Game Review: Catherine
Game Description: Vincent is an average 32-year old guy working an average job. He does not have any ambitions but wishes to merely live his life comfortably. However, Katherine, his girlfriend of five years, is getting impatient and pressuring him towards marriage and starting a family. Vincent’s life becomes even more tumultuous when he meets an attractive woman one night and ends up waking up next to her the following morning. Vincent’s life is thrust into forward motion, and he is pressured to make important decisions. Along with that, Vincent starts to have horrible nightmares that he can’t escape simply by waiting for morning to wake up. If Vincent wants to escape, he will have to fight his way to freedom.
Catherine is an innovative game that brings a lot of new elements to the table. IGN says it was refreshing change from “the old, tired ideas that plague [the] industry”, and that is evident throughout the duration of the game, from the story line to the game play.
The story line is my favorite part about Catherine. Critics comment on this all the time, but drinking, lack of commitment, and cheating on your lover are not typical parts of a game story line. It’s what makes Catherine stand out from many games. These are what people deal with in real life, even if they are a bit taboo, so the game’s characters and situations feel very “human” even with the unrealistic nightmare aspect.
The character development in this game is wonderful as well. Even though Vincent is an average guy who does not aspire to anything, he is human and still a pretty nice guy (besides the whole cheating thing). I got more excited as his life took direction, and I wanted him to overcome the nightmares and get his life together. His reactions are really funny, too. Vincent isn’t the only endearing character though. You support Katherine and want Vincent to become better for her, yet you are also enchanted by this busty blonde who comes into his life. His friends and the patrons at the bar add a lot of depth to the story, too.
The plot fascinates even more when decisions are given to the player, which will affect how Vincent’s story will end. There are eight different endings to Catherine because of the decision aspect of the game. I only reached one ending by answering all the questions honestly. I tried for two, but I got frustrated by a puzzle in Nightmare 7 that I couldn’t remember how to solve.
Lastly, let’s segue into the puzzle piece. Basically, after the story part of the game, Vincent is thrust into a horrible nightmare at night where he must climb to the top without dying. He has to move series of blocks around to create a path, and even with the difficulty on easy, it still gets your brain working.
Overall, I really enjoyed this game, and I would recommend at least trying it once to experience a different type of game.
My rating: 9/10
IGN’s rating: 9/10