There are very few video games that I can honestly say are “unique”, but todays game Heavy Rain does fit the build. I can honestly say after playing through the entire game that I have never had an experience like what I had with Heavy Rain before, and this is coming from a seasoned veteran of the industry. So does Quantum Dream the developers of Heavy Rain have a real gem or is this one of those games that has an interesting concept that wears thin? Read our full review to find out.
To say that Heavy Rain is story driven is like saying that Modern Warfare 2 was a first person shooter, its really the crust of the experience. So I am going to keep the story element of the review broad so that if you are going to play Heavy Rain then you can experience it first hand the way it was intended. I will however say that the game follows a few different characters on the hunt to find a serial killer. Anything deeper into the story would pretty much spoil it so I will leave it at that. I will say that the story itself needed to be and succeeded in being a great story.
So what is Heavy Rain? It has elements that feel like a point and click adventure but its much more interactive then those types of games. The controls at times are like quick time events where you have to follow a bunch of on screen combinations and other times it just doing different motions with the analog stick. The game prides itself on keeping you as an integral part of the experience. By now you have probably heard but there are even times where you help your character go through his morning routine. It is quite an immersive experience and as mentioned before its very different then any other game I have played.
Some of my favorite experiences in the game are the hand to hand combat which is dependent on how well your button matching is. I will say that the game doesn’t let you retry anything so if you go on a bad run that will have an impact on the story. The game more then many other action titles makes you feel a real part in the action without having as much interaction. It is a weird dynamic but if you give it time I think it will really succeed in its objective of immersion.
There are times where I felt Heavy Rain was a bit heavy handed but even with those times included this is an amazingly original and refreshing experience. The story is not one that would compete for an Academy Award but its well rounded enough and contains enough twists and turns to keep you guessing until the end. I have to say that I came in a bit skeptical but finished the game looking forward to seeing what else Quantum Dreams can pull out of their sleeves.
At first glance Heavy Rain is a drop dead gorgeous game and does a great job of showing off the Playstation 3’s hardware. I will say that at times you can see some weird animations or textures that are lacking detail but these are all very small and not all that detrimental to the overall experience. This is a very dark and grainy visual experience and it goes right along with the mood and flow of the game. I think more then high polygons the environment that Heavy Rain presents really is a strong player in the overall experience.
I would not be doing my job if I did not mention that Heavy Rain has a rather difficult control scheme to get used to. In fact one of my biggest quandaries with the game is the fact that it makes movement far more complicated then it needs to be. There is just no excuse for the frustration that ensues because of the movement controls. Outside of that Heavy Rain is one of the more enjoyable experiences that I have played so far in 2010.
In the day and age where every other game is a first person shooter, Heavy Rain comes to us with a fresh and original experience that is really unlike any other game on the market today. It is not perfect but its originality to me makes it a must have for any Playstation 3 owner.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.