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'[GAME] Heavy Rain - Move Edition - PS3 Review'

This thread has been linked to the game 'Heavy Rain'.
Fri 09/08/13 at 18:56:
Regular
"Braaains"
Posts: 436
The term 'interactive movie' has been banded about a lot, and used to crop up quite a bit when cd-rom games were first being released. An 'interactive movie' game would typically be a title where you watched the action unfold, only occasionally pressing a key to initiate a particular action. Thankfully, things have come a long way since then, and Heavy Rain, though still very much an 'interactive movie', actually gives you a decent level of control over the action. It also happens to be one of the most emotionally involving games out there, rather like The Walking Dead or The Last Of Us in that it gives you characters you actually care about.

However, while those games had you playing as one or occasionally two characters, Heavy Rain has you playing as a total of four characters, with the action flipping between each one. There's Ethan, Madison, Jaden and Scott, each of whom ends up being involved for the hunt for the 'Origami Killer', for various reasons. The Origami Killer kidnaps children and sets their parents 'Saw' like challenges that they must follow in order to save them. I won't give too much of the story away, but they're all fairly believable characters, my personal favourite being Scott, a PI who has been employed to find the killer. Why is he my favourite? Probably because as unlikely a player character as you're likely to see - he's fairly overweigh, has asthma, yet he's totally dedicated to his job and can be a bad-ass at times.

Like The Walking Dead, Heavy Rain's story is pretty linear - you do get to make gameplay decisions, but quite often than not these lead to the same outcome. The few exceptions involve character death - it's possible for the characters to die, in which case the story continues without them, often leading to you getting one of the bad endings. The graphics are also excellent, as are the character animations. However this, in itself, presents a problem.

One of the reasons the action sequences and animations are so good is that they're largely scripted, so that you're not really in control. For example, at one point in the game, you're being pursued by a bad guy who wants to kill you. Now, in any other game, you'd run through the location by using the joypad to control the characters movements, perhaps hiding since you don't have a weapon. However, in Heavy Rain, the escape sequence unfolds automatically. So instead of controlling the character, you have to move the joypad or press a button before the prompt disappears in order to avoid the bad guy. Then you rinse and repeat this till the sequence is over. It does make you feel less in control of the action than you would otherwise be.

Fortunately, the game's not all like that - you do get to move your characters around the various locations. There's also a neat mechanic whereby you can press a button to hear what a character's thinking, which can give you close. The game is split into chapters, each chapter taking place at once location so it's unlikely you'll get lost. You do also get to make some moral decisions - whether you help out a prostitute who's being beaten by her client, for example, or just wander off. And the story is pretty compelling too. Rather cleverly, the game starts off fairly mundanely, and has you doing mundane tasks like brushing your teeth, before things ramp up and you've got bigger issues to deal with.

However, there are a couple of problems I have with the game, one gameplay related, one story related. Firstly, the button pressing is also applied to mundane actions like making an omlette. This new move edition does let you use the move controller but you're still not mimicking the action on screen - so you end up having to move the move controller in a semi-circle to copy an action that in no way involves moving your hands in a semi circle. This does grate occasionally. But I can live with this, odd as it is. What genuinely annoyed me was the game's big plot twist, which took me right out of the game. It involved a character acting in a completely uncharacteristic manner. Unfortunately, I can't say more without spoiling the game.

Heavy Rain is not a game to play if you're into shooters and, yes, it does give you slightly less control over your characters than you might otherwise have. But it does tell a great story and is one of the more unique games available for the PS3. And now you get it for under fifteen quid, it deserves a place in your collection, and at the very least, a rental.

Score: 7 out of 10.
Pros:
The graphics are great.
It's got an excellent storyline.

Cons:
You don't have total control over the action.
The big plot twist is slightly odd.
There have been no replies to this thread yet.
Fri 09/08/13 at 18:56:
Regular
"Braaains"
Posts: 436
The term 'interactive movie' has been banded about a lot, and used to crop up quite a bit when cd-rom games were first being released. An 'interactive movie' game would typically be a title where you watched the action unfold, only occasionally pressing a key to initiate a particular action. Thankfully, things have come a long way since then, and Heavy Rain, though still very much an 'interactive movie', actually gives you a decent level of control over the action. It also happens to be one of the most emotionally involving games out there, rather like The Walking Dead or The Last Of Us in that it gives you characters you actually care about.

However, while those games had you playing as one or occasionally two characters, Heavy Rain has you playing as a total of four characters, with the action flipping between each one. There's Ethan, Madison, Jaden and Scott, each of whom ends up being involved for the hunt for the 'Origami Killer', for various reasons. The Origami Killer kidnaps children and sets their parents 'Saw' like challenges that they must follow in order to save them. I won't give too much of the story away, but they're all fairly believable characters, my personal favourite being Scott, a PI who has been employed to find the killer. Why is he my favourite? Probably because as unlikely a player character as you're likely to see - he's fairly overweigh, has asthma, yet he's totally dedicated to his job and can be a bad-ass at times.

Like The Walking Dead, Heavy Rain's story is pretty linear - you do get to make gameplay decisions, but quite often than not these lead to the same outcome. The few exceptions involve character death - it's possible for the characters to die, in which case the story continues without them, often leading to you getting one of the bad endings. The graphics are also excellent, as are the character animations. However this, in itself, presents a problem.

One of the reasons the action sequences and animations are so good is that they're largely scripted, so that you're not really in control. For example, at one point in the game, you're being pursued by a bad guy who wants to kill you. Now, in any other game, you'd run through the location by using the joypad to control the characters movements, perhaps hiding since you don't have a weapon. However, in Heavy Rain, the escape sequence unfolds automatically. So instead of controlling the character, you have to move the joypad or press a button before the prompt disappears in order to avoid the bad guy. Then you rinse and repeat this till the sequence is over. It does make you feel less in control of the action than you would otherwise be.

Fortunately, the game's not all like that - you do get to move your characters around the various locations. There's also a neat mechanic whereby you can press a button to hear what a character's thinking, which can give you close. The game is split into chapters, each chapter taking place at once location so it's unlikely you'll get lost. You do also get to make some moral decisions - whether you help out a prostitute who's being beaten by her client, for example, or just wander off. And the story is pretty compelling too. Rather cleverly, the game starts off fairly mundanely, and has you doing mundane tasks like brushing your teeth, before things ramp up and you've got bigger issues to deal with.

However, there are a couple of problems I have with the game, one gameplay related, one story related. Firstly, the button pressing is also applied to mundane actions like making an omlette. This new move edition does let you use the move controller but you're still not mimicking the action on screen - so you end up having to move the move controller in a semi-circle to copy an action that in no way involves moving your hands in a semi circle. This does grate occasionally. But I can live with this, odd as it is. What genuinely annoyed me was the game's big plot twist, which took me right out of the game. It involved a character acting in a completely uncharacteristic manner. Unfortunately, I can't say more without spoiling the game.

Heavy Rain is not a game to play if you're into shooters and, yes, it does give you slightly less control over your characters than you might otherwise have. But it does tell a great story and is one of the more unique games available for the PS3. And now you get it for under fifteen quid, it deserves a place in your collection, and at the very least, a rental.

Score: 7 out of 10.
Pros:
The graphics are great.
It's got an excellent storyline.

Cons:
You don't have total control over the action.
The big plot twist is slightly odd.

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