If you didn't think that the newly-announced "erotic" horror game from Atlus' Persona team would be bizarre as all hell, the first trailer is here to set you straight.
The Persona team at Atlus makes very weird games. Oh sure, they make very weird games that also happen to be pretty darn good, but this is the team that gave us a JRPG where you fought a giant faceless stripper and an evil hellish teddy bear in quick succession.
Yesterday, Atlus announced Catherine, an "adult-oriented" PS3/360 title about a man who has bizarre nightmares and an attractive young woman who enjoys eating pizza provocatively (as far as we could tell).
If you didn't think that Catherine would be as strange as the premise - and the developers' pedigree - suggested, though, watching the above trailer may change your mind. This trailer is strange. In fitting with the rest of the overtly sexualized promotional materials, it's also rather sexy - but then it takes a very sharp swerve into "Whoa, WTF?"-ville.
Main character Vincent is a man who dreams about death - perhaps his own death. He also dreams about being trapped in a strange nightmarish world where everyone around him is a sheep-man and where he must climb an endless staircase to avoid the same fate. He meets the young, enigmatic Catherine, the two presumably sleep together, and ... okay, as far as what happens next, your guess is as good as mine.
What is clear is that the eponymous Catherine is more than the coquettish young lady that she appears to be at first glance. In fact, I don't think I'd be out of line to say that this trailer makes her seem almost sinister - my fellow newsie Logan Westbrook is already betting that she'll turn out to be a monster and quite literally eat Vincent by the end, and I'm not so sure he's wrong. Man, it's always the cute ones, isn't it?
But, given that this is an Atlus title (and the entire presentation just screams Persona), it's a safe bet to assume that none of this is exactly as it seems at first glance - and that the level of weirdness thus far is barely scratching the surface. That's right, people, it's bound to get even stranger from here. Who is Catherine? What's happening to Vincent? How the hell does the game play? Frankly, I don't have a clue.
That said, consider me wholly intrigued - and hoping that this game will make it over to the West free of censorship thanks to that pesky sexuality thing.
Catherine is scheduled for release in Japan in Winter 2010 and hopefully the rest of the world some time later.