January 23, 2009 // 3:21 am
- In a press demonstration today, thatgamecompany co-founder Jenova Chen
gave us a sneak peek at the latter half of Flower, addressing some of our curiosities, while adding a few new mysteries.
Back in December, we got to play through the first three levels of the PSN title, which has you flying around in the dreams of flowers, collecting petals and beautifying the environment. You can read our impressions here
and watch us talk about it on The 1UP Show
But, like many of you out there, we were curious what came next - the first two levels are quite similar in nature, with the third just hinting at things to come. Will Flower have more than four levels? Do you get to do more than fly around in the sunshine? Now we know the answer.
Flower will have seven levels, which Chen estimates will take first-time players approximately two to three hours to play through - a length deliberately chosen to mimic the film-watching experience, complete with the emotional ups, downs, and eventual climax. At the demo, all levels were present, except for the last. And as a bit of a teaser, Chen let us in on a twist: The final level won't be a flower.
The sixth level, perhaps unsurprisingly, takes place in the city, with you flying through the sunlit environment, erecting brightly colored buildings instead of birthing verdant flower patches. But the fifth level's unexpected. It's dark and stormy, with massive criss-crossed metal structures littered around a wasteland. This is, as Chen describes it, a nightmare.
Electricity flows through the tortured pieces, and when you fly too close, they zap and burn you, causing you to lose petals. You can't "die" per se, but the more petals you lose, the slower you become - and the jarring effect the zaps have on the screen is sufficiently off-putting. So far, this looks to be the most "gamey" level of them all.
While it's clear thatgamecompany's trying to cast off traditional game conventions by avoiding the - as Chen puts them - "fun," "cool," or "addicting" elements we're used to seeing, it's nice to know Flower's not only about peaceful floating.
And, though you can play through the game without collecting every petal, Chen says those who take the time to fully complete each level will obtain the "good" ending. We can't wait to try out the final not-flower level come February 12, to the tune of $9.99.