Quanticdream's Heavy Rain breaks the mold on storytelling in video games. It blends a beautiful mixture of intense action, dramatic scenes, and interactive cinematography and weaves a beautiful web as it tells it's story of love, fear, and deception. There are few games out there like Heavy Rain, and I'm very glad I didn't miss it.

Heavy Rain can barely be considered a video game. It's played out in scenes rather than levels, and it's not possible to prompt a game over screen, nor will you ever "win". Whether you fail, or succeed in a scene; the story will move on. Your choices, or mistakes will fork off into other scenes and affect the story in ways you won't realize. Each decision sends a ripple through the pool that is Heavy Rain's narrative and character development. You can play through a second time, and do one thing differently, and it could change how the rest of the game plays out.

Within scenes you'll be given control of the character to walk around and interact with the environment. When you're not in direct control of the character, you're in a quick time event. QTE's are how the action is carried out throughout the scenes. That may not sound intriguing at first- just pressing a button to pull off actions- but when you feel the emotional strain of each decision and the thought of the consequences to that decision, it's as powerful as the most epic boss battle.

That's what makes Heavy Rain such an intense and thrilling experience. Knowing I wouldn't have a second chance brought a feeling of insecurity and fear when I was in a scuffle, trying to escape from a life threatening situation, or making a decision that determines the life or death of your son. Going back and reloading a scene after something doesn't go the way you wanted it to, will ruin the experience. For the full experience, you need to accept the consequences and let the story move on.

You play as 4 different protagonists, each linked to the Origami Killer. A murderer who has kidnapped the son of one of the protagonists. Each character has their own agenda, and sometimes they'll conflict with each other depending on your actions. Storytelling has never been so well done in a game before, though some side-plots seem to disappear, and there are some points I wish were explored more. It feels like a tangled mess at some points, but it all comes together in the end, and all that tangled mess becomes a picture that makes sense of everything.

But Heavy Rain isn't about the action, it's about the narrative and character development. Your choices mold the story and characters into what their final form is at the end of game. It's not a case of winning or losing, it's about watching the story unfold through your actions. It's not a perfect game, (walking around was stiff sometimes, and as I said some side-plots were never explained) but I doubt a game will ever evoke panic, fear, and anxiety out of me in such a real way like Heavy Rain did.