Heavy Rain Review
By N1NJ4_V4MP1R3


Basic Information:
Developer: Quantic Dream
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
North American Release Date: 23rd of Febuary, 2010.
European Release Date: 24th of Febuary, 2010.
Trophies: Yes, 50 4 2 1


Overview:
*This review will be TOTALLY spoiler free, so enjoy reading. Realism is one thing that many players look for in a game. Whether it be realism in the form of shooting a gun, climbing a building or driving a car, developers are increasingly attempting to include more and more elements of realism into modern videogames. Heavy Rain is a game that takes realism to an entirely different level, that no video game has yet reached, giving the player control of an interactive movie.

Created by French development studio Quantic Dreams and in the works for over 4 years, Heavy Rain offers a very unique form of gameplay, characters that you will soon grow to love and a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat for the entire game.


Gameplay:
The gameplay of Heavy Rain is something that may throw players off at first, as it is a very unique experience and can be quite slow paced in comparison to many action packed mainstream games. In Heavy Rain, the player takes control of four characters and chooses how each character progresses through the story-line. Using a 'quicktime event' (or 'QTE') style of gameplay, the characters are often pitted in very sticky situations where one wrong button can mean failing to catch that elusive bad-guy or even death. Being a quicktime game, players will be required to carefully watch each scene incase something unexpected happens such as a crazed man jumping out of a closet, or a spiderbaby falling from the ceiling.


The fight scenes in Heavy Rain are quick and exciting, especially knowing that many
of them can turn deadly at any second!

Although some may judge the gameplay as slow or uneventful, I would have to disagree. Character movement and actions are, for the most part, very realistic and honestly makes you feel like you are a part of the game/ story. You also may find out what your character is thinking throughout the game. This can help by giving you hints of what to do or where to go next, or it can just fill you in with what your character is feeling like at that moment. Both the movements of the characters and the ability to know what your character is thinking create a strong link between the player and the game itself.

Variety of gameplay is another one of Heavy Rain's strong points. Because you will be taking control of four different characters, each character is always doing something different. One moment you may be playing as the FBI Agent, searching for clues at a crime scene using CSI equipment, and the next minute, you might be playing as a journalist making coffee in her apartment. This element of the gameplay is very nice, as it keeps you interested, always bringing you into a new location.


Singleplayer:
The story of Heavy Rain revolves around a serial killer known as the 'Origami Killer.' The Origami Killer is a killer known for his distinctive style as a murderer, kidnapping and killing only young boys and drowning them in rainwater. The young boys will always appear in a stretch of wasteland a few days later, dead. Now the Origami Killer has kidnapped again and the search is on to find the young boy (Shaun Mars) before it is too late.


One of the most memorable and critical scenes
of Heavy Rain is situated in an ordinary grocery store.

Players take control of the four lead characters, all tied into the Origami Killer case in some way, and progress through the story in whatever fashion they see fit. Ultimately, the goal of the player is to find the Origami Killer and the location of Shaun Mars, piecing the information together that each character gathers. What is amazing about the singleplayer in Heavy Rain, is the fact that no matter how a certain scene plays out, the story will continue and alter from that point on. This basically gives the player full control of how they want the story to unfold, and although there may not be limitless options in each scene like there would be in real life, Quantic Dream have given us more than enough options to mold the story as we see it fit.

The story itself is very in-depth and interesting. It starts out on a very positive note, but as the story continues, it progressively gets more and more dark. Players can then choose to either continue and end the story on a dark note, or make everything turn out all peachy :] No matter what your mood is, you will enjoy the story as it is very well written.


Technical:
The technical side of Heavy Rain is amazing. With graphics that sometimes may trick you into think they are real, Heavy Rain is a real treat for the eyes. Character models are extremely lifelike and done brilliantly. Comparing the characters to their respective models speaks for itself. The environments throughout the game are beautiful at times and grimy/ depressing at others, but always set the correct mood for the scene. Some small insignificant items may look a little unrealistic at times and a little out of place from the amazing scenery, but to complain about that would be very pedantic as it is a minute matter.

It really is amazing how well they captured
the likeness of the actors, down to even the tiniest details.

The soundtrack just adds to the gameplay, working exactly like a real movie would, creating the mood perfectly in all situations and can be downloaded with the special edition of the game. The music is very nice to listen to even when you are not playing the game :]


Trophies:
The trophies of Heavy Rain are very well thought out. They demand you to get the most out of the game by viewing all of the different endings and playing through each scene differently. Although obtaining all endings may sound like a daunting task, getting all the trophies in Heavy Rain is a very achievable goal and will take you anywhere from 20-40 hours. In my opinion, if you enjoy Heavy Rain, you will find the trophies will come without any effort.


Gameplay: 8/10
A very unique style of gameplay that works extremely well but may not be for everyone.

Singleplayer: 9/10
A fantastic story-line that will keep you entertained the entire way through, with characters and places to love and hate.

Multiplayer: N/A

Technical: 9/10
One of the most amazingly graphical games of the moment with a soundtrack that only adds to the impact this game will inevitably create.


Overall: 8.8/10 Fantastic



Heavy Rain is a game that in my opinion, defines and creates a new amazing genre of gaming. Although I was taken with it immediately, I can certainly see how Heavy Rain may not have the same appeal to all players, as it may lack the action that some players seek for. Nevertheless, a brilliantly developed game that is a complete pleasure to play and watch. Heavy Rain in my opinion, has potential to be remembered as one of the PS3's greatest games.