New platformer has the look of Rayman about it
Puppeteer. PS3. Publisher: Sony. PREVIEW
It's like a fairy tale gone wrong – a boy called Kutaro is stolen away to a black castle by the evil Moon Bear King and his soul is put into a puppet. The little wooden chap is then put to work in the castle kitchens but displeases the king, who then eats his head. The now headless puppet is then recruited by a witch to steal a pair of magical scissors. So far so good.
By the time you take control of him, Kutaro is the lead character in a theatrical performance complete with malevolent narrator, uppity fellow characters, sets that shift every 10 minutes and stage effects such as smoke. There's even an audience.
All this aside, Puppeteer is a sideways scrolling platformer that appears, though its creators would no doubt deny it to the hilt, to be in a similar vein to Rayman. The graphics look very good and the effects and storytelling in particular are likely to be the game's key attractions.
Kutaro, having no head of his own, will be able to collect new heads and swap them on the go. If he's hit and his head comes off, you'll get three seconds to put it back on again before he dies a horrible death.
Beyond: Two Souls. PS3. Publisher: Sony. PREVIEW
Another hotly-anticipated title coming from Sony this year, this one features the acting talents of both Ellen Page, who was in X-Men III and played Juno in the film of the same name, and Willem Dafoe who probably needs no introduction.
Page plays Jodie Holmes, a woman with weird powers that she derives from her association with some sort of invisible being, and Dafoe is Nathan Dawkins, a scientist interested in the paranormal who investigates Holmes' unique situation.
Billed as a natural successor to atmospheric and innovative adventure Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls lets you play Jodie through the course of 15 years of her life. Much is being made of Dafoe's 'subtle' performance and the levels of emotion that these two high profile performers will wring from their characters.
This doesn't feel like video gamers' natural territory but you will get to make decisions which will influence the course of those 15 years, which could be very interesting and which could result in a game you could play many times and experience differently each time.
Something similar worked for Heavy Rain, who's to say it won't be just as good or better this time around?