The Entertainment Software Ratings Board have confirmed that console puzzler Catherine is headed to PC. Not quite the surprise that it could have been, given publisher Sega's hinting at the news yesterday through a mysterious sheep popping up on Bayonetta's Steam news page. Why a sheep? Convoluted plot reasons, but Atlus's game of anime infidelity and surprisingly difficult block-shifting puzzle action is on the way. Despite some tone-deaf writing of a transgender character, I enjoyed it when it first launched - check out a trailer from the original release below.
While marketed on its sex appeal and its box art featuring its leading ladies in various states of undress, Catherine is a surprisingly tame game. As confirmed by the ESRB rating, it earns its American 'Mature' tag through bad language, rather than nudity. It tells the story of Vincent, a 30-something schlub who - in a fit of directionless ennui - decides to cheat on his long-term girlfriend. This indiscretion leads to him being cursed to spend his nights in the dream-world, trying to outrun his personal demons and ascend a tower of shifting blocks or die trying.
Those block-shifting puzzles make up most of the game (the rest is visual novel style segments with the occasional dialogue choice), and were a lot trickier than I expected. You're constantly being pursued, so have to think fast, and the constant pressure makes it easy to accidentally cut off your only route up the tower. The further you get into the game, the more complicated things become, with mobile enemies and more complicated hazards introduced. Once the lengthy story is over, there's survival and multiplayer challenge modes - there's a lot of mutton on this game's bones.
Hopefully this release signals the start of big things for Atlus on PC. Vincent made a brief cameo in Persona 3 on PSP, and both Catherine and the Persona series share some supernatural themes, so I've got my fingers crossed for a proper Persona game coming to PC at some point. A slew of Persona 5-related announcements have been teased already, but according to Atlus's own site, we won't know anything concrete until March.