Heavy Rain is some heavy shit! You'll be forgiven for believing throughout that you are playing a slightly milder version of Saw and that Jigsaw may appear at any given point, adding to the already air of intensity that steadily builds throughout the game, climaxing in a plot twist that has certainly left me thinking WTF?
The main story kicks in two years after the opening of the game, where you are introduced to one of the protagonists, Ethan Mars. In the opening of the prologue Ethan is enjoying some family time which ends in tragic circumstances; a car accident that kills his eldest son and leaves him in a coma for six months. Fast forward two years, Ethan is left in a state of depression, suffering from blackouts and is racked with guilt as he blames himself for the death of his son. To make matters worse, there is a serial killer on the loose, the 'Origami Killer', who may of happened to kidnap Ethan's remaining son whilst Ethan is suffering another one of his blackouts. From here on in, you are introduced to the remaining three protagonists, of whom all are playable characters. Firstly, private detective Scott Shelby, conducting his own investigations into the case of the Origami Killer. Secondly, FBI profiler Norman Jayden who is supporting the Washington police force with their investigation and last but by no means least in terms of her impact on the storyline, photojournalist Madison Paige. Playing as one of the aforementioned characters at different points throughout, each will attempt to find out the identity of the Origami Killer, whilst battling with their own emotional issues that are hinted at and often revealed as you make your way towards a plot twisting and turning finale that will have you scratching your head long after the game has finished. I went to bed one night thinking that I had it sussed the next time that I played only to get back up and find that I was wrong.
Gameplay (Point and Click, Interactive Movie)
Developers Quantic Dream like to think of their games as interactive movies. True they do require a lot of interaction with deep plots that often have you on the edge of your seat wondering what is going on and what is going to happen next, but in all honesty they are modern day point and click games. You could call it an interactive drama or action adventure, whatever you please. To me it isn't doing much more than you would in the likes of Broken Sword and Disc World, except looking fantastically realistic, especially on PS4 and sounding a heck of a lot better, especially the voice acting. Heavy Rain plays heavily on building suspense and then shocking your system with thing's that you do not generally expect to find outside of a GTA title. There is sex, nudity, a lot of violence, bad language and acts of debauchery that open the eyes and the mouth (just check my video playthroughs and you'll see). Again though this isn't entirely new either. Quantic Dream have already made a similar game in Fahrenheit; the difference being that instead of snowing throughout it is now raining. Wow I didn't realise until writing how critical I feel of a game that gave me such enjoyment to play. Perhaps it is the fact that it's very movie like qualities leave you asking for more, ending just as quickly as most movies that are put out today or perhaps it is because it is nothing new, but entertaining, like watching the new Rocky film or yet another Terminator outing. I really did enjoy playing and completing the game though. So much so that it was a matter of hours before I decided to go back through with the idea of fine combing my way through a plot twist that had me saying no fucking way did he do it when it came to the end of my first outing. There is that and the fact that every action taken in game has a reaction with the potential to alter the game ending; a clever way of adding replay value as well as wanting to collect all of the trophies and bonuses. You will find yourself being tested as far as your hand eye coordination is concerned, being prompted to quickly press buttons or directions during some of the fast paced action scenes. Having to hold R2 to walk sometimes sends you around in circles, which can be a little annoying when you are attempting to move quickly, but apart from this the control system is simple enough to be used by just about anyone, whether new to the game or not. To sum it up, Heavy Rain is a game that could be enjoyed like a Sunday movie, for the next few Sunday's until you have seen all of the possible ending's; kind of like getting the director's cut version of your favourite film.
Heavy Rain scores a 7 out of 10
You will probably never forget the experience and at the same time probably not mention it often either. It is definitely worth a play though.
As always, feel free to comment below on your experience of playing this game or my review of it and link me @DanLumma on Twitter for instant updates about my gaming journey.
I am also saving videos on Ustream of my second Heavy Rain playthrough under the name of CarlosJuanWolf.