Rain may not be a typical stealth game, but from the Tokyo Jungle team, who expected that?
The premise for Rain sounds more like the inspiration for a melancholy painting than a stealth game: A young boy follows a girl into a mysterious realm where he’s only visible while he’s standing in the rain. Other things are lurking in the rain, as well, ghostly creatures intent on catching the girl, and so the boy must carefully avoid them if he ever hopes to catch up with her and discover her truth.
Rain is a dreamy kind of third person puzzle/stealth game, as you must learn how to best use your environment to navigate the world to follow the girl and avoid the creepy skeleton-like animals that will kill you immediately if they catch you. You disappear when you’re undercover, which can help you sneak past the creatures, but they disappear when they’re dry, too, so you have to listen for their hoofbeats or watch for splashes in puddles to determine if you’re really as alone as you appear to be.
Hiding isn’t always an option, however, and sometimes you’ll just plain have to run from the monsters until you can lose them in a dry spot. Getting them to chase after you can also be the solution to some puzzles; at one point, I had to lure two of the monsters to chase after me until they barrelled into a scaffolding, clearing it out of my way. At another point, I jumped around in a puddle to make loud enough splashes to attract one’s attention, distracting it long enough for me to sneak past it. You’ll also be doing some basic platforming, scrambling up boxes and jumping across gaps. The level I played was the very beginning of the game and the puzzles were accordingly quite basic, but it was easy to see how the stealth and platforming could build into larger and larger scenarios.
The visible/invisible mechanics of Rain are very simple, and tying them to being caught in rain gives the game a kind of childlike sadness that’s as beautiful as the soundtrack. Watching as the boy huddles in his shirt, pulling up his collar to try and keep some part of himself dry is oddly touching – being soaking wet is a pretty miserable experience, after all, but it’s also the only way to really be sure he still exists. Who is this girl, what are these creatures, and what is this place that is defined by the cold, relentless rain? The team that created Rain previously did Tokyo Jungle, but if that game was a shout, this one is a whisper.
You can download this unique experience from PSN later this year.