Adult Swim Games brought a bunch of the games that it is publishing to PAX East recently, but the one that stood out among the pack would definitely have to be Videocult's Rain World. Described as a survival platformer, Rain World definitely falls firmly on the ambitious end of the spectrum when it comes to the genre. We got some hands on time with the title, and also got to spend some time talking to James Primate, one of the people involved with the project.
Rain World is a platformer that takes place amid an old, run-down industrial environment, which, according to Primate, was inspired by Joar Jakobsson's – the other half of the duo that comprises Videocult – time teaching in Korea, and seeing all sorts of large industrial and uniform-type buildings in varying states. We particularly like this aesthetic for platformers, as it offers a really unique backdrop.
Even before the environments, though, one thing that stood way out to us was that the player character, Slugcat, has some awfully impressive animation. A common thing with platformers is that player characters will have one set animation for certain activities, like jumping, etc. However, with Rain World, the character's motions, and the motion of enemies for that matter, all feel far more dynamic than we're used to seeing in this sort of game. Everything feels far more fluid and natural, which is thanks to, as Primate described it, "procedural animation, which really adds a lot more meaningful weight to all movements".
Another really interesting aspect of the game is the role that rain plays. There are cycles where rain fills up some of the environments, rather drastically altering the way that the game feels and works. It's also rather dangerous. This is something that we asked Primate about during our time with the game.
"The goal was to make essentially the opposite of a power fantasy," he said. "We want you to empathise with this creature as it tries to survive. The animals in the world and even the world itself are dangerous. The rain is just one of the things that fulfil this." This outlook is particularly interesting, as the game was described to us as "rewarding survival".
"If you want to find a particular area and farm there, it's going to be rewarded," Primate continued. "But for people that want to encounter a more narrative based component, they can absolutely do that." We were told that the game is delivered in a non-linear fashion, so as to allow players the opportunity to better experience the game how they prefer.
We were informed that the content of the game is at a point where it's done – the core content, that is – so the game is definitely approaching the point where it's getting ready to be released. With an anticipated release date of 2016, we know that this is a game we can't wait to get our hands on.
Are you getting wet over Rain World for the PS4? Drip yourself dry in the comments section below.