Currently Playing: Heavy Rain (PS3)

I’ve always wanted to play Heavy Rain, ever since I never was able to finish Quantic Dream’s previous title Indigo Prophecy, which from what I reached, was very good indeed. Heavy Rain has been highly hyped ever since they presented the first trailer, and based on everything I’ve heard, the focus on story telling fascinated me a lot. Will this be a game something to remember or will it just pass by?

Ever since the first trailer showed up, which was nothing to do about the game, showed that a game can convey emotion. It showed romance, fear, anger and other emotions in just a few minutes, which shows that only a current generation system can pull off. The graphics then was amazing, but when the game was actually released, it was just a little bit better than the game Alan Wake for the Xbox360.

I was doubtful about Heavy Rain because it was said to rely on quicktime events. This is a gameplay where the screen shows you buttons you have to press within a certain period of time only. This was popularized by the game Shenmue (Dreamcast) and Shenmue II (Dreamcast and Xbox), and this type of gameplay seemed to have been used on a lot of action games like God of War, but those games only took a portion of it to focus on story on the heat of the moment. This on the other hand uses the technique throughout the entire game.

As I played the game, at first it did kind of drag because the start of the story seemed like playing everyday life, but it does slowly creep into you because you feel like you are the character you are playing. You feel the tension, you feel the awkwardness, you feel the game. It does make you feel that there is hardly a wrong thing, but don’t get me wrong, there are moments that your character can die and restart a sequence but it only happens if you really don’t follow the moves, considering that the game itself always is forgiving, making an extreme mistake is going to feel intentional. You can finish the game without any problem, but it is an emotional rollercoaster, it’s like watching a very good TV thriller/drama but the outcome is always based on your actions.

The sequences are linear, but the outcomes can be different depending on how you play it. In turn, you can get different results even on just one sequence which can get interesting if you play all over again. Actually, I prefer you let someone play the game after you’ve finished it and it can surprise you what could happen.

The game is really like a “Make Your Own Adventure” Book, but those book usually has bad endings if you don’t know what you are doing, this on the other hand, you don’t really feel you are making a wrong decision, it’s more of you are doing your best to do what you have to do. Ever small mistake is an accident and hopefully you can get back up and correct it. And because of that emotion you’re feeling after every sequence, the game is very interesting and something you may want to try all over again and again.

The presentation is done very well, from the graphics, music, interface and all. It’s an outstanding piece of collaborative artwork. The only problems visually, is there are some bugs in the game itself. Sometimes, the animation will not move, sometimes, the view of the controls are not quite visible as you may want it to be, but these are few but it can hinder the experience once in a while.

Overall, it’s hard to tell if this is a game to keep or to rent, but mostly it feels like a good rental than it is a keeper, some people may want to finish it once and you can return the game after, but you do have to play it over and over again to see every single outcome. But that again, really depends on you. Although I do recommend that every gamer should try this game, it’s a unique experience and so far, nothing has come close to it. For most gamers, I think you won’t regret trying to play a good, well told story which seems to be far and few these days.

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