If you were a kid who grew up during the early part of the 1980’s, then you more than likely have read (or have been forced to read) one of those “Choose Your Own Adventure” novels.
Best PlayStation 3 Game
You also probably remember playing the graphically pretty (but ultimately you don’t control much of anything) games like Dragon’s Lair or Space Ace in the arcades.
Now, if you enjoyed both of those things as much as I did when I was that age, then keep on reading, because you’ll love Heavy Rain.
If you didn’t, well, I suggest you check something else out on Blast.
Yes, graphically stunning, with a meaty, twisty story line, and featuring “quick time event” game play (It’s flashing “X” on the screen! MASH IT, QUICK!), Heavy Rain is just like those aforementioned novels and games. It’s part game, part movie and the game’s developer, Quantic Dream sums it up somewhat nicely with their marketing tag-line: “Interactive Drama.”
Throughout the game, you’ll take control four different characters in an American city that’s never named, and those characters are all tied together by the diabolical, child murdering actions of The Origami Killer (gasp!)
Sound heavy? (No pun intended) It is. And you get to make just about every call as to how harrowing the game plays out.
Developer: Quantic Dream
Feb. 23, 2010
See, no matter what choice you make, you best be prepared to live with your decision, because in Heavy Rain, there’s no going back for a proverbial “do-over.”
As you play Heavy Rain, you’ll notice that you’re given more options than you know what to do with. You can choose to do anything from the mundane (making eggs! Turning on the stereo! Getting bitched at by your wife!) To the intense and super serious (accuse a coworker of murder! Chopping off your own finger! Shooting that guy because he seems sketchy!) Almost anything you do is optional, and performing these actions (or not) will affect how the story plays out. Some won’t have that much of an effect, where as others will have a huge impact on the game. (Wait. I just got that guy killed? Nooo!)
Regardless, it definitely does feel like you’re guiding the story with your choices, rather than the developers guiding you along their predetermined path.
In regards to the story, well, it’s difficult for me to type too much about it without completely ruining most of the plot, but know this. It plays on some of the worst fears one could possibly have in life (child abduction! Gang rape! Being operated on without anesthesia! Hanging out in a nightclub geared towards Eurotrash!) and it’s actually quite gripping, despite a few minor plot holes.
And Heavy Rain isn’t without some other flaws. While the game mostly is controlled by “quick time events,” you do actually move your character around like any other action game. However, such movements can sometimes seem awkward and “tank-like,” much like any of the Resident Evil games. Also, for a game that supposedly takes place in an unnamed American city, you’ll notice that many of the game’s characters (Especially the children) talk with an odd accent. It’s odd, and somewhat confusing at first, but it’s not anything that takes away from the game.
Come to find out (once I watched the bonus content) it’s because Quantic Dream is a French game developer, and they used mostly European voiceover talent.
Well OK then.
Minor issues aside, I loved this game. It’s literally as close to playing a well written Hollywood thriller that I’ve experienced in all my years of gaming. The graphics are some of the best I’ve seen for this generation of consoles, the score is both haunting and beautiful, and the story, with the tension that’s almost always running in the red, kept me thinking about coming back for more even while I was supposed to be working.
Trust me, Heavy Rain will get under your skin, and it’ll have you clamoring to witness every possible ending, well after your first play through.
Oh, and do yourself a favor — Make sure you check out the bonus content to see the actress who did the motion capture for the character, “Madison.” It’ll make you feel like much less of a creep for thinking “Wow. That’s one tremendously hot video game chick.”