Heavy Rain review
The Good: Beautiful graphics, dramatic musical score, and great voice acting combined in superb production values; gripping plot with a unique style of storytelling that gives players an incredible level of character control.
The Bad: Story has a few plot holes; more movie than actual game, which won’t appeal to everyone.
Our Verdict: An incredibly beautiful and engaging interactive story, Heavy Rain is a rare testament of both quality and originality rarely seen in games. Well worth a look for every PlayStation 3 owner.

Five years ago, Quantic Dream unveiled a groundbreaking game called Fahrenheit (or Indigo Prophecy). It was an ambitious concept, focusing almost exclusively on story, character, and freedom of player choice, trimming much of the actual gameplay to Simon-style sequences and button mashing. While the novelty was enthusiastically embraced, Fahrenheit was nevertheless a flawed first attempt at an “interactive drama”, falling short of its bold promises and abundant potential. This didn’t stop me from enjoying it completely, however, though most of my thoughts as I finished the game began with “This could have been incredible, if only they had…”.

After years of hype as a flagship PlayStation 3 exclusive, now Quantic has released Heavy Rain, a game that builds on its predecessor's achievements and addresses almost everything that went wrong. While the end result still isn’t perfect, it is easily one of the most fully realized interactive narrative experiences available. As long as you don’t mind the fact that you’ll do far more watching than playing, Heavy Rain is a beautiful example of just how emotionally involving games can be. It’s certainly not a traditional adventure by any means, and you may not control the story as much as you’d like, but that won’t stop you from becoming deeply attached to its characters and engrossed in their plights.

The opening story features Ethan, a down-on-his-luck architect whose son gets kidnapped by the Origami Killer, a sadistic psychopath who kidnaps young boys and drowns them in rainwater, leaving an ornate paper figure on the body as a calling card. The victims are kept alive for a few days before that, however, and Ethan receives a box of origami figures which, when unwrapped, provide an address he must visit to perform various “trials”, several of which seem to be inspired by the Saw movies. The mandate is clear: Ethan will learn where his son is being kept if he successfully performs the trials, but if he fails his son becomes the latest victim.

While Ethan desperately begins playing the killer’s game, Heavy Rain flips back and forth between three other characters as well, all of whom are following their own trails to finding the Origami Killer. Norman, the FBI profiler, uses a sci-fi pair of sunglasses to analyze clues at crime scenes. Scott, the private investigator, questions the families of previous victims to see if there’s anything the police missed. And Madison, the photojournalist, follows a few leads of her own. Their methods and personalities are radically different from one another, giving the same murder investigation a diverse feel. It might seem like the constant alternating would break the flow of the story somewhat, but the game cleverly chooses its moments to shift characters and the four narratives interlock nicely, even if the characters rarely interact at all with each other.

As different as the four scenarios are, they all control the same way. The left analog stick controls which way your character faces and the R2 button is pressed to walk. As you explore the various environments, icons will appear that prompt actions (which fans of Fahrenheit will immediately recognize), and the game does a good job of trying to keep the motion-based actions at least partially related to what you see on the screen. Stepping carefully at one point alternates between the R1 and L1 buttons, for example, and jerking the controller up quickly is used for anything from jumping over an obstacle to downing a shot of scotch. This simulated movement doesn't make you feel like you’re performing the actions yourself, of course, but it does make them a little more fun than hitting arbitrary buttons. Overall the controls are fairly intuitive, but having to constantly keep the R2 button pressed to walk seems a little clumsy and unnecessary, and more than a few times I found myself going the wrong way due to an abrupt or awkward camera angle.

Unlike more action-oriented games, this lack of precise control never puts your character in peril. Heavy Rain has some wonderfully tense moments of danger, but they’re all at very specific, scripted moments. Whether you’re fighting with an armed robber in a convenience store or fleeing from the police, the action unfolds in what can loosely be termed a Quick Time Event. A button or direction icon will appear on the screen, and you’ll have only a moment to perform the correct action before failing. While I find most Quick Time Events irritating, I really enjoyed Heavy Rain’s, in part because these actions also match what happens on screen. Tilting the right analog stick to the left in order to make your character dodge in that direction has a more tactile feel to it than just pressing the square button, after all. But it’s also because, while failing in most games ends in a Game Over, missing a prompt in Heavy Rain means the game simply takes a slightly different direction. These segments are very forgiving, and failing one or two almost never results in losing the whole scenario, though it’s fun to see how the action changes based on how well you’re doing. You may still win a fight without ducking that one time, but you could wind up visibly worse for wear because of it.

Other precision-based events happen occasionally as well, such as when Norman has to carefully climb his way up a slippery slope. In these cases, the game prompts you to press and hold certain buttons in a sequence, and sometimes tap one rapidly while keeping the others pressed. Both types of activity are fairly frequent, and most scenes in the game have at least one or two, giving your character’s explorations a more dynamic feel. Experienced action gamers should pass them all with only a little challenge, though the difficulty level can be set lower if they prove too frustrating.

The action sequences highlight the most debatable aspect of this unusual game: how much influence do you, the player, really have over the story? The back of the box raves that “your smallest decisions can change everything” and “every action you take has consequences.” This is only partly true. The story progresses much the same way for most of the game no matter what choices you make or which Quick Time Events you win or lose, as a lot of the actual game-changing options occur only towards the end. It is possible for Ethan to fail his trials, while other characters can find themselves unable to solve the case in time or even die before you’ve seen all the scenes they can appear in. Yet just because one fails doesn’t mean the others can’t succeed, so Heavy Rain simply continues on with whoever is left when that happens. Norman may die in the course of his investigation, for example, but that won’t necessarily stop Madison from solving the case, and each character has multiple possible endings, allowing one or more to have happy endings even if the others don’t.

There’s a lot of game before you get to these endings, however, or even to the critical points where you can affect the final outcome. The story is very flexible, and always seems to find a way to catch you up when necessary. Lose a fight early in the game, and all you really have to worry about are injuries. Fail to find a critical clue with Norman, and that clue will fall into his lap some other way. You may miss out on a Trophy achievement, but it ultimately has no bearing on the plot. So what’s the point of offering so much player control when so little of it is significant, you may ask? That depends on how much you enjoy the idea of directing your own story. In the prologue scene with Ethan, I grabbed some coffee, explored my house, and then lay on the grass in my backyard waiting for my wife to come home. On my second playthrough, I chose instead to go to my office and do some work on the building I was designing. Neither choice had any major effect on the game, but the two experiences were very different in their own right, and some dialogue changed when my wife asked if I had gotten any work done while she was gone.

Continued on the next page...



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Game Info

Heavy Rain

Platform:
PlayStation 3

Genre:
Mystery

Developer:
Quantic Dream


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Worldwide February 1 2010 Sony Computer Entertainment

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Heavy Rain

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User Score

Average based on 16 ratings

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About the Author
Drummond Doroski
Staff Writer

Comments

DrFrankenstein DrFrankenstein
Mar 8, 2010

I am not falling for Sony’s schemes and buying a PS3 just because of a killer exclusive. I am quite sure that they will release a PC port once they are done wooing all potential PS3 converts. Great games don’t stay locked to one platform for too long! So, I will wait. And if they don’t release it on the PC, it’s really their loss, not mine.

adhuin
Mar 8, 2010

I did get a ps3 for this game. Oh and for couple of others, but Heavy Rain was the one that tipped the balance.

Emotionally very involving game and top adventure movie of the year.

Dale Dale
Mar 8, 2010

I think a PC port is very unlikely, if only due to the ways that the controller is utilised. Every button and tilt support of the dualshock 3 is used, and the latter isn’t something you can just move across to another platform.

If you do have a PS3 though, I doubt you’ll be disappointed with this game. I know I wasn’t.

kotkin
Mar 8, 2010

I bought PS3 just for this game.
It was a UNIQUE experience. Never felt so immersed in a game before. This game its magic. You feel that YOU are in the story.
It was the best game I have ever played. The most emotional and most mature.
David Cage is a real artist.

BerserkerTails
Mar 8, 2010

I agree for the most part with this review. My girlfriend and I had a real blast playing through this game, and I’m really looking forward to playing it over again and trying a lot of things differently. I did have a few more quibbles about the game than you did, however.

For example, I wasn’t sold on the voice acting. It was apparent to me that 90% of the actors were not American by birth, and you could always hear a bit of French or English accent sneaking in from time to time (The kids, in particular, were terrible)

Also, for every really emotional scene, there were a lot of really bad, clunky lines of dialogue. Such as Madison’s “Take these painkillers. They’ll help with the pain.”

AndreaDraco83
Mar 8, 2010

I know I won’t buy a PS3 for this game. I know I’d like to play it. I know it will be great. Argh, I reached an impasse!

Jokes aside, I’m really disappointed by the PS3-exclusive (I really won’t buy one, that’s for sure), but I’m glad to hear that the adventure is really good.

fov fov
Mar 8, 2010

I can’t justify a PS3 purchase, either. Which breaks my heart, because I want to play this game so bad.

Now, if I can find someone who will *lend* me a PS3 for a little while…

Scott Nixon
Mar 8, 2010

I have to completely disagree with this review (as well as 90% of the other reviews on this title.) I thought Heavy Rain compunded all the bad parts of Indigo Prophecy and eliminated the good parts, reducing this to the equivalent of watching a mediocre, terribly voice acted (with the exception of Scott) 8 hour long noir movie while playing Simon. I don’t get it, reviewers (not here, other reviewers) call this revolutionary - it isn’t. An art form doesn’t distinguish itself as credible by slavishly aping other art forms.

As a tech demo, Heavy Rain was great. As a game, it was rotten. YMMV.

GhaleonQ
Mar 8, 2010

Oh, come now, Adventure Gamers.  You have better taste than this.  Heavy Rain works as farce alone, so to claim that the game is intelligently plotted or that the voice-acting is anything but embarrassing seems indefensible.  At the very least, this review requires greater defenses than simple assertion.

Perhaps you shouldn’t assign a Fahrenheit apologist to Quantic Dream’s future products?

bakana
Mar 8, 2010

From the videos online the voice acting seems pretty bad, and most of the actors seem to clearly be Europeans doing American voices (poorly), which compounds the problem.

Fahrenheit started off really strong, then the story turned to complete pants about halfway through and totally soured the experience. Hopefully they’ve learned from that mistake.

But even if I didn’t have to buy a PS3 to play this game, I’d still have a hard time justifying spending $60 on what is essentially an overlong b-movie.

It may be worth a rental just to see if it succeeds at the stuff it tries…but again that would still require the acquisition of a PS3.

Heidi
Mar 8, 2010

Rented the game and a PS3, purchasing problem solved. Loved the review, I just wish I had a better idea of how long the game will take to play. Very excited to get started tonight!

dantebk dantebk
Mar 8, 2010

I didn’t like the game quite as much as Drummond did. Some terrible voice acting, gaping plot holes, and those awful, awful movement controls made some parts less than enjoyable. How did they ever reach the conclusion that driving a person like they’re a tank is a legitimate way to control a game?

In the end, though, I still found it very compelling. The night I finished it I think I played for three hours straight, which is a long time for me. I also found knowing that mistakes were permanent, and I couldn’t simply restart at the last checkpoint and try again, led to a feeling of being on the edge of my seat during many scenes.

Lee in Limbo Lee in Limbo
Mar 9, 2010

I recently invested in a Wii, so I won’t be purchasing this game any time soon. Still, it sounds pretty cool. I’ve been one of the loudest proponents of interactive storytelling over traditional mini-games in AGs, and while this game isn’t precisely an AG, it certainly looks like a very acceptable evolution of the form. I just wonder if anything will follow it, or if this too will prove to be an evolutionary dead end.

Pharmboy
Mar 9, 2010

The game was fantastic stuff.  I highly recommend playing it in French, however, with subtitles.  That way rather than suffering through mediocre dialogue you have one amazing foreign film.

The plot holes were kind of irritating, but I was more than happy to brush them aside for some of the most memorable sequences I’ve ever had in a game.

Those of you over-reacting to this review would do well to remember that all reviews are opinions and people are allowed to have them when they aren’t the same as yours, sorry.  I agree with the other assessment that Indigo Prophecy would have been excellent had the story not crammed itself up its own butt in the final sections.

Heavy Rain I have no such complaints about.

D.C. D.C.
Mar 9, 2010

Heavy Rain is truly one of the most exceptional games I’ve ever experienced. I can’t wait to see what Quantic Dream has for us next!

drummond13
Mar 9, 2010

I somewhat expected this mixed reaction to the review.  Heavy Rain is an odd game, and for many it’s going to fall into the “love it or hate it” category.  If it only works as a tech demo for you, fair enough.  For many of us it works as more.  It’s too unusual to appeal to everyone.

But to say that my assertions that the voice acting is good are indefensible is ridiculous.  I’ve been studying the art of acting and been performing for eighteen years now, as well as listened to countless hours of voice acting in animation and gaming.  This doesn’t mean my word is law on this subject, but how am I supposed to defend my comments without going into overly technical detail about acting as an art?  True, the accents slip a little now and then.  But, with some small exceptions, the acting behind them is solid.  I’m sorry if you disagree, but I stand by what I’ve said here.

123pazu 123pazu
Mar 9, 2010

Whats with all these HATE comments? Seems to me they are directed at the game being on ps3 exclusively rather than at the game itself… People who have played it including me say the game is awesome, and the ones who have not, call it trash. I feel like I’m in System wars in which fanboys on one side constantly attack the other groups, never thought for a sec it will happen here…

And also, I thought the voiceacting is actually pretty good, when compared to other games. You just can’t comment on the voiceacting by only viewing short clips on youtube, all focus will be on the accent only. Anyway, whats wrong with having an accent when speaking english? We are in one of the most diverse country in the world, and a great percentage of people here speak with an accent.

And to GhaleonQ, you are just embarrassing yourself with that kind of comment, and I thought all gamers who are into adventure gamers are more mature and more intelligent. How naive I was…

orient orient
Mar 9, 2010

Informative review. I have the game but haven’t found the time to jump into it properly. I found the beginning to be truly captivating, though, despite some presentational kinks. I can’t wait to play more.

As someone who is lucky enough to own all consoles, I consider the PS3 to be the best value-for-money machine, with the most diverse set of quality games.

I’m not suggesting that Heavy Rain is worth the $360 you’d have to spend to play it, but if you play anything other than adventure games (and love to watch films), the PS3 more than pays for itself.

GhaleonQ
Mar 9, 2010

Preface: I understand that Adventure Gamers’ reviews are somewhat soft (but well-reasoned), that you all understand that standards vary in international releases, and that you often reward gameplay innovation in a genre that ignores it sometimes.  I also think that narrative games are the future, thriving alternative of the industry, and would love to see smart people making them.  I wanted MORE experimentation, even within the “quick-time event” gameplay (a player/brain more at odds with the in-game characters would have been fantastic).  I also understand that you don’t want to take 4 pages to debate back and forth to provide the specific defenses I feel a wrecked game like Heavy Rain demands.

So, to be brief, I’ll point out my 2nd biggest problem.  Even in traditional graphic adventure games, the emphasis is not on the plot POINT but the player-character’s circumstances.  Some comparable examples: Alexander being in a labyrinth wasn’t thrilling.  Knowing that I could wander into oblivion or be unequipped to solve the labyrinth’s puzzles was terrifying.  Discovering an underground hounfour didn’t make me nervous.  Knowing that a timed event would cause Gabriel’s murder and maintaining a puzzle-solving mindset in unfamiliar circumstances made me nervous.  In Heavy Rain, plot points occur without any regard to their context.  *SPOILER*  Why does it make sense to have sex during an impending murder?  Why is there no build or post-event tension in the finger-slicing scene?  Why don’t the killer’s thoughts ever make sense in context, and why did they allow the player to hear them in the 1st place?  How does the tone shift into a bizarre action movie, most painfully during the endgame?  Why doesn’t any gameplay ever inform any other gameplay?  *END SPOILER*  I think it’s because they just stuck a bunch of stuff together that they thought sounded neat.  If you watched a movie with the same measure of disconnect between scenes, you’d be awfully distracted.  Other, greater adventure games properly contextualize twists within what the player’s experienced, story- and puzzle-wise.  And yet the only commentary (and it isn’t just you) is on the plot holes.  “This jumble didn’t fit together, which is why it’s problematic.”  No, “This was just a hodgepodge of events loosely bound with twine.”  That’s the worst part of video game storytelling: developers focus on WHAT happens and not HOW or WHY it occurs (from a development point-of-view).  Compound that with the (I’ll say it) incompetent pacing (I enjoyed the slow introduction, though many didn’t, but the last 1/3 was like watching wreckage pile up), and you have a poorly told story.  Those are apparent, even if you ignore the Z-rate version of traditional movie craft like lighting, blocking, and framing.  I expected Adventure Gamers to be more attentive, since the genre has done smooth storytelling properly more often than any other genre (I think).

For the record, I was just expressing disappointment.  I adore the website and will visit it for as long as you all maintain it.  There’s no animosity here (except toward Fahrenheit, which was an obvious abomination).  Continue the otherwise sterling work!

teme
Mar 9, 2010

In my opinion Heavy Rain isn’t a masterpiece but it’s not bad or average either. I have played many old FMV adventure games, but Heavy Rain is the first game that I would describe with term “interactive movie”. It doesn’t feel like you are playing a game, it feels more like you are doing something to make the movie go on.

drummond13
Mar 9, 2010

@GhaleonQ: You seem to think that I deliberately avoided mentioning issues with the plot because the rest of the game is so innovative, and are disappointed that I didn’t “notice” the same issues with the game that you did.  The reality is that, while I respect your point of view, I simply disagree completely with your assessment, as do most of the reviews and people I’ve talked to about this game.  This doesn’t make you “wrong” in any way, of course.  Gaming is a subjective experience, especially with a game like this.  But please understand it’s somewhat insulting to say “The game had these issues, I’m disappointed this site didn’t mention the exact same issues I had with the game, because they were there.”  It’s not that I didn’t notice them, it’s that I simply don’t agree that these issues existed.

Scott Nixon
Mar 9, 2010

I don’t think the quality of the voiceacting could be considered subjective. It’s poor (at least in English). A few of the characters (Madison, Scott) are well done. The rest are bad, if not outright terrible, and this fact is highlighted all the more when contrasted with the high production values present elsewhere.

But I can live with poor voice acting. What irks me more are the reviewers who brandish this title as innovative. There is very little that could be considered innovative in this game - it just had a bigger budget than all of its brethren (possibly combined!) What is the rationale for making a game like a movie? A game is a game, and should exploit its own particular strengths instead of trying to be something it isn’t. Heavy Rain doesn’t even come close to the kind of innovation exhibited in games like The Last Express, which did what this game tries to do, only far more elegantly. The story is an inconsistent hodgepodge. The design transgresses cardinal rules (e.g. forced failures AND forced wins.) The game froze my PS3 several times. The control scheme (in the few instances when you actively control a PC) is abysmal.

I’m really just perplexed what it is about this game that intrigued reviewers so. At least the discrepancy between its metcritic rating and user reviews gives me hope.

seagul seagul
Mar 9, 2010

Sounds like a good game. Sounds as if the developers made a big step forward in their way of creating a game since The Indigo Prophecies. And the next game will be even better (hopefully).
So even if the greatest part of the adventure players will not be able to play Heavy Rain, we will benefit from the greater experience the developers could win by creating Heavy Rain.

Jackal Jackal
Mar 9, 2010

I think these comments have pretty clearly proven that voice acting is indeed subjective, as wrong as one side thinks the other may be. Grin Scott, I don’t necessarily dispute your point about Heavy Rain in particular, but I’d argue that “innovation” is often little more than expanding on and even repackaging existing ideas in different ways. Truly original ideas are ridiculously few and far between, so I wouldn’t read too much into a somewhat looser use of the word. Perhaps “unique” woud be better, though that could probably be debated on the same level. Sadly, I also don’t have a PS3, so can’t play Heavy Rain myself. Argh!

after a brisk nap
Mar 9, 2010

“There is very little that could be considered innovative in this game - it just had a bigger budget than all of its brethren (possibly combined!)”

“The design transgresses cardinal rules (e.g. forced failures AND forced wins.)”

Deliberately breaking “cardinal” rules IS a form of innovation. Whether it’ s a good innovation or not is up to each player to decide.

Also, when it comes to innovation, execution is as important as the basic idea. Edison was not the first to THINK about the possibility of a lightbulb, he was just the first to successfully MAKE it. So revisiting old experimental concepts that couldn’t be fully realized without such a big budget and actually pulling off (in many people’s opinion) what they were going for would definitely make this an innovative game.

Ascovel Ascovel
Mar 9, 2010

Not long ago I was very skeptical about Heavy Rain, but now I wouldn’t mind having a friend with a PS3.

Personally, I didn’t like Fahrenheit - neither the story, nor the gameplay appealed to me besides the escape from the murder scene at the very beginning. However, the Heavy Rain gameplay clips I saw recently look much more interesting than Fahrenheit. And definitely more interesting than the original HR demo David Cage presented at game festivals many months ago. I still don’t consider the game innovative in the true sense (games like The Last Express or Blade Runner come to mind), but it’s definitely trying to use the interactive movie formula to create something that is much more like a decent Hollywood movie than the games we’ve seen in the past, which is quite cool.

Geoff Kelly Geoff Kelly
Mar 9, 2010

I am glad some of you enjoyed it.

But come on a FEW plot holes?  Half the game was a gaping chasm.

The actual murderer and their previous actions made little sense.  The game threw in red herrings for the sake of having red herrings, even though they later made no sense (I detest stories which do this!).  The most obvious of these being the protagonists dreams and how they relate to murders - he was of course seeing these BEFORE his son was kidnapped.  It added an eeriy sense to the game, and was one of the things I was excited to find out how they would explain - they didn’t.

The story was completely let down by extremely poor continuity.  And for a game that relies entirely on story as this one does, it is simply dealbreaking.

boo
Mar 10, 2010

Loved the Reviewer’s point about small actions deciding what type of person your characters are. That’s really what it’s all about. Even in the Prologue where you have to choose which son to play with first, decides your perspective on the story.

I’ve never played a game with this level of immersion. The game nurtures your protective instinct and then plays your nerves like a six string. By having you care for a baby in need, give purpose to a sorrowful mother, or dab at Ethan’s latest set of wounds with disinfectant the game creates a unique bond not unlike imprinting between you and the characters. When the tension is ramped up and these same characters are put in jeopardy, there is legitimate fear that you might fail them. These aren’t Quick Time Events tacked on as breaks in gameplay, they are adrenaline pumping panic attacks that feed off your love.

I really wanted a happy ending for all my characters, but I failed them in the end and it was heartbreaking.

kotkin
Mar 10, 2010

Boo I agree completely with your post! I loved that game! Never played something so immersive!
I failed as well and it was really sad because I really felt that I was IN the game and I screw it up..
But because of the bad end I felt that my story was much more realistic than others..So still the experience it was superb, Im thinking all these days the story..Had a real impact on me.
Tonight I played the Taxidermist DLC (because I ordered the special edition) and it was a GEM! Although very short DLC (like 15-20 min.) I enjoyed soo much! It was so frightening! And I played it 5 times, every time another conclusion of the story..

I have to say to all adventure gamers: PLAY HEAVY RAIN, you are not going to regret it.

Florus Florus
Mar 10, 2010

Played this at a friend’s house (since I don’t own a PS3) and was less impressed than I hoped. I especially felt cheated that the story was very slow and the interactive part is all quick-time events (for me the worst part of any game). No inventory, no traditional puzzle solving and/or finding clues. Story was ok although I’ve played better.
The worst part of the experience was when my friend said this was the first mature adventure game ever made. I had to explain that he probably had’nt played Overclocked, Still Life and/or Moments of Silence or he would’ve never said that. He had to admit he didn’t know those games and that’s exactly what this game has over those mentioned: the marketing campaign. It’s IMHO not a better game in it’s own right, but it gets all the attention those games deserved more than this quick-time fest. The graphics and the sound are its saving grace, cause it’s all beautiful rendered. Bit odd though cause I enjoy simpler graphics all the same if its allows me to have proper interaction.
Conclusion: no PS3 for me. At least not for this interactive quick-time movie.

dekaneas297 dekaneas297
Mar 10, 2010

Played it yesterday at a friend’s PS3. Wasn’t impressed. Mediocre movie. Movie, not game. As for immersive, life is more immersive thank you I don’t need a game… sorry movie.

Ascovel Ascovel
Mar 10, 2010

The taxidermist DLC is what I was referring to as the “original demo” in my previous comment. It looked very lousy in terms of gameplay and story and was the main reason I didn’t expect Heavy Rain to be any good.

My-mu
Apr 18, 2010

I also bought PS3 for this game and I am not disappointed. Great game, one of the best I’ve ever played. Also the end was bit below expectations - at least the end that I got to - but I am going to try out some more variants to see where I will get to ;-)

trueg
Sep 28, 2010

I have to agree with the reviewer.  Boo summed it up pretty good as well.

Prior to release, I was disappointed that it was a PS3 exclusive since I didn’t have one at the time.  A few days after release, we visited relatives and they happened to have one.  What luck!  I was able to rent this game at a local store.

Fantastic game.  When I wasn’t playing it, I was thinking about it and it stayed with me for a while afterwards.  I finished it over 3 or 4 very long sessions.  One of my favourite games of all time.

Entropy
Oct 5, 2010

What is Heavy Rain?
It’s Indigo Prophecy (aka Fahrenheit), but repackaged. In some points it’s better than Indigo in other it’s worse.

GRAPHICS: let’s start here… well they are very good, PS3 standard so at least it’s pretty to look at. Of course everything looks good today (except for the Wii games).

STORY: If Indigo Prophecy had at least some pace, some excitement where things happened. You start the game having stabbed someone, and have limited time to cover your tracks… that will give you some kind of rush even is a minor one.

Heavy Rain starts with at least 1 hour or more of pointless actions… it only misses the ‘scratch your ass when bored’ action… which will be what you’ll do in real life.
After that you have 1 more hour of ‘emo time’ where you also do nothing at all, except moping around, make your kid eat slices of pizza and go to bed on time…

All right H.R. does pick up the pace and is more exciting about 3 hours in… and the story is definitely better than Indigo Prophecy, so it’s not all bad, although it has more holes in it than a shirt full of hungry moths.
But at least the story gets quite compelling later on…

One annoying thing is that how the story goes is dictated often on how well you do with QTE sequences, rather than your choices… and that is rather annoying (more on QTE below).

Sure the games claims that ‘all actions have consequences’ but mostly it’s not so. There are some critical decisions in the game, of course, and many are, as stated above, determined by QTE… which is somewhat disappointing.

GAMEPLAY/CONTROLS: Awful… Quantic Dream did not learn anything.
H.R. controls as bad as Indigo Prophecy, if not worse.

If you hated some of the pointless ‘fiddling about’ of Indigo Prophecy, you’ll hate Heavy Rain even more… Heavy Rain is 80% of pointless action.

Of course there is a lot of QTE involved… and I quite dislike QTE because it simply breaks the ‘suspension of disbelief’... in the end when QTE occur you focus only on the ‘Simon says’ mechanics and, if you want to succeed you usually zone out all the rest that happens on the screen.

That does NOT make action sequences or combat fun. It makes you play Simon says while you miss on all the excitement of the battle or action sequence. QTE should therefore be used wisely and rarely throughout a game… here most of the gameplay is QTE…

SOUNDS: Voice acting is decent… even if the main character’s accent is somewhat weird… Sounds are quite immersive.


CONCLUSION: 3&1./2 stars

I cannot say HR is an horrible game… If you loved Indigo Prophecy… well you’ll love HR even more.

It’s definitively better than Indigo Prophecy, but shares also many of the same annoying features… some of which are even more annoying and lengthy.

Is it worth buying? Not really… I’d recommend renting the game, or buy it when it’s 50% off.

In the end it’s a decent gaming experience, but not nearly the over-hyped masterpiece all the so-called professional reviewers claim to be…

... of course we all know what happened to Jeff Gerstmann when he gave a non-perfect review to an over-hyped horrible game…

Fantasysci5 Fantasysci5
Sep 18, 2011

I just got to play this game, and I think overall it was pretty good. There were quite a few pointless actions, with their only excuse in being in the game is that you can learn the ways to move your controller, so when you’re in life or death situations, you can react and know what to do.

Also, those scenes where you have to quickly press a button drove me crazy. I’m not good with fast on-your-feet kind of button-pressing, and I get so stressed out about it. But overall, characters, stories, graphics and everything were great.



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