Well less of you got involved this week, but those of you who did were certainly feeling vocal about Heavy Rain. I don’t think we’ve had a week so far with so many long reviews – in fact Eldave0 managed to top a thousand words in his review, something that I wasn’t sure we’d see in WeView.
To kick things off it only seems appropriate to start with Origami Killer. I mean come on, where else can you start for Heavy Rain? So let’s start with how the game handles characters, something that Heavy Rain seems to pride itself on.
The characters in the game are not pointless uninteresting pixels on a screen but people, you can relate to them easily and feel the pain they go through in the game. This is what makes Heavy Rain, the ability to feel the emotion of the characters in the game. Without this the game wouldn’t be half what it is. The voice acting is quality and the actors chosen for the game are perfect.
Next up a note on how the game’s dynamic story works. This, to me, seemed to be one of the most interesting aspects of what Quantic Dream was trying to achieve with Heavy Rain. Yes, games have attempted multiple paths before but not to the extreme that Heavy Rain has attempted them.
Unfortunately, in KeRaSh’s opinion, the way the game ended didn’t actually reflect this flexibility.
The game also claimed that your actions decided the outcome of the game, which is true, but it was more limited than I expected.
Getting all the endings for the Platinum Trophy felt like watching a bunch of stitched together cut scenes that appear in a different order for every ending. Some endings having more short cut scenes than others depending on how many characters survived during your playthrough, some had a few different cut scenes thrown into the mix but the most interesting aspect of the game, the killer, was always a constant in your endings.
Of course, it’s nice to have a little disagreement sometimes, and although KeRaSh wasn’t impressed it seems that cam_manutd felt that the multiple endings actually added to the game, giving it more replay value. They also had a little to say about the game’s plot, something that we’ll touch on more in a moment.
There are twists and turns but without giving too much away, the story has an effect on the player. There is one particular moment that you self harm to further yourself in the plot. The nerves and reactions are shown terrifically here something untouched in the medium.
There are also multiple endings and ways to play out each section giving plenty of replay value while also being like the director of the game.
Next up, the plot. Now most of you said you loved it, but I think tom_lord summed it up absolutely fantastically.
One could describe Heavy Rain as a straight to dvd B-movie. This is a massive compliment. Anyone that dismisses this game because it’s not as good as a soap opera is way, waaay wide of the mark. You may think this is the case, but what some (and it’s a tiny minority) fail to understand that this is the first game ever to reach the lofty heights of storytelling that is at least comparable to other media platforms.
Add in to the equation the interaction with the tale and choosing which path to follow brings a new level of immersion into the gaming platform.
I think tom_lord is absolutely spot on. For a game to have a story that feels even close to other mediums is rare, when we talk about a game having a good story it’s normally when compared to other games. I wouldn’t say that Heavy Rain is quite the first, Uncharted and Assassin’s Creed may also be hitting close to the story telling in other mediums, but it’s certainly amongst the first crop that have stories which really feel meaningful.
It only seems fitting that I give the final word on Heavy Rain to Eldaveo, just for the sheer length of his review. Here’s their conclusion.
In summary, any gamers who love a solid story should absolutely check this out. Sure, there are a few plot holes in the game’s narrative but I didn’t notice these until the ending credits rolled and I sat down and really thought about it. During my first play through, it completely gripped me and kept me guessing throughout.
That, mixed with a solid collection of characters, means it easily stands as one of the best stories I have experienced in a video game. Add to this a basic, yet brilliant, control scheme and you have the formula for one of my favourite games of all time.
Onto your verdict. This week wasn’t even vaguely close, with only one Bargain Bin vote coming from teflon with justification that it’s where you’d find the game now. So with an overwhelming eleven out of twelve votes, Heavy Rain is officially rated as a Buy It by the TSA Community.
Finally, a quick note. I’ve been asking this on Twitter as well, but if you have any games you’d like covered in WeView then please drop me a note in the comments. We can’t pick everything but it would be useful to gauge interest for titles.