Sunday, February 28, 2010
Review: Heavy Rain (PS3)
HEAVY RAIN - PS3
Developed by: Quantic Dream
Written and Directed by: David Cage
How far would you go to protect the one you love?
That is the over arching theme through all the characters, and the developers here have crafted a great murder mystery that will have you guessing until the very end. It's easy to be empathetic to all the characters here, and one truly feels the weight of choices made. This is the games biggest feature, the choices and outcomes are a sight to be seen. Heavy Rain is a masterfully crafted ride and it does feel like the situations that transpire could really happen to anyone. It's a rare and unique experience that gamers do not get to experience.
Heavy Rain plays like an adventure game where the player has direct control over the character in the inviroment, controlling the movement is a bit hard to get used to and often I found myself walking in circles. The quick time events are indeed intense, and the actions you preform work brilliantly in referrence to the action you are making on screen. The puzzle elements weren't that hard to figure out, but challenging and engaging enough to feel satisfied and smart. Heavy Rain isn't terribly long, I completed my first play through in roughly 12 hours, but the replay value is here, and I do see myself playing through this game at least 1 or 2 more times just to see the different outcomes.
Here is where some of the issues come up, the voice acting is barely passable with certain characters, yet others are acted superbly and very believable. It seems that they had a mixed cast with some european and some american. Well, take the kids for example they do not sound in the least bit american. So it does break the spell a little bit, but nothing severe. The score is subtle and beautiful but surprisingly short, it seems like they only used a few tracks throughout the game, but they're placed perfectly helping set the mood and tension.
The location where this game takes place isn't ever identified but it seems it is somewhere in the US, but to be honest I never really felt like it was in the states, there is a alienating feeling and I think that helps bring the player closer to the characters, and what is going on in their lives. The developers have really out done themselves with the character modelling and just the extremely life like movement, there were certain parts in the game where it really is hard to tell you are looking at a game character and not real people. Everything from facial movements to body movements you feel what these characters feel.
It's hard to say anything about Heavy Rain without giving away any spoilers, but HR's story is great don't listen to everyone else saying it's mediocre, this isn't a movie or CSI or some afternoon drama, it's up to you how it unfolds, you make the choices and you feel the weight of the consequences. It packs a great punch and I knew based on my choices why I got the ending I got, now I just want to go back and change things just to see the other possibilies..
Heavy Rain left a very heavy and dreary impression on me, one which I've been thinking about ever sense I finished it. So, if you are a gamer and you enjoy a mature well paced noir style story you will love this game. It is unlike anything else out there aside from it's predicessor Indigo Prophecy, also developed by Quantic Dream. Heavy Rain has set a new bench mark in gaming, and I hope people will support this title and go pick it up. I know Feb - March is insane with releases but if you have the time and money it is well worth it.
Peace and Love,
Ps. Next I'll be working on my review for Dragon Quest V: Hands of the Heavenly Bride, stay tuned..