Tucked away in the back corner of SCEA's Pre-E3 Judges Day suite was a PlayStation 3 demo station featuring Linger In Shadows, an interactive, semi-playable technical demonstration designed by demoscene team Plastic. We showed the Linger In Shadows video back in March—but don't watch it if you want to avoid "spoilers"; it's pretty much the entire demo that will hit the PlayStation Network later this Summer.
But Linger In Shadows can't just be watched in full from the get go, it has to be unlocked. At certain moments in the demo, clues will be given to the player, indicating that some unspecified action needs to be performed. Miss it and the demo will rewind. The display then switches to a letterboxed mode and you'll be shown controller prompts that give you an indication about how to move on to the next scene.
Some of those prompts are more descriptive than others—and sound subject to change—as one displayed a DualShock controller with arrows pointing outward in four directions. The SCEA producer responsible for Linger In Shadows then violently shook the controller, using a single handed, palms down grip on the thing, until the spiral of metaballs on-screen spawned a few dozen more, unlocking the next scene.
The player will have to unlock the demo bit by bit, using all aspects of the SIXAXIS/DualShock. One portion looked to be unlocked by simply rewinding or fast-forwarding through the scene via the L1/R1 buttons, which then kicked off the next segment.
Linger In Shadows also has a few Easter Eggs buried within, shout outs (aka greets) to other demoscene teams. At points in the demo, players will have partial control over the camera. That camera control appears to be mostly limited, but will let the player peek around paused scenes, looking for hidden team logos and tags. Players can bring up a greets reference overlay, giving them clues about where to find them and which ones they've already found.
Graphically, Linger In Shadows looks spectacular. It may not have the high budget production values of a game like Killzone 2, but it more than makes up for it in cool technical tricks, like custom fur shaders, real-time physics modeling and pretty paint filters.
While we didn't get to go hands on with the title, we're certainly curious to check it out in its final form. Pricing wasn't specified— there's a possibility it may be free to download—and it sounds like this is still under discussion internally.
We think that the majority of folks who download Linger In Shadows will find it nothing more than a confounding curiosity, but others may look at it as a graphical showcase—SCEA reps referred to it as an interactive digital coffee table book—and some may even consider it truly interactive art. It may not be for everyone, but we're sure everyone will have a fairly strong opinion on it.