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I love the game, and I personally don't think it's that bad, but I've heard from various places that the story is broken, badly written, and the characters poorly developed or so.
Is this really the case with the game? What do you think? Is it because of the various plot holes? It would be a shame that the one developer, David Cage, who wants to make a unique game, is actually an untalented writer.
I ask you all whether the game is or not because I've yet to really determine what defines bad writing. I can identify terrible writing, but if this game truly is considered poorly written, then I'm not so sure what makes bad writing, let alone good writing.
Please let me know what you think. Is Heavy Rain's narrative just poorly crafted? If so, why? If not, why not?
Bad is a strong word. I'd say, poorly written. Mostly, it's the weird Voice acting that weighs it down... this is because Cage reused the French cast for the English dub and most weren't as good outside their native language.
Personally, I respect Heavy Rain far more as a technical and design accomplishment, than any kind of literary one.
But, if you want to see terrible writing... hoo boy, try David Cage's earlier game, Indigo Prohecy. Yes, Mr. Cage may be one of the worst writers ever.
I really liked Heavy Rain's story. While there are a few convoluted side plots, and questionable characterization in regards to a few characters, I have to say that those issues are in the minority when you weigh it as a whole. You've definitely got to experience the game for yourself if you truly want to have a solid opinion on it.
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Oh boy is this topic poorly timed. Let me just say Mr. Corbeil's work was great, and I'm sad he died.
I played the game, and I personally don't think it's that bad. I just want to know why someone would think otherwise.
Gameplay-wise I loved Heavy Rain. In my opinion it was very unique and innovative, and I had a lot of fun playing the game. That said, the story was rather weak and contained many plot holes and/or inconsistencies. It wasn't enough to make me not like the game however.
The story is somewhat unrealistic. You would have to be having a very bad day to be getting in the trouble all the characters get in to. The voice acting didn't help it either. The game was enjoyable overall, and I did feel something for a few of the characters. I think that the characters needed to be developed a little more, mainly the children. How could I feel anything for them when I didn't really do anything to learn about them. That's my gripes with the game.
"Jay-sun" That was a bit weird to hear during gameplay.
The story is somewhat unrealistic. You would have to be having a very bad day to be getting in the trouble all the characters get in to. The voice acting didn't help it either. The game was enjoyable overall, and I did feel something for a few of the characters.
I think that the characters needed to be developed a little more, mainly the children. How could I feel anything for them when I didn't really do anything to learn about them. That's my gripes with the game.
I wouldn't say Heavy Rain was badly written. I may not be a skilled writer to judge him, but by playing the game I say he has a great creative mind. To create the puzzles in the game, the non stop thrill and the drama in it, I'd say he's pretty talented. But just like I always say, everyone has their own opinion and I respect that... But I say he's a good writer.
Poorly written? I don't know how to answer that. The story, for the most part, was great. It was only when you hit the ending do you realize that everything you've been working towards was a lie. I'd say a rule of story writing is to never out right LIE to your audience with crutial plot related information.
(I just wish they would have explained why Sean's dad had the oragami figure in the rain in the begining. I get that it was a red herring but it's also illogical to the story.)
Poorly written, is somewhat of a loose term. As a writer, I can definitely attest to any "headaches" the game writers may have had when merging the player's many, and often various, in-game decisions. After writing so many branching dialogue paths, it can seem overwhelming, and not confronting the players with the ramifications of their in-game directives, can sometimes seem as though the writer was asleep at the wheel. Speaking strictly about the story, I think that Heavy Rain was cleverly written; it imbues a sense of thrill and mystery that many titles of that genre fail to do.
i wouldn't say that it was bad. but just poor in terms of other things besides the acting.
One of my favorite games on my top 10 for sure.. I would just say poor acting was the result of any negative reviews on the game itself. But there are alot of games out there with bad acting but still seem to keep my attention towards them. Sometimes you just got to look past the bad to see the good
I've played Heavy Rain; borrowed it from a friend because I was a little unsure about how good it would be. By the time I was done, I was glad I'd opted out of buying it.
The characterization of the two main characters and much of the minor cast is extremely weak, not just because of the robotic voice acting (I'm not blaming the French actors, but the decision to have them in the English dub was just idiotic), but because of how utterly unlikable at best and mind numbingly stupid they are at worse. How was I supposed to feel sorry for Jason at ALL when he repeatedly ran away from a father who WARNED him to stay close, decided to walk halfway across a mall, downstairs, and into a street during rush hour? Or better yet, why should I feel sorry for Ethan's wife, the woman who got HIS house and hates his guts for... the crime of trying and failing to save a brain dead child that wouldn't listen to his repeated shouts to stop?
And then there's Madison, the female protagonist whose first scene is almost an hour into the story, and consists of nothing but her taking a shower, then having a nightmare that results in her "death". You could say that it introduces her crippling insomnia, but when said insomnia NEVER reappears again, I'm inclined to insist that the scene could have been done away with without any negative impact on the story whatsoever. It's simply a plot device introduced to get her to check into a motel where Ethan is conveniently staying, where her next chapter consists of... treating an injured Ethan's wounds, because the only female character has to have a scene devoted to taking care of the male protagonist, naturally. Oh but wait, then she gets another scene where she does detective work!
...Detective work which results in her being tied to table by a mad doctor because she either accepted a drink from a strange, old ex-doctor with a reputation for selling drugs, or from sneaking around his house... while he's inside it. Next scene, she's yet again tending to Ethan. Scene after that. she's doing more detective work that ends up getting her forced to do a strip tease at gun point, next scene, trapped in an apartment that gives you the Indiana Jones fridge scene. Final scene, she contributes to the final battle by nearly getting choked, then running away until she's saved. Alternatively, she does an overly complicated motorcycle chase to... see Ethan.
Basically, Madison is probably the most shallow of all the characters. She's introduced in peril that fits the definition of "kinky peril" to a tee, conveniently meets the hero, goes off to get in more kinky peril, returns to suddenly fall in love with a hero she met once after saving him (because she knew where he was, for some reason), goes off to get in MORE PERIL, then makes it to the final scene to play a supporting role to the rest of the cast. Her insomnia is introduced and forgotten, and at the end of the game, she's either dead, married, single with allusions to more peril (likely kinky), or insane. Fantastic writing, natch. -_-
I'd go on about how the game's police force would have an investigation in less than a week for the blatantly obvious abuse of power that occurs daily, how the plot "twist" on who the villain really is impossible to take seriously due to the gameplay presented and a scene that hid nothing prior to its inclusion in the reveal, or how much I think David Cage is a hack writer, but that'd be an entirely different paragraph. This was just my take on the characters.
So in short, I didn't like Heavy Rain, and I think it had an extremely poor narrative, at least in regards to the characters that carry it.
As someone said, sometimes you need to look past the bad to see the good.
The way in which the narrative is told is fantastic (Some people think quick time events are a pain, but this game makes fantastic use of them). Some of the holes can probably be debunked. And it's especially emotionally resonant, something you'd expect from the highest works of art. I'm not dismissing some of the things you said, and you wouldn't think the game is art because of what you said, but you shouldn't let these things stop you. At least you can feel the characters' pain. And at least David Cage is trying to do something different.
I hear Beyond: Two Souls will be an improvement in terms of performances, and probably characterization. Hopefully it will be in the writing and narrative department as well.