When a game is released with as much hype as Heavy Rain, I get a sinking Single Wire Fabric in my stomach. How many times previously have we been told this is the greatest game ever created, only to abandon it after 15 minutes of game play due to that felling of same old same old? I have to say before I go any further that no, Heavy Rain isn`t the greatest game ever to hit the shelves, but for a riotous and addictive assault on your senses, it comes pretty close.Unless you`ve been on vacation to Mars recently, you can`t have failed to miss the marketing campaign.
In turn, you should already know that the story revolves around a quartet of protagonists who are fighting to first track down and ultimately capture a serial killer known by the pseudonym the Origami killer. A simple premise indeed, but greatly improved by the way the story is told in an unapologetically adult manner. By adult I don`t mean graphic sex and violence, I mean that it respects the player and doesn`t patronize as so many of these types of game invariably do. You actually feel empathy with the characters as you explore their psyche, this gives a much more rewarding experience than other RPG games do.Something that could have been made better is the non-traditional way that you interact with the setting. The buttons and sticks for the various commands are cumbersome at best, and although they don`t spoil the game play, they do get frustrating at times. The biggest downfall is the when you are trying to control the movements of your characters, there isn`t a direct link and seems to be more of a half hearted attempt. One thing I would strongly advise is to play Heavy Rain via a Dualshock3 controller. Not since Metal Gear Solid has the rumble feature been used to such great effect.In spite of myself, I found myself really beginning to care for these protagonists and became desperate for them to succeed in their quest. There is a very real possibility of any of these characters dying, with further adds to the already nerve jangling tension.
My heart rate was frequently raised, and I don`t mean by way of a cheap shock like something jumping through a window, this was through very cleverly created rising tension which I`ll admit had my hands shaking on more than one occasion. There is a bleak frankness in the way that Heavy Rain portrays suffering, pain and death, and there are occasions where you can find yourself in a situation where either outcome can have horrific consequences.I`ve spoken to many others about their experiences playing Heavy Rain, and no two have been the same. My advice is when you go to play for the first time, don`t cheat yourself.
You are taken straight to the beginning when you load the game, not to the main menu. Miss out the chapter select screen completely and go with the flow.Although Heavy Rain is shorter than other multi-disc, so called epics, there is more than enough content to compensate and to be honest I think the experience would have been diminished by lengthening it. I give this game 9.8/10. You can guess where it lost points, yep, the controls. It`s unlikely that this game will make you cry, like the designers would have us believe, you will finish this game pretty close to a nervous wreck.