Thursday, 17 July 2008
Flower - PS3
With the E3 conference almost over I thought it would be fitting to focus on a game from the show which didn't get as much attention as the big hitters from Microsoft and Sony.
Amidst the guns, destruction and brutality of Gears of War 2 and Resistance 2 was a delicate offering from thatgamecompany, the same team who developed the excellent flOw on PS3 - Flower.
Flower was first unveiled at the Tokyo Game Show last year, although I have to admit I didn't pay it much attention at the time. However, after watching videos from this year's E3, Flower has become one of my most anticipated titles.
Controlling the wind with the PS3's Sixaxis, you pick up a solitary flower petal on the breeze. You can then guide the petal across a gorgeous looking landscape and if it comes into contact with other flowers, their petals join yours and make their way across rolling fields.
Creator Jenova Chen has revealed that every level is actually a different flower's dream, with each flower/dream featuring new sights, sounds and colours. The fields are made up of 200,000 individual blades of grass, each one completely independent from the others.
Only two landscapes were shown at E3, a bright, lush looking field and a drab, grey field - although this soon became a sea of brilliant colour, as the petals spread their pollen as they danced across the grey grass, transforming it instantly. It brought to mind the effect in Okami, although this was much more detailed. When I first saw this, I nearly dropped the mug of tea I was holding and it took me a few minutes to get my jaw back up off the floor.
Although Jenova is keeping his cards close to his chest regarding the game, he did reveal that varying weather effects will play a part, as will music, with players able to blend their actions in time with the background sounds.
Flower will be a PlayStation 3 exclusive title and will be available via the PSN. No release date has been announced, but don't expect to be playing any time soon. It's still in pre-alpha stage, although you'd never guess as it looks absolutely stunning.
Take a look at these beautiful videos to get a feel for the Flower experience. Although they are in grainy web-o-vision, they give you a taste of what's to come. Just imagine it running in full high definition glory: