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Rain review

Rain review

The lost and the damp.

Rain is a game about sacrifice. It's about a boy who casts off his physical form to save a ghostly girl from the monsters pursuing her through the drizzly streets of a sleeping city. It's also about a potentially promising psuedo-stealth puzzle-platformer that has undermined its mechanics somewhat in the service of the cinematic ambitions of a fairy-tale narrative. That narrative, in turn, is bent out of shape so that the developers can recreate a single image over and over, throwing boy and girl together and then separating them again to frame that magical moment where he suddenly spies her in the distance and silently implores her to wait.

There's a great game here, in other words, but all too often Rain can only brush up against it. Sony Japan Studio's latest is sweet, earnest and richly atmospheric, but it's also clumsy and insubstantial - a missed opportunity.

Still, that central conceit is wonderful: a game of sneaking and skulking in which you play as an invisible protagonist. Rain really sells your invisibility, too, allowing you to shepherd an unseen body around the screen for audaciously lengthy periods of time, navigating only by means of the clumps of grass you stir, the wet footprints you create, or the bottles and scraps of newspaper you scatter in your wake.

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Rain drops on PSN in early October

It won't be long 'til happiness steps up to greet me.

Sony Japan Studio's upcoming melancholy curio Rain is now set to arrive on European PS3s on 2nd October for €12.99, Sony has announced.

Rain preview: Japan Studio's other Ico heir

FeatureRain preview: Japan Studio's other Ico heir

The Last Guardian may still be AWOL, but there's another game from Sony's Japan Studio that takes on Team Ico's spirit.

Of all Sony's philanthropic ideals - the all-inclusive approach to indie developers, the generosity of PlayStation Plus and the free packet of French fancies that's likely to be bundled with every PS4 console - there's one that remains unsung. PlayStation C.A.M.P. - that's Creator Audition Mash-up Project, by the way - is a little department within Japan Studio that's responsible for some of Sony's oddest games.

The premise is simple, if a little hard to believe. PlayStation C.A.M.P. is an open-armed initiative that lets anyone with an idea pitch a game to Sony, and if they're successful, to see it through to completion with the assistance of established development talent. It has brought us Trash Panic (something of an unsung wonder itself), sparked off the project that became Echochrome, and recently had its highest profile hit with Tokyo Jungle.

Rain, the latest product, is a little more delicate than last year's rightly adored shagging and scrapping simulator. Perhaps that's down to the make-up of the minds behind the PSN game; Acquire, the developer best known for the soft-spoken stealth series Tenchu, is handling the main duties, but one of the creators was originally a florist.

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PlayStation Network-exclusive Rain designed to make players feel uncertain

PlayStation Network-exclusive Rain designed to make players feel uncertain

New gameplay video shows off melancholy stealth.

PlayStation Network-exclusive Rain, a stealth action adventure that does not feature any attacks, is designed to make players feel uncertain, its creator told Eurogamer today at the Game Developers Conference.

Sony announced the curious title during German show Gamescom in August last year, but has remained silent on it since.

At GDC today Sony pulled the curtain back ever so slightly on the Japan Studio-produced single-player only title, due out at some point this year, and released a video showing the first few minutes of the game.

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