Heavy Rain is a game unlike any other, if it can even be called a game. It does so many unusual things and follows a narrative that is found in the likes of a film more so than any game, so it is unusual, to say the least. However, what it does do, it does incredibly well.
The story here focuses on four main characters, each tracking down the mysterious Origami Killer who has been responsible for the deaths of several kids and has left a calling card, an origami figure, on each body. All four characters have their own reasons for wanting to track down the killer, and soon enough, you find yourself caring about each and every one of them.
The story has many twists and turns, and although the outcome of all of these events may change completely based on your actions and your decisions, the killer’s identity remains the same in every game. This big reveal will surprise most people, and the story in general will keep you hooked from beginning to end.
This game is technically very impressive. Although there were some occasional clipping issues and a few glitches, the game is being patched, and even so, those problems do not ruin the game’s incredible atmosphere. The voice acting is fantastic at times, and pretty awful at others. Overall, it is great, but some of the actors (mainly the kids) are just plain bad. And finally, there is the excellent musical score, which completes the cinematic experience.
The controls are one of the most important elements of a game like this, and they are generally great, but sometimes problematic. When it comes down to the quick time events that happen during the major action sequences, they work perfectly fine, but the walking controls (which require you to hold down R2 and use the left analog stick to direct which direction the character walks in) are a bit odd. On the whole, they are fine, and the game uses the Sixaxis controls better than most games.
Heavy Rain is full of plenty of intense action sequences that will have you on the edge of your seat the entire time. These sequences, like a section early on where you are driving into oncoming traffic, are well executed and make you feel like you really are in that situation. This game does a fantastic job of making you feel like you are doing all of the actions, with button prompts that appear near where the main action is taking place, and how they simulate the real action.
Fair warning though, this game does start out incredibly slow. I understand why the developers went this way, it gives gamers an opportunity to not only try out the controls, but also to introduce us to the story and characters more properly. Once you get past the first hour, things will really begin to pick up, and it becomes quite hard to put down.
Heavy Rain is trying to be more than a game, and according to the developers, it fits the role of an “interactive drama.” In this regard, we have a game that relies entirely on quick time events and scripted sequences, but also a game that can have a completely different outcome depending on how you play it. Heavy Rain is an adventure every gamer should experience, and one that will not be forgotten for quite some time.
Pros: Truly enjoyable story from start to finish; great cast of characters; innovative uses of the Sixaxis controls; some incredibly intense gameplay segments; high replayability
Cons: Some control issues; some spotty voice acting; occasional clipping issue and glitch