Yesterday saw the US Catherine demo go live on PSN and Xbox Live. As we’ve been keeping an eye on this curiosity for some time now, HCF happily played the short, yet brilliant demo.
You start the game by selecting Golden Theater, which is presented as if you are watching it on a movie channel, with its own little intro and logo in the top left of the screen. As the games protagonist, Vincent, you are thrown straight into the gameplay. You appear through a door and have to ascend a tower of blocks. With no idea why he is there, or why there are sheep everywhere, Vincent is guided to the top by a disembodied voice. As this is the first stage it was quite straight forward. At first you just keep climbing, but eventually you need to move the blocks around to create stair ways. You need to think fast however, as the blocks below are crumbling away, and if you take too long, the floor disappears from beneath your feet, sending you to your doom.
After succeeding in the climb, it cuts to Vincent sitting with his long-term girlfriend, Katherine in a café. Katherine is talking about taking their relationship further, but all Vincent can think about is the strange dream he had the night before. The anime cut scenes are brilliantly animated giving you the feeling you are just watching a movie or TV show.
We then cut to Vincent, in the Stray Sheep bar, with two friends discussing his relationship/commitment issues. His friends soon leave, at which point you receive a text from Katherine, talking about marriage and children. You get to reply how you see fit. Shortly afterwards a woman appears at Vincent’s table. Things fade to black and you are whisked off to the next stage, another tricky tower climb. This time it’s more difficult, with the blocks beneath crumbling at a faster pace and you are being pursued by a giant pair of arms coming out of the shadows, getting quite stabby with a huge fork. Get too close to it and you end up a pile of bloody mess. Once this stage is complete, you wake up in bed the next morning, with another woman.
Just as things get interesting and involving, the demo ends! It may be short but it really is sweet and only confirms that this is going to be a must buy. Although the puzzles were relatively straight forward, the demo was only playable on easy mode. I can see a few controllers flying at the TV with this game! Unfortunately there is still no word on whether our fair shores will see a release, so if you are a PS3 user, import it. This looks like it’s going to be a cult classic.
Catherine is released in the US on the 26th July in standard edition or the special ‘Love is Over’ edition, which includes the soundtrack, an art book, a pillow case with the titular character provocatively spread across it, the same underpants that Vincent wears and a t-shirt (both mens large) as well as a copy of the game all bundled in a Stray Sheep pizza box.
If the UK and Europe ever get this game, hopefully the ‘Love is Over’ version is released over here too.