Heavy Rain (PS3) Review

Indigo Prophecy

For the long line of games for the Playstation 3 games coming out with things starting off with “Heavy Rain” ! For the past few weeks I have been playing this game addictived in high doses and playing for hours in one setting. It is just so amazing, I’ve never really experienced a cinematic thrilling game like this! French developers “Quantic Dream” has done an amazing job and I give them props for making such a great game. You may know Quantic Dream if you played titles like “Indigo Prophecy” on PC, PS2 and Xbox which Heavy Rain has a similar concept and style of play. Indigo Prophecy and Omikron (Nomad Souls on Dreamcast) were good games but always arriving late on generation line. Which gets over run by newer games and people put more focus on that, I’m glad they manage to release Heavy Rain at a good time where they finally get some recognition and honor. This review may contain minor beginning spoilers.

[Story]: The story starts out peacefully for Ethan Mars a loving father with two sons and a wife. Happily living in solemn peaceful life as an architect. His life changes forever since his first son dies and his life splits apart in to poverty and despair. With only one son he fears his past and hope not to lose him again till one fateful day he went missing, to the hands of the “Origami Killer”. The Origami Killings has been going out throughout the world of Heavy Rain as brutal murders happening to many children left dead with markings and an only trace of an Origami figure on one hand. That is the only trace of the killer. Ethan isn’t the only character you control through the game there is other protagonists that follow through the story with their own bio and role in the mystery. As you can control worried father, beautiful insomniac journalist Madison, Private eye detective Scott Shelby and a FBI agent Norman Jayden. As they play out their roles it all intertwines slowly together but each time you play the game it is different for everyone. Base on decisions you make how the story turns out. So there is multiple replay values in finding out the Origami Killer case.

[Graphics]: As I put up some screenshots of the game, you can see how fascinating the settings are and how flourescent. Everything you see in the game is in game graphics and not different from the cutscenes. The whole images and visuals is all there and it is truly amazing. I just feel deeply lost in Heavy Rain’s atmosphere. The world feel like it is full of life when walking through a crowded area and every npc feels different and full of everyday motion. You can be running through the rain and you can see how nature interacts with environment as your character clothes get darken and wet. The Nature, physics, architect and art is just so magnificent! Even the character models are by far one of the greatest I ever seen in game. The engine gives them very human tones such as blush, skin tone, sweat and moisture. It just makes them so real and you watch your characters give emotion as near real as it can get. The game runs very smoothly and perfectly, not many tears or frame drops.

[Gameplay]: Heavy Rain is a chapter leveled linear game, it isn’t open world or back trackable. You have actions you can do with objects around you by pressing the corresponding buttons on the screen. Using playstation six axis motion, the game can sense pressure and movements to make the game feel a little bit more innovative and interactive. Which is kind of unique but sounds like something that would fit more on the Wii’s motion or the upcoming playstation Move technology. Yet the Playstation 3 is a fitting platform for the title with it’s amazing power and six axis in my opinion. Each chapter you play as a different character with their thoughts that can help guide you or give hints in each setting, communication options and etc. To make this gaming experience your own unique play through which makes replaying a whole different perspective you play it.

[Sound]: Heavy Rain presents to you a very rich sounding experience. With emotional music that fits every piece with music composed by “Norman Corbeil” and other musicians. The American version of the game presents you different language options from English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. Although you may be hearing people opinions about how the english sucks and how things are pronounced funny. Well to be fair I think they are over exaggerating a bit, yeah the game didn’t have support for American Voice actors but done it splendidly with French and British voice actors on the scene. You may hear a leak of British and French accents but the voice is by far really great, better than most games that use Americans voice actors itself.

Heavy Rain is an unique new experience on the PS3 that invents it own style and story told like none before. It’s a game that shouldn’t be passed and at least tried once. Those new to the noirish mystery genre it may be a rent but those who love rich story it’s a buy in my say.

*Reviewed on March, 24, 2010*

– Richard