Game Review: Heavy Rain Will Damper Your Spirit, But Is A Breath Of Fresh Air

Heavy Rain US Cover Game Review: Heavy Rain Will Damper Your Spirit, But Is A Breath Of Fresh Air

There’s no doubt that Heavy Rain is an adventure game/interactive movie. If this isn’t your cup of tea, then I’m sorry to rain heavily on your parade. It is an involving, as it is intense, psychological thriller about the mysterious Origami Killer. You play as four different characters, trying to figure out clues and save a life. Ethan Mars is the depressed dad who had lost one of his two sons. Madison Paige is the reporter that has insomnia. Scott Shelby is the private investigator. And Norman Jayden is the FBI agent that has come to investigate the Origami Killer case, setting tensions at the local police station.

Heavy Rain is a rare emotional experience that engages you because of its gameplay and storytelling. What movies can’t do is have you control your characters’ actions. Because you’re in control, it’s up to you to figure out the clues and decide what course of action you should take. The cool thing about these games is that everyone’s experience will be unique. The way I went about a certain chapter could be different about the way you go about it. For example, Ethan is talking to his psychologist and you can choose whether you tell him certain revealing things or not. If you do, those revealing things might bite you in the ass later if he were to tell anyone.

Jacqui Ainsley 17 Heavy Rain Madison Paige Game Review: Heavy Rain Will Damper Your Spirit, But Is A Breath Of Fresh Air

This game boasts amazing visuals, and at times, I was really at awe at how real it looked. But it can be inconsistent, determining on the environment. Areas with a lot of lights and shadows really make the characters look almost real, while areas with less dynamic lighting makes the characters look very flat. Sometimes the supporting characters looked more believable than the main characters, especially Paco, the night club manager, with his shades off. The hospital chapter is another example of believability. Walking down the hospital and seeing a nurse walking and checking in the hallway, it felt like I was really there. Overall, the character models were brilliant. I just wish they didn’t have zombie eyes. They should have taken a cue from Mass Effect and Uncharted.

The voice acting is good to sometimes decent. Certain characters will have accents, since the game was developed in France, the cast was mostly European. Not good for a game that is set in America. My favorite would be Sam Douglas’ Scott Shelby. The soundtrack is very fitting, sad and somber. For the frantic moments, you’ll be focused and sharp, ready to tackle an obstacle with its fast pacing. For the slower moments, you’ll feel depressed.

For those that really love these types of game, it’s a definite purchase. For those of you that are ho-hum about it, it’s definitely worth a rental. Through the gameplay, you’ll get to experience these characters and grow closer to them. You’ll feel their pain when they have to make sacrifices, you’ll feel their anxiety when they’re being chased by cops, and you’ll feel their sadness when they lose someone they love. Make no mistake, there will be a lot of flame wars coming from this game.

Replay value is what you make of it, since you can replay the game or chapter again and choose different things to say. The outcome isn’t as subtle as let’s say, Mass Effect, but your characters can die while the story moves on. I tested a Chapter to see what would happen if I didn’t help my character survive an attack, and low-and-behold, the character was killed off. The aftermath of that scene did give me the creeps. Overall, I was able to finish the game in 8 hours on normal difficulty. Some may say it’s an overpriced movie, but movies are 2 hours and non-interactive that doesn’t allow you to control the characters.

Grade: A-

Title: Heavy Rain
Release Date:
February 23, 2010
M (Mature)
Sony Computer Entertainment
Quantic Dream

pixel Game Review: Heavy Rain Will Damper Your Spirit, But Is A Breath Of Fresh Air

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