Customer Review

146 of 156 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A landmark in video games, 27 Feb 2010
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Heavy Rain (PS3) (Video Game)
"Heavy Rain" is by far the most innovative game I have played for quite some time. No other title has immersed me so deeply and made me feel so much a part of a story. Although it does have a couple of minor faults, this is likely to be a contender for Game of the Year (and we're only in February!).

In a city on the East coast of America, a murderer known as "The Origami Killer" is on the loose and taking the lives of innocent children. You, the player, are drawn into this terrifying tale by playing four different characters in an attempt to bring the killer to justice.

What makes "Heavy Rain" so great is the fact that it is utterly unique. Every action you take, every word you say, has a consequence. The way in which you react to any given situation has an effect on how events unfold later in the game. Sure, there have been games before in which a player's actions determine which variant of a path they travel down (RPGs such as "Fallout 3" come to mind, for example), but not on the scale that "Heavy Rain" does. If a character dies, there is no returning to a previously saved game - the story progresses without them and the way it pans-out is affected by such events. The developers claim that there is an exceptionally large number of ways in which this game can conclude, and this means that everyone who plays it will have a different experience. In short, "Heavy Rain" delivers a level of interactivity heretofore unseen in video games.

The story is immersive, gripping, and full of suspense. The characters have a lot of depth to them, and offer enough variety between one another to keep things interesting. One of this game's strongest points is also its soundtrack - the music constantly shifts to reflect the tone of each scene, and at times the orchestral score is utterly chilling. It really does add to the atmosphere tremendously. Gameplay-wise, some people have criticised "Heavy Rain" for merely consisting of a series of "quicktime" events. However, it is so much more. Although it is scripted and you do follow one main storyline, the outcome of your actions cannot be broken-down to a mere "pass/fail" format - they instead trigger different events in which you can complete a scene. These actions vary from life or death situations to the simple activity of brushing a character's teeth - either way, you can't help but feel as if you are a part of this game.

However, "Heavy Rain" is not without some minor flaws. At times, the voice acting isn't quite up to scratch. Lip-syncing seems a bit off and character's facial expressions appear slightly wooden. Furthermore, the graphics aren't exactly groundbreaking. Don't get me wrong, this game looks fantastic, but there are a couple of moments when the visuals are questionable. At one point, my character was having a conversation in a busy police station and all of the CPU "background" characters were passing through him as if they were ghosts - this is fine in a game such as Warcraft, where constantly bumping into other people is a hindrance. But in the case of "Heavy Rain" it serves to undermine the realism that the story has so delicately created. In addition, the controls could perhaps have been improved upon - they often feel a little bit clunky and unresponsive. One such instance occurred when I had to guide my character through a series of small, dark tunnels - the constantly changing camera angle appeared to confuse the system as to which direction I wanted to go in and as such I was left constantly going back and forth. But these small problems really are infrequent gripes with what is quite simply, a spectacular game.

"Heavy Rain" won't be everyone's cup of tea. If you're after a gung-ho, mindless action game then this is not it. If however, you are looking for something unique, something that requires you to weigh-up every consequence of an action and something that will immerse you into a story like nothing else, then you must play this game. It is utterly unique and completely engrossing.
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Comments

Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 23 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 4 Mar 2010 13:11:33 GMT
C. O'Connor says:
NOT every action has a consequence, no matter what you do, you can only kill Madison or the FBI agent. You cannot kill Ethan or the PI. You can drive against the traffic and not press a button and survive-try and get hit by the train on the run and survive. You cannot die!

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Mar 2010 19:00:22 GMT
Every action does have a consequence actually, just not in the sense you might expect. Your example of the highway scene is a case in point - yes, the conclusion of it may be the same no matter what you do, but your success in the "quicktime" events determines whether Ethan clips cars or skids etc. You also claim "you cannot die". Characters can die. Having completed the game, and without providing any extreme spoilers, I can assure you that depending on how you play, each character is met with a situation in which they can die (although these don't occur until later in the game, and I assume all can't take place in one playthrough). I think you mean to say "you cannot get a game over".

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Mar 2010 21:02:57 GMT
Hellhounddog says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on 11 Mar 2010 10:32:24 GMT
Avatouir says:
Also on the highway scene the consequence is getting a clue to Shaun's whereabouts or not which can affect the ending. The idea is to keep the story flowing rather than returning to a checkpoint which I think aids the story. Besides detain characters are critical so have to stay the distance.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jun 2010 21:35:09 BDT
A. Russ says:
Agreed. As to the post by N. Dangerous regarding Alan Wake, Heavy Rain is - by far - my personal favourite game of the year. I bought it on impulse, using my brother's PS3 to play it. ME2, BioShock 2 and FFXIII (the 3 big games I anticipated greatly since the previous installments) paled in comparrison to this. It is is simply an amazing, emotional and yet intense experience, one that (if you let it) can suck you in and make you a part of its world.

The only downside, aside from the aforementioned controls which could do with a bit of a tweak, is that once you have finished it, you come away knowing you won't get that brand new experience ever again. The story is certainly the best of any game to come out this year, although I'm open to suggestions if anyone can think of a serious rival.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jun 2010 21:37:06 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 10 Jun 2010 21:37:19 BDT]

Posted on 8 Jul 2010 22:29:15 BDT
Ben Clarke says:
you stole this review from a gaming website.
you shouldn't steal existing reviews written by professionals and say they are your own.
what is the point?

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jul 2010 23:42:58 BDT
A. Russ says:
Ok, name that site? Because I've read pretty much every review I could find on Heavy Rain to see how everyone else felt about it, and I haven't noticed it before. Not saying you're wrong, but list a source.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jul 2010 17:03:41 BDT
Ben Clarke, that is an incredibly rude and false allegation. As A. Russ has said, if you wish to make such statements you must back them up with fact. You shouldn't go around accusing people of doing things that they haven't. Think before you post a comment in future.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jul 2010 19:41:26 BDT
A. Russ says:
And that's the truth. :)
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