Catherine: An Erotic Horror Puzzle Game Full of Death, Betrayal, and Nightmarish Walking Sheep-Men

Japanese developer Atlus, best known to American audiences as developers of the Shin Megami Tensei series of RPGs, is bringing something a little different to American audiences this summer.

Catherine is the story of lovable loser Vincent Brooks, who battles his relationship demons. His long-time girlfriend Katherine wants him to take the next step – marriage – but in stereotypical male chauvinist fashion, Vincent ends up getting drunk and having a one-night stand with a mysterious girl, fittingly also named Catherine. The rest of the story seems to revolve around Vincent coming to terms with his infidelity and his insecurities. Oh yeah, and there’s also a slew of mysterious deaths happening around him, as if his love life wasn’t already complicated enough.

How is this a puzzle game, you ask? Well, the bulk of the gameplay takes place in Vincent’s dark and twisted nightmarish fantasies, where he must overcome obstacles and barely concealed representations of his doubts and fears. This is done in the form of Vincent having to climb up a mountainous structure, finding or making a path around obstacles, and escaping an ever-encroaching danger.

Just exactly how dark and twisted the horror elements of the game get, or what kind of outcome the characters are heading for, is still unclear. However, judging by videos and screenshots, the journey there will take Vincent into the darkest corners of his troubled psyche. The game certainly has the potential to deal with genuine adult themes, such as love vs. lust, betrayal, and committment.

There has also been some slight controversy about the game’s cover art, with some American retailers refusing to carry the game due to its original packaging showing images deemed to be too revealing. The PS3 and Xbox 360 versions each showcase Catherine and Katherine, respectively, in either suggestive poses or provocative dress. Altered case art has already been announced, showing zoomed and cropped versions of the original images, which should appease retailers worried about their “family friendly” reputations.

Look for Catherine to come to the States on 26 July 2011.


Share Your Thoughts: Will Catherine be able to appeal to a Western market? Or is the game doomed to pander only to the teenage boy demographic?

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