Heavy Rain Review
- Posted February 23rd, 2010 at 11:43 EDT by Adam Dolge
- 41 Comments
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Quantic Dream's ambition is truely realized through a game that has interesting controls, stunning graphics, and a masterfully accomplished change to current gaming trends.
- The presentation of the engrossing story
- The deep and interesting characters
- The edge-of-your-seat action played through an interesting control mechanism
- While the graphics are incredible, there are some animation issues that draw attention away from the story
- The lack of re-playability beyond the desire to see how your actions change the story
- The fact some command prompts can be difficult to see
A simple question is posed while playing Heavy Rain: How far will you go to save someone you love? But the game offers so many more questions than that little tug on emotions. How can you truly care about imaginary characters in a videogame? How can nearly every step of your gameplay experience impact the game’s narrative? How do we envision real life actions in a game? But the biggest question presented by Heavy Rain is how do we play videogames now, and how will we play them in the future? After playing through and completing Quantic Dream’s narrative masterpiece, we are left contemplating these very questions. As we look back on our experience playing the game, and the questions and thoughts it presented, all we can say is “wow.” It’s not flawless, of course, but since very few games can leave this sort of impact, we are confident Heavy Rain is a game that will be remembered and talked about for a long, long time.
Heavy Rain is a PlayStation 3 exclusive developed by Quantic Dream, the French studio that brought us Indigo Prophecy (known as Fahrenheit outside of North America), released on last gen consoles. Like Indigo Prophecy, Heavy Rain focuses on interactive storytelling through onscreen button triggers. Heavy Rain’s primary focus is on the story, or better yet, how the story is told. It’s through these onscreen triggers that the characters you control take action and make decisions.
The story in Heavy Rain is that of a serial-killer murder mystery. When a young boy, Shaun Mars, goes missing, the community is in horror as it appears he could be the next victim of The Origami Killer. This serial killer is responsible for the death of eight boys – kidnapping them from public places, drowning them in rain water, and leaving an orchid on the chest of the victim and an origami figurine in the boy’s hand. These murders have been taking place for more than three years, and while hundreds of suspects have been interrogated, no arrests have been made. To help catch the killer, the local police call upon an FBI profiler, Norman Jayden, who is outfitted with an experimental tool called Added Reality Interface, abbreviated ARI. With this tool, he can collect and analyze evidence and videos in a sort of virtual reality.
Neither the police nor the FBI agent are alone in searching for the serial killer. Scott Shelby, a former cop turned private eye, has been hired by the victim’s families to find the killer. He has a great sense of humor for someone who works with the victim’s families, but he’s also rough around the edges and not afraid to use brute force to obtain necessary information. Before we go much further, we should make sure you know we will not spoil the story, so don’t worry about any major spoilers being revealed.
The missing boy’s father, Ethan Mars, is an architect who lost his ten-year-old son Jason in 2009, literally. Ethan tried to save his son’s life after he wandered off at a mall. Jumping in front of the car that ultimately killed Jason put Ethan in a coma for several months, and had long lasting mental and emotional impacts on the man. The other main character, Madison Paige, is a photographer suffering from a serious case of insomnia. Sometimes, the only way she can find peace and rest is by staying in hotel rooms. Her connection with the story, The Origami Killer, and the rest of the case are revealed after a couple hours of gameplay.
You take control of all four characters in Heavy Rain. So few games balance the development of multiple characters, but Heavy Rain does it perfectly. It’s these characters that you care about and root for throughout the game. One scene you’ll play as Ethan, preparing for his son’s birthday party, and in another scene, you’ll play as Madison, erotically dancing to catch a special someone’s attention. There are moments you’ll play as other characters, but it’s always in a very limited way. All four main characters have their ticks and quirks, and while none are perfect, you’ll find compassion and affection for each one. Few games provide that genuine interest and care for ... (continued on next page)
- 6:44am EST - February 23rd, 2010
I really want this game, but it's going to have to wait. I can only afford one game in March and it has to be FFXIII. I will get this in April though. The demo rocks. Great review.
BOZTRADAMUS | BOZTRADAMUS
- 7:01am EST - February 23rd, 2010
Well deserved 9. Special edition in the post. Cant wait
- 7:03am EST - February 23rd, 2010
really liked the demo, but i probably wont be getting this game. god of war 3 is my game of q1. possibly bfbc2 as well.
- 7:42am EST - February 23rd, 2010
Will be borrowing ths from my friend and he will borrow FFXIII from me is how I'm gonna get this game. Better for both of us as it saves us money. Great review as well and a well deserved 9. Demo was incredible.
And mister Dolge, how is it that MAG will scare away some players and Heavy Rain won't? With your reviews I learned 1 thing, the negative points usually don't mean a thing and are just there so a lot of games won't seem 'perfect'.
- 7:51am EST - February 23rd, 2010
Wont post any spoilers? Then bang one straight away.
You dont have to go into details about the boys death.
Why cant game journalists reviews games like their counterparts review films. Brief overview about scenes without going into blow by blow details.
- 8:06am EST - February 23rd, 2010
just 3 more days :)
amazon dont let me down
- 8:18am EST - February 23rd, 2010
So there are spoilers in this review? I don\\\'t want to read it if there are.
@ 5, what are you moaning about spoilers for? You've just posted one. Thanks a lot, ffs.
- 8:23am EST - February 23rd, 2010
@5 : the boys death is also in a trailer for all to see on IGN. Cant spoil what we've already saw.
- 8:47am EST - February 23rd, 2010
WOW. PSU actually posted a review before the game release date. Well here for uk anyway.
But I feel that your dislikes seem a bit desperate. No game is gonna be graphically perfect. As far as replayability. What more reason could you need to play again knowing that the story will change? That for me is reason alone to play again. Also I agree with HIGROB24, no need to go into detail about scenes. By what you said about the Ethan Mars scene I'm already starting to think that its him.
- 8:49am EST - February 23rd, 2010
In regards to the spoiler - the boy's death has been known for quite some time. We had a video of it up a while back. If I remember correctly, David Cage talked about it several months ago.
- 9:51am EST - February 23rd, 2010
It looks so darn good....So many good games at once,ill be a happy gamer soon lol
- 10:10am EST - February 23rd, 2010
[quote]The lack of re-playability beyond the desire to see how your actions change the story[/quote] That may be a problem for a game with over a dozen different endings. Ya never know until you play it yourself though. The people who whined about this are those same people who keep asking for more Call of Duty's.
- 10:20am EST - February 23rd, 2010
POSSIBLE SPOILER FOR SOME
@10 and @8.
It may be widely known about the boys death, but I had yet to read or see anything other than the fact he died. I had no idea how it happened or what role you played in that scene.
Going into Specifics of a scene even for a moment is not needed in a review of a game.
- 11:06am EST - February 23rd, 2010
There is only one game that ever got me emotional and attached to a character and a game and that is MGS4... Ill doubt Heavy Rain will rival that, but Ill pick it up
- 11:24am EST - February 23rd, 2010
looks good, but im getting bfbc2 before any game
- 11:30am EST - February 23rd, 2010
"The lack of re-playability beyond the desire to see how your actions change the story"
Thats the funniest thing PSU ever said in a review,this game has replay value beyond any other game out on the market today!
- 2:45pm EST - February 23rd, 2010
@ #16 (Tonic)
I think what the reviewer is trying to say is that there is no real change in the gameplay. The story changes, but the gameplay and actions are about the same.
- 3:02pm EST - February 23rd, 2010
- 3:34pm EST - February 23rd, 2010
This friday im getting my copy :D great review btw.
- 4:34pm EST - February 23rd, 2010
Another copied review from gametrailers. PSU you dissapoint me.
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