The budget-priced cinematic action-adventure aims succeed with its story.
Past Cure doesn’t pretend to be what it isn’t – meaning a big-budget, AAA game. It’s being made by a startup studio of eight people, and it’s priced at $30. That it has similarities to Heavy Rain is more of a coincidence than anything else; its developers note that both they and Quantic Dream are Europe.
That the main character even looks like Heavy Rain’s Ethan? Well…that’s a bit weird, I suppose.
I played a few sections of Past Cure – a cinematic action-adventure game about a man who wakes up three years after being experimented on, with no memories of that time but also with psychic powers. Is it particularly pretty? No. Is the voice acting very good? Not really. But still, I want this story-driven tale, which the developers say is good for about 8-10 hours of gameplay, to be good. And it’s because I like the concept.
Some missions have gameplay style choices, such as a parking garage section where you can go guns blazing, using your Time Perception power to slow down everyone but you and rack up one headshot after another; or be stealthy, sneaking up behind bad guys and knifing them Sam Fisher-style, or activating the Astral Plane, which lets you have a controllable out-of-body experience to zap security cameras, for instance.
Executive producer Simon Gerdesmann says Past Cure is inspired by Inception and Fight Club. The former because of the duality of the real and dream worlds (the second gameplay video on this page showcases a mission set inside one of this recurring-but-evolving nightmares), and the latter in the form of the main character’s mental illness – though here it was inflicted upon him by mystery people.
Past Cure is on its way for PC, PS4, and Xbox One, and though it was clearly flawed in my demo and unlikely to suddenly attain Quantum Break levels of polish between now and its February 2 release date, its intriguing concept and sci-fi story will probably be what determines whether it’s quickly forgotten or hailed as a perfectly priced diamond in the rough.
Ryan McCaffrey is IGN’s Executive Editor of Previews and Xbox Guru-in-Chief. Follow him on Twitter at @DMC_Ryan, catch him on Unlocked, and drop-ship him Taylor Ham sandwiches from New Jersey whenever possible.
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