Heavy Rain is Quantic Dream’s latest PlayStation 3 exclusive, and let me tell you upfront that this is NOT a game in the common sense of “games”, it’s more of an interactive movie, and a really good one at that!
Heavy Rain tells the story of how a father, Ethan Mars, lost one of his two sons, Jason, to a car accident, and a few years later, how his second son was kidnapped by the “Origami Killer”, a serial killer whose pattern is to drown his victims in rain water, leaving on the dead bodies an orchid on the chest, and an Origami in their hands.
You play as 4 characters mainly, Ethan Mars, the kidnapped kid’s (Shaun) father, Madison Paige, Scott Shelby, a private investigator on the case of the Origami Killer, and Norman Jayden, a FBI detective who is also on the case of the Origami Killer. Ethan Mars gets a box with 5 Origamis, 5 trials he must complete in order to save his son, Shaun, from meeting the fate of all the other Origami Killer’s victims. Madison helps Shaun in various ways, some of which are first aid, conducting her own investigations, and sometimes even stripping! Scott meets with a prostitute, Lauren, who has also lost her son to the Origami Killer, and conducts his investigation with her. Norman, on the other hand, is assigned a partner, Carter Blake, who, to put it mildly, is a raging asshole (at least from my perspective), Blake is always violent, thinks he’s the best cop that ever ran an investigation, and is usually trying so hard to prove Jayden wrong.
The 4 characters conduct their investigations in parallel with some overlap every now and then, that covers it for the story, I guess, I wouldn’t want to spoil anything for anybody who hasn’t tried this game out yet.
Graphics wise, the game didn’t exactly leave me jaw dropped, sure the graphics are nice and all, but there is some texture lag here and there, most noticeable in the cell phone Ethan Mars uses, another thing I didn’t really like, was that some characters appeared to have their clothes plastered on them, like there was nothing to distinguish where the skin ended and the clothes started. On the other hand, this game has, hands down, the best splash screen I have personally ever seen, where it says Heavy Rain, and the rain drops on the black background, it just gets me every single time I see it, even the menu is wonderfully done!
Game play wise, and again, I have to stress that this game is more of an interactive movie, the game play is mainly walking around, and timed sequences, much like God of War’s, I played the game with the PlayStation Move, and I can honestly say, it makes the game significantly harder, very rarely, the game didn’t pick up on the motion I was doing, I can’t blame the game’s programming though because my camera’s placed in a shitty position, but it gets irritating at times, other times, the sequence of buttons I was supposed to press at the same time, were ridiculous! How is it possible to press the triangle button, and the square button together on the motion controller? It took me a little to realize that I didn’t need my other hand holding the six axis controller, but still, it’s a pretty hard combination of buttons. Back to what’s really good with the game, the story line has multiple paths, you have plenty of endings to explore which gives a very nice replay-ability value to Heavy Rain, I only reached one… A really sucky one, but who cares! I’ll get the rest later!
The audio in the game was splendidly done, lip synching was very accurate, and the voice actors were very convincing and have made me relate to their problems, there was one hiccup though, the voice of the characters suddenly muted while the background music was going, I don’t think it was made this way since I was still supposed to do stuff where I was. The score for the game is very dark, very depressing, very fitting to the game’s theme, which makes the experience all that much better.
I might later do some mini reviews/opinions of the endings I reached, anyway, let me know what you guys think of the game!