My Thoughts On Heavy Rain

21 Jun

Heavy Rain is a drama. It’s a video game, but a drama nonetheless. It tells a mysterious story with fantastic twists and turns and boldly challenges the way games are made. The music, the action, the timing, and everything else, is excellent. It truly is a remarkable game.

I would actually like to start by talking about the graphics. The visuals in this game absolutely blew my mind right away. I watched some behind the scenes stuff and saw that a lot of motion capture was used (no surprise there) to make the game as rich with life as possible. The environments are top-notch too. The amount of beauty you’ll find in this game (especially at the beginning) is amazing.

And then there’s the “controversial” thing: the controls. Now, a lot of people think this game is just going to be one big “quick-time event” (for those of you who don’t know, that’s when the game just plays like a movie and you hit buttons as they appear on the screen). They’re half right. There are lots of quick-time events in Heavy Rain, but they’re all very well done and provide much tension during the game. There is actually quite a bit of walking around and investigating areas, much like you would in an adventure game. Sometimes this can be quite fun, especially when you realize that the things you find can affect how the story plays out.

And then there is of course that very thing, the story. Now, let me just say right now that this story is one of the most well written stories in a game today. And the fact that it’s adaptable makes it even better. Now what I mean by adaptable is this: the story adapts to the choices you make. So, let’s say a character of yours dies, there’s no “game over” screen. The game just adapts to that death and the story will play out very differently from that point forth. Let me put it this way: my second time playing (and beating) Heavy Rain was way different from my first time. Choice is definitely a big factor in the game. There are tons of possible endings to the game.

Heavy Rain tells the tale of four heroes: Ethan, a father who lost one of his sons in a traumatic accident, Madison, a reporter with chronic insomnia, Scott, an ex-cop now turned private investigator, and Norman, an FBI agent in possession of an A.I. system never before seen by man. He also has a bit of a drug addiction, a key part of the game’s story. They all, essentially, get mixed up in the case of the Origami Killer, a criminal who kidnaps and drowns small boys in rainwater. One day, Ethan’s remaining son, Shaun, is kidnapped, supposedly by the Origami Killer, and he is tested to see how much he’s willing to do to save someone he loves.

The emotions one can feel while playing Heavy Rain are deep. It’s better than many movies I’ve seen in the past couple of years. The game really knows how to make you care about the people in the story. I loved every minute of it, and I can promise you this: you will too.

And a piece of advice to any who might consider playing this: hide in the fridge. Don’t worry, you’ll get it when you play.

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