most of the levels look the same. Yes, this game is about the rain, but every location looks pretty similar to the next.

You don't ever get to visit any other location in the game other than the depressing city that is always drenched in rain. There are times you can visit inside some buildings, but even they are abandoned and barren. You may not want to play this game if you want to see a variety of locations.

Upon finishing this game, I liked the story and the majority of the gameplay. The only downside was the fact the game was over so quickly. Not to mention there's not really any incentive or you to play through the entire game ever again.

Once you have found out the puzzles and unraveled the mystery in the game, there isn’t any motivation to play the game again. Unless you want to collect the lost "memories" that are scattered when you play the game a second time, everyone else might only play this game once.

Rain is a great little game that is a unique experience for all those that will get to play it. It is sure to find a niche audience much like other games like Limbo and Journey did.

Having said that, the game is not one that I would play more than once and the depressing setting and level design will not appeal to some people. Still, the game is very creative and appropriate for gamers that want to play something outside of the mainstream.

Graphics: 7.0

Gameplay: 8.0

Sound: 8.5

Lasting Appeal: 6.0

Overall: 8.0

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