Heavy Rain

Interaction is key and Heavy Rain is all about interaction. Does that make it the best game on PS3? Quantic Dreams have made a special game that deserves the attention of every Playstation 3 owner.

Heavy Rain is one of the few truly great Playstation 3 exclusives that I have had the pleasure to play through without having a Playstation 3 of my own. It is a special game in the sense that it feels more like a movie that you play through, a similar feeling that the Ace Attorney games give you. Instead of just having one main character there are several, Norman Jayden, Madison Page, Ethan Mars, and Scott Shelby. Although the focus is heavy on all of these character it follows one main story that focuses on Ethan Mars and the Origami Killer.

In terms of graphics, Heavy Rain is a mixed package. There is the occasional bug, glitch and screen tearing here and there. There are also some moments where you look at the game and go “Well, this is not really impressive” and then there are some moments where you go “Wow, this game looks really impressive”.  Since the game is more narrated like a movie where you make decisions rather than play through it, the frame rate can remain solid throughout the experience and that is always nice. The animations are are very good and at times can have wow-reactions as well. But I cannot help but to feel like they could have been even better.

In a game that is mostly about character interaction and immersion along side with a consistent story, it is important to have a good soundtrack and voice actors. Here Heavy Rain could have done much better when it comes to the voice actors. Most of the are rather mediocre, some of the are good, like Norman Jayden, but some just feel dull and lifeless. The soundtrack on the other hand, shines with excellence and was very cleverly picked and made a lot of sense all the time.

Heavy Rain has the most special gameplay mechanics that I have ever encountered in a console video game. Instead of just running around and spamming the X/A-button like in most games, Quantic Dreams wanted the user to feel immersed in the world and be a integral part of the story. You do not get to “run around” like a mad person in this game. You are locked to walking, like a normal person. This at first can seem a little annoying but if you think about it, it is the only logical decision in a game that is shooting for authenticity and realism and it feels just like that.

This game is all about decisions and quick-time-events (QTE). Now, if you are one of the people that happen to absolutely hate QTE you might want to look elsewhere as this game is basically all about QTE and very little everything else. Yes, there is investigation, gathering clues, walking around and all that, but all the major plot turns and decisions are affected by QTE and it all can change in one instant if you miss or fail a important QTE. Characters can die in various scenes and if they do, they are gone and will not be in the ending. I heard there are 22 different ways the game can end with different people being alive and based on your decisions that are made in-game and your skills when it comes to QTE.  Games with depth like this that are directly linked to your decisions are rare and epic in my eyes.

The game is not very long and can be finished in one play-through depending on how long you sit. But with 22 endings meaning 22 play-throughs with different outcomes its life span suddenly increases dramatically. After my first play-through I could not wait to get started again and make sure my favorite character did not die and make some completely different decisions in the game to see what would happen and what would not.

Closing Comments

Heavy Rain is a fantastic game that every Playstation 3 owner should have. It delivers a thriller experience that no other game does and introduces a very interesting and innovative way of playing the game. I can easily say that this is one of the absolute strongest titles not only on the Playstation 3, but overall in the year of 2010. If you are looking for that exciting thriller/drama experience look no further than to Heavy Rain.

Rating: 9 out of 10

The best character in Heavy Rain according to me. Unfortunately, he did not end up too well in my play-through.

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