If it's crap ... We'll tell you
You make the choices. you live with the consequences. If you chose not to play Heavy Rain, you won't wanna see the consequences.
I reviewed a little game last October called Uncharted 2:Among Theives (you know one of the highest rated games of all time) for the Playstation 3. I started of the review with the same sentence I'm going to start this one. I don't usually review games, I don't consider myself the ultimate gamer, I just enjoy playing them. I'm more of a movie person, and that is the reason why I'm reviewing this game, it's aims. At that, it seems I'm saying that Uncharted 2 and Heavy Rain are very similar, which couldn't be further than the truth. These two games are poles apart.
Heavy Rain takes upon the idea, of what would you do to save someone you love. It takes this by think up of a 'se7en' type story about a strange symbolic murderer called The Origami Killer, who has been kidnapping children for 2 years and slowly drowning them in rain water. You play as 4 characters, main and most important one being Ethan Mars, a man who has been mentally broken since the lost of his first son, Jason. Who's other son Shaun has been kidnapped by the killer, and feels the only way to redemption is to go though five trails the killer left for him to prove his love. The other characters are Madison Page, a journalist (get it, page, journalist). Private Detective Scott Shelby, and FBI profiler Norman Jayden. Most these character's have something interesting to do thoughout the game, all have something unique to add, not just to this game, but to gaming all together. I can bet my life that you will do something you haven't ever done in a video-game before in this game, using each and everyone of these characters.
The game also does something no other game I've seen do, create tension. In any game you don't feel the danger. Whilst in Heavy Rain, due to the fact the characters in the game are in major danger 80% of the time, you feel like this is your one chance to get things right, if you mess it up, there's no going back. It becomes moulded into the story, and the game continues. If all characters die, short game.
Saying that, on my first playthrough, I roughly clocked up 11 hours. Which compared to modern standards is fairly long. With that in mind, it suffers from a filmogothical issue, pacing. The game takes an hour or two to actually get into momentum. It doesn't move anywhere in a hurry anytime soon. Especially with the prologue being quite a bore.
The gameplay has been accused of being a series of quick time events. Which, while it is. Still keeps a sense of excitement and interactivity, with most parts being very varied, using lots of different combinations. It also adds to characters, you feel more involved within the game, you feel the struggle the characters are within as you struggle to hold all 5 buttons at once, believe it or not, it's geniues. It's an added depth never quite looked into before in video games.
But one of the main attractions of Heavy Rain, is the narrative. It's a Psychological thriller, where you are the characters within it. The moral choices in it, which I can only compare to the karma system in Infamous. (God you must think I only play Playstation exclusives.) In Infamous, when you made the decisions, it was either your being bad or your being good, and with me playing though both stories, it seemed very scared of trying to split apart from the core storyline, so you winded up getting to story modes which were both practically the same, with no differences between the two, which was a major let down (still a good rent though). While this, you feel for the choices you have to make, you actually feel guilt work up. And you do get a sense that what you chose to do, affected the outcome. It also compels you, and rewards you when you succeed at the end, with most the game being dark and moody, you try your best to get the best possible outcome for your characters. With that being said, the actually writing has a couple of problems, i.e, plot holes, which never get filled up, and a few inconsistencies. Along with a few zany out of the ordinary moments that litter an otherwise fantastic experience.
If there's one thing that is major concern it's the graphics, they're not great, they're good, and the detail in the faces of people are great. However, environments and textures can come across looking bad, not always, but when your in a visual experience such as this one, where the visuals are compulsorily, then they do stick bright pink highlighter around the blemishes in the graphics.
Heavy Rain is ambitious, and anything ambitious deserves a bit of praise, granted it's not a game for everyone, you need patents. But what Heavy Rain is, is fresh, and new. You would be mad not to at least give it a try.
Heavy Rain earns a High Recommendation from me.