Catherine – Demo Impressions

While Vincent is in a relationship with Katherine, another girl, named Catherine, apparently has a role to play in his life.

So last week the demo for Catherine was released. I downloaded it on my PlayStation 3 and got around to playing it the other day. With the barrage of prerelease media I’ve seen about the game since its original announcement, to the excitement the crew at Giant Bomb has for it, I was interested to finally play it for myself.

The demo began with little introduction. Immediately I began tackling what looks to be Catherine’s primary gameplay. I controlled a thirty-something man named Vincent. He was having a nightmare and had to scale an enormous wall to escape from a massive creature.

The wall was made out of blocks that I could push around and pull out when I needed to. Vincent could only climb one block at a time, and his path was not always conducive to climbing. Frequently I would have to push blocks to the side, or pull some out from in front of me; Vincent would grab onto the ledge instead of falling down. Blocks would levitate as long as they were touching on a corner, which means they can defy gravity.

The demo contained two stages and they each lasted five to ten minutes. I racked up a score along the way and was graded at the end of both stages; I can already foresee trophies, achievements, and leaderboards. From the prerelease media I saw for the game, I didn’t expect to like the gameplay that much. As long as the stages keep introducing tricky maneuvering, I anticipate not growing bored with the gameplay by the time the game is done.

So why was Vincent having a nightmare?  Well, recently young men who probably weren’t totally loyal to their partners have wound up dead in their sleep, and Vincent might not have been the most faithful to his girlfriend Katherine.

There are two major cutscenes in the demo for the game. The first shows Vincent and Katherine having a talk after his nightmare. Katherine wants to discuss marriage with Vincent, but he likes where they are, it’s easy he tells her. In the second cutscene, Vincent is at the bar with his two friends. They discuss relationships and the mysterious deaths that have been happening.

The demo ended fairly abruptly as a scantily clad woman appeared. After this the demo showed a mash-up of cutscenes and gameplay from the rest of the game. This final cutscene piqued my interest in seeing how Catherine unfolds.

Catherine is being developed and published by Atlus. It’s scheduled to come out for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on July 26, 2011. I’m very interested in the game, but would ultimately recommend playing the demo for yourself to decide if you would buy right away.

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