Sunday Thoughts: 21/02/10

This week sees the official release of the PS3’s most hyped title yet. I remember when, at various trade shows years ago the game was hidden behind closed doors, locked away from public eyes and embargoed for months, which only served to build up anticipation to feverish levels the likes of which we’ve never seen before.

Every scrap of new information hit the internet like wildfire, everyone wanted to know what the game was about and the screenshots – mostly at that stage of faces – looked good enough to eat.  Of course, a lot of this was pure marketing: Sony carefully manipulating the trickle of information to ramp up the demand.

But it might not have been.  Perhaps Heavy Rain is that rare breed of videogame – the one that’s so different, so unique that everyone wants a piece of it regardless of how the game actually turned out.  Sure, I wasn’t over the moon with Heavy Rain when I reviewed it, but I can certainly see why it’s such a wanted game.

Is it because it’s so different, perhaps?  It’s true, there’s nothing out there like Heavy Rain and, given the development time (and presumed budged) there won’t be another for some time, but is it really as powerful an experience as the hype over the last couple of years would have you believe?  Maybe, but that’s not important.

What is important is the direction David Cage attempted to take console gaming.  He may have stumbled with the plot (and clearly had some issues with controls) but Heavy Rain is, for its sins, a tale worth telling.  It’s sometimes smart, occasionally sophisticated and frequently adult, unlike 99% of games out there.

So, regardless of what I think of the game, will you buy buying Heavy Rain?  If so, I’m curious as to why – is it the often breathtaking visuals that entice you in, the fresh, unique gameplay or the opportunity to simply be part of something rather special as this once in a lifetime game drops at our collective feet?