PS3 Review: Heavy Rain
February 23, 2010 by Adam Waddilove
It’s raining, it’s pouring and this guy’s kid is drowning…
If you have played Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy, then you will be familiar with the gameplay style of Heavy Rain. The game is essentially an interactive movie that lets you make multiple choices that will impact key moments of the story; these decisions can influence the smallest thing to things of epic scale like a death and so on. It’s perhaps one of the most engrossing stories that I’ve come across in years…
Heavy Rain follows the lives of 4 different people that you control, but their lives are entwined with the hunt for the serial killer known as the Origami Killer, who drowns his victims in rain water and leaves origami figures in their dead hands. I was gripped to the plot and was stunned by the discovery of the killer; I was amazed by the sheer choices that the game gave you. The Origami Killer puts a father through disturbing trials to get clues to the whereabouts of his son before he drowns.
The trials he faces feel taken from a Saw movie and fans of that film will definitely notice it. Other characters search for answers as to the identity of the killer, while dealing with their own personal issues. Each of the characters is well used and is really believable, but also likeable to play as. The great thing about Heavy Rain is that each person who plays it will have a different outcome, even subtly.
There are a lot of quick-time event moments through the game that use a combination of SIXAXIS, analog sticks and button tapping. Some of them can be quite difficult to pull off, but they are superb sequences that I cannot wait to go through again. If there’s one complaint to be had, it has to be with moving your character…you have to hold down the R2 button to walk while moving the analog stick to the direction you wish to go. It poses the question, why not just walk with the analog stick? It’d be a lot easier…There’s also an issue with camera angles, especially during one of the trials that you face in a tunnel which combined with the control issue makes things difficult to navigate. Besides this, there aren’t any other issues that I came across.
I’d love to talk about each character in detail, but it really would give a lot away regarding the story…and believe me, you have to see it and not hear about it from anyone else. Heavy Rain is an experience that you must do alone to be totally engaged in the plot. I’m a bit annoyed that this could be the last of these types of games from Quantic Dream as I loved Fahrenheit and Heavy Rain, but would kill for more. It’s just a gripping game from start to finish and one that can be replayed over and over for multiple endings.
The game looks amazing and the character models are perhaps the best I’ve seen in a videogame, period. Facial animation is stunning and combined with great voice-acting, each performance is truly believable. The music is also superb and dramatic, matching the great moments of the game. There is no slowdown in framerate at all, but load times can be long and the install time takes a while.
Heavy Rain is one of the most engrossing games that I’ve played on the PS3 since MGS 4 in terms of story. I was gripped from the start and had to see it through to the end to discover the killer and the fates of the characters I’ve played as. I was amazed with the end result as I’m sure you will be and this is one experience that you should not deny yourself.