Every few years, Quantic Dream makes video games of increasingly realistic fake people using computer-generated images. Those images are often moving, though whether that movement is toward a positive or negative emotion varies. In its supernatural thriller for PlayStation 2, Indigo Prophecy, those emotions were admiration for the game’s narrative ambition and lamentation for its execution. With Heavy Rain, it was wonder at the characters’ faces that almost cleared the Uncanny Valley, and horror at the voice acting that sunk the game to the lowest point of that valley. Given the quality of its “Kara” tech demo at this year’s GDC, Quantic Dream’s latest will likely move you in good ways when it debuts at this year’s E3.
Computer and Video Games reported on Monday that a reliable source close to the studio confirmed that Quantic Dream will indeed bring its latest project with Sony to E3 next week. It has been rumored that Sony will have two major unannounced games for the PlayStation 3 at the conference in Los Angeles. A new game from the studio behind the very successful Heavy Rain would definitely fall into that cateogry.
Heavy Rain director and Quantic Dream head David Cage has all but confirmed his studio’s next game will be for Sony’s aging console. The aforementioned “Kara” tech demo was built on Quantic’s latest game engine built for the PlayStation 3. The facial animation on display in the demo, a short film about an android gaining sentience, is even more convincingly wrought than that in Heavy Rain. At the time, Cage touted how this new technology showed just how much power was still there to wring out of the PlayStation 3 despite more advanced rendering technology being widely available in PC game development.
CVG’s report goes on to say that Quantic Dream is actually working on two games at the moment. Given the company’s penchant for cutting edge technology, it wouldn’t be surprising to hear that it was hard at work on a PlayStation 4 game that would release alongside the system in 2013 or ’14. It would also make sense for Sony to invest heavily in having the studio develop a game for PlayStation Vita. Quantic’s games are moderate sellers, but they are known for creating buzz, and a narrative-heavy game using the company’s advanced animation techniques and adult-targeted storytelling would help distinguish the handheld from competitors like the Nintendo 3DS and the iPhone.
Just a note, Quantic Dream: French voice actors are not useful for creating realistic American characters. Something to keep in mind.