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Project Kara means nothing

Project Kara means nothing


Another day, another tech demo. This time it’s Heavy Rain developer Quantic Dreams and ‘Kara’. You can check it out here.


Impressive stuff in a way, but it really, really means nothing apart from whipping up a lot of hype for…something. Quite why anyone really cares about these things is baffling, mainly because almost every tech demo ever has been a bunch of theoretical bull used to spin whatever is being sold as the best thing ever. Until you’re seeing something in-engine, real time, in a setting that actually uses the game’s mechanics, then all of this is just a guess at what could be.


Remember the old man’s head tech demo for PS2? Yeah, loads of PS2 games looked like that. What about the PSOne dinosaur demo? You could actually move it! And make it roar! And that was all you could do. What a fun game.


And then there’s The Casting, Quantic Dreams’ previous tech demo, which showed a woman crying and holding a gun in incredible fidelity. Then we played the game and you know what? It was nothing like that, really.


You know what it was like? The Taxidermist, a short demonstration of Heavy Rain’s actual gameplay mechanics released to, y’know, show everyone what Heavy Rain was going to be like.


Did it really resemble The Casting? No. Because, and this is important, videogames are things you play, not watch. (Yes, even Heavy Rain). Impressive it may have been, but if The Casting was to be believed then it was a game about looking at disgruntled women cry and moan a lot while standing in kitchens. And yes Heavy Rain did something like that, but there was some actual game in there.


Presumably Kara will be no different, unless the game is about you playing a kindly robot assembly quality controller. In which case, cool. However until then we’ll remain sceptical about the whole practice, which is when it comes down to it not really much different to releasing a CG trailer. Take the most impressive bits, glue them together without an ounce of regard for what actually happens between them, and show the world. It’s the future!

  • Will “the game” be anything like this? No. Because, as it clearly says at the start of the video, it isn’t footage from any game currently in development.

    “The Casting” was just a demo of the engine used later in Heavy Rain – in itself, it was nothing to do with the game. Same here, I guess.

    But the reason people are getting excited is because it’s a tech demo of Quantic’s new engine, and shows what it’s capable of, running in real time, on a PS3. And it looks stunning. At a time when everyone’s saying we need new console hardware, stuff like this tends to prove otherwise.

    Everyone wets themselves when id software or Crytek show off their new engines, so why not when Quantic show off theirs?

    That said, I would love to see this demo become a game.

  • Ian Dransfield

    Not that I entirely agree with Burns, but The Casting was vastly different from the finished Heavy Rain. It looked far better than the game that eventually emerged off the back of it as it was a controlled demo in a controlled environment. Just like this is.

    It’s exciting, definitely, but it’s not shit-your-pants-with-glee funtimes. Yet.