Heavy Rain - Kara Tech Demo

It's been a few years since Heavy Rain's release but that doesn't mean Quantic Dream is done; in fact their work is far from over! A few days ago Quantic Dream showed off their newest tech demo called Kara. Kara is what you might call a short film that runs completely in real time on the PS3. Yes thats right, no CGI or anything, it is COMPLETELY real time.

In this "short film" viewers get to see the creation of a female cyborg. Robotic arms slowly piece together this robot while an off camera voice begins to ask it questions. The first thing viewers will notice is how life like this entire scene is. Kara's heart can be seen beating before her chest is attached, when the voice asks her to move her eyes she fluidly moves them from side to side, and every bit of detail can be seen in her face even when she talks. In short it looks like a real actor on stage in a living world.

After finishing some basic tests the off screen voice tells the cyborg her new name, "Kara." Kara then states her name with a completely different tone of voice, it is at this point that it's clear she is becoming more human. Once again Kara is instructed to follow through a few more basic tests, but this time she's asked to move her body. As Kara lifts her arm skin begins to grow all around her and this cyborg begins to take on a more human shape. This is when the off screen voice asks her to speak in German, then French, and finally sing in Japanese. This is where the detail really begins to stand out. In most motion captured games/cutscenes either the face is captured or the body is captured, never both at the same time; however it is very clear things were done a bit differently this time.

As Kara talks and sings you can actually see it in her body. As she hits higher notes her body shifts forward as the air flows out through her mouth creating the perfect tone; it's just like watching a singer on stage. Finally after taking a few steps and moving around, Kara's skin completely covers her body, underware is placed, and she takes a full human like shape. She is now "ready for work."

After hearing these words Kara begins to become worried and her human side comes out. "What's going to happen to me now!?" This line alone puts her fear across to the viewers, and you start to feel sorry for her. Well it turns out she's going to be sent to a store and sold, and once again Kara is concerned. She understands that she's nothing more than a product and that she is going to be sold to someone as a type of slave; she is not a human like she was begining to believe. "I thought.... I was alive." As Kara says these words you can see her lip quiver, and true fear begins to set in. This is when Kara learns that she is defected, and the off screen voice orders her to be ripped appart and rebuilt.

Kara fights and begs for her life as the robotic arms begins to take her appart piece by piece. "I'm fine!" "Everything is alright!" "Please I'm begging you! Please!" "I'VE ONLY JUST BEEN BORN! YOU CANT KILL ME YET! PLEASE JUST STOP! STOP!" By this time Kara is almost completely taken appart, only her head remains when she finally yells out "I'M SCARED!" "I wan't to live... I'm begging you..." The robot arms then stop, and her body is slowly rebuilt.

Kara is then told to "join the others" and she slowly walks over to a pod just as she lips the words "Thank You." Kara then steps into the pod, the glass comes down, and she's shipped off with a few other fellow cyborgs. Soon after the off screen voice simply says "My God..." And the short film ends.
Now Quantic Dream has stated that Kara is NOT their newest game, but a tech demo that shows off some of their new features. Their new "full body scan" motion capture, as well as their new graphics engine. Either way you look at it, this short film was pretty impressive.

If you want to see Kara for yourself please head over to youtube and search "Kara - Heavy Rain" and you'll quickly be able to find it. Normally I'd be posting something like this here, but the video features some brief nudity which prevents me from posting it. Either way it's a tech demo I feel is worth checking out.



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