Catherine is a puzzle-platformer psychological horror adventure game for the ps3 and 360 game systems. The game distinguishes itself from mainstream games with its unique mix of block puzzles which take place in the main character dreams, while the story is explained within the waking world. The main character, Vincent, is cheating on his long term girlfriend. Throughout the game he struggles to find the correct path to take. Should he stay with his girlfriend or break up with her for other girl. While the main protagonist struggles with this question, he is subjected to terrible nightmares. If he doesn’t escape the nightmare, he doesn’t wake up.
Matthew argues that neither of the girls is appealing to the player. He didn’t feel that the game provided him difficult choice. Since both girls have their own faults and neither girl was presented as the right choice, Matthew “didn’t feel guilty [for cheating], or conflicted [over which girl]”. He complains is that the protagonist is an “unlikeable wuss” and it annoyed him while playing. Matthew uses a Fallout 3 as an example a player-built vs. a pre-fabricate relationship.
Ok, first let me start with the genre of the game. Catherine is a psychological horror game. Psychological horror is known for making the player feel “emotional instability” and to “create discomfort by exposing common or universal psychological vulnerabilities and fears”. The annoyance that Matthew felt is not poor game design, but a due to careful planning of the protagonist’s personality and situation.
He argues that both girls were the wrong choice and that he (unlike the protagonist) didn’t feel conflicted over them. The protagonist is between a rock and a hard place when it comes to these girls. It is because that neither girl is the obvious correct choice that the main character is so conflicted between them.
Matthew brings up fallout 3 and how the developers introduce the player to a girl and backing off to let the player to develop the relationship as he pleases. I find this example extremely interesting because Catherine and Fallout 3 are completely different genres. Fallout 3 offers a wide variety of choice for you to choose from. Catherine offers some choice, but it doesn’t allow for the player to act unlike Vincent’s personality. This seems to be the cause most of the frustration with Vincent’s character.
Catherine is not a game for everyone. Unless you’re a fan of the genre, this game may not provide you with the experience you’re looking for. This is not an adventure game. You cannot judge Catherine as if it was an adventure game. Your argument is invalid.
Game designers make games for their audience. You should expect to like a game just because its popular. You cannot argue the story is bad because you didn’t like it.