The lights are on
am, and always will be, a fan of a game that lets the player choose. After all,
my favorite game of all time is the original Mass Effect. But Quantic Dream
injects some fresh and innovative details into the foray in Heavy Rain. I've
heard about similarities between Heavy Rain's and Indigo Prophecy's gameplay (I
haven't played Indigo Prophecy yet but I am looking for it now), so please
don't judge if I happen to state something is "new" or
"fresh" yet it was in Indigo Prophecy.
bought this game for the PS3 and beat it within four days. It wasn't a lack of
gameplay that made it so short, it was the inability to pry my hands of the
Dualshock 3 controller. The story was fantastic; it would be an understatement
if I said the game only threw me for a loop a couple of times. Like you have
probably guessed due to my comments earlier about games with the ability to
choose, yes Heavy Rain is one of these.
get this relaxing feeling once the game begins. This feeling is due, in part,
to the music (fantastic, by the way) and the camera angles of Ethan Mars
sleeping. The game then wakes Ethan, and gives you prompts to move around and
get a feel of the controls. Examples of this are sliding R3 to the right to
open a glass door out to a balcony, or pressing a certain button at a certain
time to successfully juggle three tennis balls in the boys bedroom. It all
seems very peaceful, and you almost feel jealous for Ethan as you see him play
with his kids outside (which of course, you control), as your wife prepares for
Jason's (Jason and Shaun are your kids) 10th birthday party.
you go to the mall. Your wife asks you to hang on to Jason while she takes
Shaun to look for some shoes. And boy, had I been Ethan, I really would have
tanned Jason's hide for running off from me in such a large crowd. Ethan
however buys Jason a red balloon from a clown. While paying the clown, Jason
decides to run off again. The only thing you know to look for is the red
balloon. You scare the hell out of your wife when you tell her that Jason is
lost, and look all over the store for him. You end up running outside the store
when you see Jason across the street. You yell at him, and Jason runs across
the street in front of a car. Ethan sees what is about to happen and tries to
save Jason by jumping out to tackle him out of the cars path. The screen goes
black. And when the screen comes back, the red balloon is rising up into the
bleak, overcast sky.
sets the stage for the story to come.
Rain puts you in the shoes of four strangers. One of which, is Ethan. When
Heavy Rain takes place two years after the mall incident, it is revealed that
Jason died, Ethan was in a coma for numerous months, and that Ethan and his
wife are now separated with joint-custody over Shaun. Another character named
Norman Jayden, is an FBI agent assigned to the case of the Origami Killer (a
serial killer who is named so due to the fact he leaves an origami figure in
each of the victim's hand). There isn't much background on Jayden, but he does
have a pair of wicked shades that can point out undiscovered evidence. Next we
have Madison Paige. At first, she appears to be just a Good Samaritan, but it
turns out it was set up and is a journalist covering the Origami Killer. And
last but not least, Scott Shelby. Scott is a private-eye hired by the families
of the victims of the Origami Killer to investigate the killings.
to the coma Ethan was in after Jason's death, Ethan has 'blackouts' where he
winds up in a random place, with no recollection of the past hours. One of
these episodes unfortunately happens while he is at the park with Shaun. He
comes finally comes out of the episode, he goes back to the park, with Shaun
nowhere to be found. Over the next few days, Shaun is reported missing, and is
supposed to have been abducted by the Origami Killer. This incident pulls these
four strangers together in a race against time to find Shaun before he becomes
the next victim.
game is a must-have for the Playstation 3, with or without Move (I personally
don't have Move so I used my controller). Quick-time events are common
throughout the game, and are at first difficult to do correctly. Once you get
further into the game, your reaction time and precision seem to get better, and
by the end of the game it's like a second nature. However, screwing up at the
wrong time can be a pain in the ass, as it resulted with one of my character's
deaths (and a NPC's death, as well).
I've heard nothing but critical acclaim for Indigo Prophecy (or Fahrenheit, whichever name you want to call it), and now I understand why. If Quantic Dream had only put a third of the work from Heavy Rain into Indigo Prophecy, it would still be fantastic. With Heavy Rain, Quantic Dream has weaved a masterpiece of such stature, that it will be hard for any other games Quantic Dream develops to live up to it. I am stunned by how amazing this game was, no matter if you are talking about soundtrack, gameplay, graphics, or narrative.
You've got a lot to live up to, Quantic Dream. I'm looking forward to Beyond: Two Souls
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