Heavy Rain has been a long time in the making and some of us industry insiders were starting to wonder would it ever see the light of day, glad to say that it finally made it and it doesn’t disappoint. Heavy Rain will very quickly turn into much more than a video game for most players, it becomes this complex saga that you are drawn into and you literally agonize over lots of decisions during the game. In the end I suppose their are no right or wrong decisions necessarily, just a different set of consequences to deal with.
In Heavy Rain, you are on the trail of the Origami Killer, a really nasty individual who has a habit for letting little boys drown and then leaving their bodies in wastelands. The game is actually played from four different perspectives: Ethan Mars, father of missing child Shaun Mars, Agent Norman Jayden, on loan from the FBI to profile the Origami Killer, Scott Shelby, a private investigator hired by the families of the victims of the Origami Killer, and Madison Paige, an insomniac among other things. The game progresses little by little through the eyes of each character and slowly things become more clear as all the stories start to intertwine.
Heavy Rain has the best story that I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing in a video game, it could be a first class Hollywood thriller for goodness sakes. This game has so many twist and turns that you won’t believe it, just when you think you know, you don’t know. As each character, you will be forced to make some hard decisions and from time to time fight for you life, literally.
The folks at Quantic Dream hit the mark on everything they wanted to do. They created a tremendously compelling story and debuted a completely new gameplay style that forces the player to always be engaged. Although the very unique gameplay style that will make Heavy Rain such a hit with a lot of gamers, will completely frustrate others. Put it this way, if you don’t like QTE’s, you will hate Heavy Rain. QTE or Quick Time Events, situations where an action flashes on the screen and the player must mimick the correct action, it has been around for over twenty years, was made famous to most younger gamers in God Of War and has now been turned into an entire videogame control scheme in Heavy Rain.
For my money, I had to say that I liked it though I had my issues with it as well. I think my biggest issue was the pace of the game which at times was perfect but more often than not was just a tad bit slower than most gamers would prefer. There has been some glitches reported in the gameplay, but the game only froze on me once and I can think of a lot of other good games that have done me worse. The game is not very long, depending on how you play it will probably take you between 8-12 hours to complete. The real beauty to the game is that anything could happen, any character could die and the story will continue on without them.The thing that I really liked is that as far as I could tell there was always an option to either do what you were presented with or not, the player always maintained the power of choice. There were several key moments in the game where although there was one heavily highlighted choice, you always had the opportunity to make a different decision and a few times I did.
That’s what makes the game so great and why we would recommend it to anyone who is up for being sucked into another world for a little while. Another big plus to Heavy Rain is its replay value and that’s not something you usually hear about a game like this.Once you finish the game, you have a chance to go back and replay any chapter you want and do things differently to see how it might have turned out and since you have the choice to save or not save you don’t have to be afraid to try different things. As far as we can tell the game has a LOT of possible endings depending on if any characters die and the decisions you make leading up to the final chapters, heck I played through 5 variations of my own ending. There is also a decent amount of DLC on tap for Heavy Rain starting with “The Taxerdermist”, which is already available to some, others will have to wait till March. (Note: If you do go back and play chapters and do things differently after you have finished it, it may throw the later chapters out of whack if you don’t continue to play through them all.) There isn’t a lot not to like with Heavy Rain and that’s why we give Heavy Rain 9 out of 10 stars. But as always, the CHOICE is yours.