No one likes playing games when it comes to matters of the heart, but Atlus Persona Team has crafted Catherine to make it otherwise. During the course of this horror adventure, you'll spiral through all the entanglements of romance, though you'll be lucky if a broken heart is all you end up with.
In this love triangle you will play as Vincent, a man torn between making the ultimate commitment to his long-term girlfriend (Katherine) or further exploring the new sex kitten who has sprung into his life (Catherine). With temptation at every turn, the game progresses in accordance to the choices you make; more specifically, how moral or immoral those choices are. Acts such as sending text messages or consuming too much alcohol will also help determine which direction the plot develops, and which of the multiple endings you'll get.
With temptation at every turn, the game progresses in accordance to the choices you make.
There is a great deal of reality in Vincent's internal struggle, and as you experience the drama, rumors, and growing paranoia from juggling both women, it may end up feeling too real for comfort. The game will focus heavily on the consequences of decisions and the deterioration of mind and integrity. This will become apparent in the deranged symbolism of Vincent's subconscious and in the increasingly dysfunctional behavior of those around you.
The action takes place within Vincent's nightmares: the manifestation of his growing anxiety and guilt from lies and infidelity. The nightmare will contain many ghoulish creatures, unsightly deaths, and . . . a lot of sheep. Gameplay will be a sort of puzzle platform, where you make your way up a hellish tower by successfully rearranging blocks to pave the way. While this may sound simple enough, it becomes progressively difficult as enemies, traps, and other hazardous snags are thrown in; add that to the time limit and the trials become relentless. Competitive and cooperative multiplayer modes, as well as leaderboards, are sure to stack on hours of extra gameplay.
Catherine's visual direction is guided by character artist Shigenori Soejima, known for his work in Soul Hackers and the Persona series as well as Trauma Center. Because this will be Atlus's first HD title, this is somewhat of a breakout for the design team. The game demonstrates some pretty impressively styled cut scenes and character design, and as shown from in-game screenshots, the Persona team is getting closer to mastering anime art style in 3D.
So which will you choose? Settle down with the safe, familiar girl you've been with for five years or take a risk with the seductive free spirit who gives you a sense of adventure? The choice is yours to suffer through this summer, July 26th, available on the PS3 and Xbox 360.