Heavy Rain - PS3

Game Description:Heavy Rain: In this dark, atmospheric mystery game, players jump between four characters as they try to solve a case involving a serial killer known as the Origami Killer. Gameplay consists of guiding the characters through interactions and events by hitting corresponding letters that appear on screen at specific moments, making the experience more akin to an interactive movie than a traditional video game. Featuring stunning visuals, an engrossing story and unique gameplay, this is one storm you'll definitely want to be caught in.
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Heavy Rain Hands-On Preview

Heavy Rain Hands-On Preview

By Andrew Pfister - Posted Dec 14, 2009

Heavy Rain

I’ve completed the first eleven scenes of Quantic Dream’s Heavy Rain, and I’m not entirely convinced I should be calling it a “game.” Don’t take that as effusive pre-release praise about games being some form of higher art; it’s just that Heavy Rain, thus far, makes me feel like I’m an actor more than a player.

It starts with the completely mundane. Getting out of bed. Taking a shower. Brushing my teeth, using and flushing the toilet. As I get to know architect Ethan Mars and his family, Heavy Rain is teaching me its mechanics: movements with the analog stick, combination button presses, conversations with other characters, and exploration of inner monologue. The only traditional control element to be found is the “walk” button, and everything else is based on contextual interaction. The plot is propelled mostly by talking, thinking, and examining... and in the moments where life and limb are actually in peril, it’s much more reminiscent of a cinematic action scene than a typical video game combat scenario.

Because of this approach, Heavy Rain will succeed or fail on the strength of its plot. The introductory scene of the once-joyful Mars clan sets the tone early. Ethan, his wife, and their two sons are a model family. We don’t just get to see Ethan’s joy of being a father -- the interactions are designed to try to make us feel the emotions at play. That sets us up for the tragedy that happens next, and the quick tonal shift from sunshine and happiness to grime and depression.

Thematically, Heavy Rain seems to concern itself with adult things: estranged relationships, the difficulties of raising children, dealing with crippling depression, chemical dependency, feminine vulnerability. It runs the risk of being unable to resonate with the video game audience at large, but because Quantic Dream has chosen these themes, it can elicit responses that other games don’t need to bother with. Losing Jason, one of Ethan's sons, in a crowded mall – a situation inspired by something that creator David Cage experienced in real-life – really wants you to panic as a father would, responsible for his child's well-being.

Private detective Scott Shelby finds himself in the middle of a convenience store robbery, a scenario that’s all about indecision and dealing with an unpredictable actor.

Alone in her apartment in the middle of the night, Madison Paige senses that she’s not alone, and because you’ve just met this character and don’t know what she’s capable of, the ensuing scenario has a genuine sense of peril.

Norman Jayden, dependent on chemicals to maintain his composure, fights off a public meltdown that would adversely affect his career... and the choice to resort to drugs is left to the player.

If we are to call Heavy Rain a game, it’s one of those games that you can’t describe as “fun.” But it’s engaging and provocative in a much different way, and barring any script meltdowns, I very much want to see how these stories and characters weave together and conclude. It won’t appeal to everybody, and I hope that Sony and Quantic Dream are prepared for that and already have established different expecations for its success.


Comments are Closed

  • oifoef03

    I was intrigued after seeing the videos and reading the reviews. If your looking at this game for the 'fun' factor, it may not be for you. This is more a 'choose your own adventure' style, so if your the type of gamer to re-load a scenario because it didn't go the way you wanted it to, your wasting your time because every decision effects what will happen next. Everybody has their own idea of what makes a game great, and this game will appeal only to certain gamers. It does a good job at making you believe you ARE the character, and not merely playing one. After playing the demo I found that I loved this type of game, my only suggestion is to try the demo and find out yourself.

    Posted: March 4, 2010 2:15 AM
  • Oddreign

    Personally, I hope that the game developers of Heavy Rain would be able to pull off this type of unique gameplay and storytelling successfully. It looks promising and I hope that it doesn't bellyflop all over itself like The Grudge for the Wii.

    If successful, it might be safe to say that Heavy Rain could become a benchmark for this genre of gaming/storytelling.

    Posted: January 10, 2010 7:10 AM
  • drumsofreckoning

    to me its a really good book brought to u via a video game and looks really good i mite add and honestly cant wait to play it.

    Posted: December 16, 2009 9:50 PM
  • Jscribble1320

    if anyone is curious about this type of game and has not played indigo prophecy (same makers) then you MUST play the game! it is available in xbox live i believe. And im sure that this has all been said before, but it is an awesome game even if the story does get a little far fetched near the end. i know i picked the game up randomly for the first xbox a long time ago with no prior knowledge of the game and it remains one of my favorites. it definitely feels more like an interactive movie than your typical game to me, and i cant wait to "watch" Heavy Rain :)

    Posted: December 16, 2009 5:54 PM
  • PunkRockMachine

    This is the coolest thing since "choose your own ending" Goosebumps

    Posted: December 16, 2009 5:09 PM
  • B1ack_Blob

    Hmm the 2nd two previews look better than the first one. The blocky walking disapeared and the eyes seemed to be aligned... Weird

    Posted: December 16, 2009 10:13 AM
  • B1ack_Blob

    The game looks beautiful, but a few minor gripes. The walking animation looks a little blocky, its not very smooth, kinda reminds me of the sims a bit. And a game thats focusing so much on graphical detail, unfortunatly needs to get all these little things perfect. Because when someones playing this game and they can see the hair folicules and insane skin textures, but the eyes aren't acutally on target with what the character's supposed to be looking at, it's really gonna show. But otherwise this looks brilliant, probably wont play though since im not really into this type of game but still, I waould love just to get my hands on it for a bit.

    Posted: December 16, 2009 9:52 AM
  • OzwaldZissou

    I wasn't really into this game, that is until now after seeing all these videos. It looks fantastic, I can't wait to try this out and see all the different ways it can play out.

    Posted: December 15, 2009 5:45 AM
  • ziroc1

    From what I've seen Heavy Rain is similar to visual novels like Fate/Stay Night and Ever 17 without the "get the girl" factor. Like a visual novel your only interaction with the story is an occasional choice of action or dialog, although there are a lot more of those choices in Heavy Rain than your typical VN from the looks of the first video in this article. And instead of using static images and tons of text Heavy Rain uses full animation and voice overs. I'm really looking forward to this games release.

    Posted: December 14, 2009 11:12 PM
  • teac77

    release on 12/31/2010? 12 more months? dang...

    Posted: December 14, 2009 10:20 PM
  • NinjaCrisis

    It looks very promising, I like the plot already, and the way you have to play the game.
    I like all genre of games, but there is always that one captivating game that stands out. And to the haters, if it's not your kinda game, no need to dis it though, just go play some resident evil knockoff zombie shoot em up that doesn't involve too much thinking, run along now ^_^.

    Posted: December 14, 2009 9:06 PM
  • sadmoo

    heavy rain looks unique..lets hope it delivers a great experience

    Posted: December 14, 2009 8:03 PM
  • mdevlin3107

    This is one of those games like ICO, that nobody really cared about when it was released, but try to buy it now and you will pay more than when it was new. It is groundbreaking and real, and that is what makes people think it might not sell. What I fear will doom this game is the over saturated shooter genre that has runied games these days. Long live an actual story in a game!

    Posted: December 14, 2009 8:00 PM

    wow i will like to get that game

    Posted: December 14, 2009 7:56 PM
  • Rogerh1031

    Voice acting sounded slightly cheesy but I am looking forward to this game nonetheless. I'm interested to see how this one will turn out.

    Posted: December 14, 2009 5:53 PM
  • Lovable Mexican

    This game looks remarkable, PS3 owners are so lucky. I hope I receive a PS3 this X-mas. This game reminds me of Indigo Prophecy which I also loved!!!

    Posted: December 14, 2009 5:45 PM
  • AngelsandDemons

    Whenever you read articles with david blake, the game's creator, he states that heavy Rain is going to break the world
    s current gaming model of level completion and promotion as a reward and game over for punishment. He wants to use video games as a genre to tell adult stories to evoke adult emotions. The target audience is adults and young adults.

    Posted: December 14, 2009 5:41 PM
  • penetrait

    after seeing some of the game play mechanics, my girlfriend was intrigued. The fact that it was not one of my crazy run n gun shooters, or a hack n slasher, or a "boring RPG". She actually said she would play that! Now I need a 3rd Ps3 for our bedroom!!!! See ya babe! Have fun!! I'll be up in a few!!

    Posted: December 14, 2009 5:01 PM
  • Zack_Nero

    To me this game sees like a first movie game, emotions are real and believable, however, this game also seems like it is really a mature game, maybe a higher level. This is the first game where I'll say, this isn't meant for everyone to play.

    Posted: December 14, 2009 3:45 PM
  • ricky047

    I think this game is a bit overrated. I just hope it doesn't bomb too bad!

    Posted: December 14, 2009 2:48 PM