Heavy Rain (PS4) Review – A’s GAMING moments

Welcome back to A’s GAMING moments! So last year I reviewed Fahrenheit, or Indigo
Prophecy or whatever you want to call it, and at the end of the review I said that eventually
I’d want to go on to look at two other Quantic Dream games- Heavy Rain and Beyond Two Souls. Well, the time has come so let’s take a look
and start off with Heavy Rain. Is it any good? Once again, the
game plays out like a movie that you take control of. It’s all about reacting to certain events
and making decisions to move the story along. It’s about ‘The Origami Killer’- a serial
killer who targets young boys, and then puts them in some sort of well, which slowly fills
up with rainwater. He then sets a series of challenges to the
father of the kid, where each one he succeeds in, he gets a few more letters to the address
of where the kid is being held. So it’s a race against time and a classic
crime thriller. And you want to know the best bit- there are
no supernatural elements. Yep, when I saw this on Wikipedia, I thought
thank fuck. No matrix style fighting, no end of the world
conspiracies. Just a good old murder mystery. It does have some strangely out of place hi-tech
stuff going on, but not enough to make it unbelievable. You get to play as four different characters. There’s FBI guy. Ethan- the father of the latest kid in the
well. Madison- who helps Ethan out, mainly after
she keeps walking into his motel room to find him getting more and more fucked up from the
latest challenge. And there’s the big friendly private investigator,
Shelby. The action swaps between these four characters,
as each of their stories follow different leads as to finding out the identity of the
killer. Towards the end, all of their paths start
to cross over- leading to a multitude of different endings depending upon the choices that you
made throughout. The game has some real tense moments and these
are made possible because of, what I believe, are two things. One- believable and interesting characters. And two- clear motivation for these characters. Without caring, not only about the people
involved, but also about why they’re doing what they’re doing, scenes like this torture
bit would fall flat, as we wouldn’t feel any empathy as to what’s going on. It’s not rocket science, but it seems that
a lot of games don’t grasp this concept, expecting us to care about characters we have very little
knowledge of, and to be honest very little interest in. None of these characters are indestructible
and they all have their weaknesses, which only makes them more human. It’s got some uncomfortable adult themes-
particularly, for some reason, to the Madison character, who’s threatened with rape and
forced to strip off to some sleezeball in a club. But again, these moments are handled maturely
and make you feel strongly towards the moment, because we know her character and appreciate
the horrible situation she must be in. OK, moving on. The button prompting system is basically a
more refined version of Fahrenheit’s system. It’s a lot more forgiving this time around,
meaning that you can make more mistakes without it ever bringing up an instant game over. It squeezes every last drop of possibility
out of the simple button pressing system, with things like, pushing buttons slowly,
holding down weird combinations of buttons. It came out when the sixth axis was all the
rage, so expect to be tilting and shaking you’re controller all over the place. To be honest, it’s clear that this isn’t going
to be everyone’s idea of great gameplay. And essentially, yeah, you’re right, half
the game is just a series of quick time events- but you’ll probably know beforehand if this
kind of thing is for you or not, so just be aware of that going into this game- it’s kind
of like a super, super dumbed down version of Dance Dance Revolution, kind of, sort of,
maybe? Heavy Rain has that film noir look about it. You know what I mean, always dark and gloomy,
always raining, the red and blue of the police sirens the only thing adding some colour to
the screen. It looks good- I played it on the PS4, which
provides a much smoother performance without any of the screen tearing and some of the
motion capture work is impressive, even seven years on from it’s original release. The acting here is… mmm, OK for the most
part, I guess. But not the best by anyone’s standards. I think we’ve just come to expect a higher
quality of voice work nowadays, something to match the standards of Hollywood. And I’m sure if you recorded a full playthrough
and gave it to a movie critic to review, one of their biggest criticisms would be the acting. But the music’s dark and powerful, rising
and falling at just the right times to add more impact into what’s going on. Again, further helping us to feel and not
just watch. Well, there we go, there’s my thoughts on
Heavy Rain- so one more to go. Until next time, thanks for watching.

Comments 7

  • Another wonderful and pleasant review, now the annoying thing of waiting for the next one to come out

  • Yeah 1:40 made my day! Loved the "Sean" thing in the last one. 🙂

  • A friend once told me that Quantic Dream games are not very good but I should play them someday anyway. Not sure what he means by that I will get around to them someday. Great review as always. Anything you're hoping to be announced or shown at E3 this year?

  • such a good game

  • i bought this game when it came out in early 2010 if i remember correctly, i played it a bit and didnt like how it played like different choices and slow gameplay, i sold it soon and picked it up again last year, finished it, amazing game, loved every moment of it, great review

  • I love both heavy rain and Beyond two Souls.

  • I wish the supernatural element was still in the game because there is a huge plot hole without it.

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