When developers Quantic Dream released a trailer titled The Casting, it was to show off the tech engine behind Heavy Rain, their interactive drama psychological thriller game. While it may seem like there can't be any more improvement to cinematic experience that Heavy Rain delivered, the studio has once again shown that's not quite the case, with their latest tech demo titled "Kara".
Welcome to Kara, the product of Quantic Dream's recent work on the PlayStation 3, and of its investment in new motion capture facilities. Again it's a one-woman show built around a slow tonal shift, again channelled through a strong and actorly central performance - but the distance between Kara and The Casting is as good a measure as any of the technical progress we've seen this generation, and of a shift in ambition and capability within Quantic Dream.
Kara's foundation is the studio's new engine, her purpose to reveal what it's capable of before the team embarked on its next game proper. "We really wanted to move forward and push the envelope on the new game," says Cage. "There were many things that we couldn't do on the old engine, so we decided to build a new one from scratch. Kara's the very first thing we've done with this brand new engine, so it's not optimized - it's got 50% of the features that we have right now, as Kara was done a year ago.
Sadly this is only a tech demonstration, and not actually representative of any game in development, but it's nice to know this is the kind of detail that we can expect in the coming years. You can check out the full developer discussion over here on EuroGamer, and watch the trailer below (or click here for the HD video page) to really see just how awesome video game engines have become.