Heavy Rain

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Heavy Rain was an interesting experience to play through, basically amounting to a 7 hour long quick-time-event with some clumsy animation-driven movement tacked in between. By no means am I going to hold the sparse gameplay elements or the inclination to always put the presentation first against it as that was never the point of it, but then again it’s hard to hold it against any standard but it’s own. Which is remarkable in itself, I suppose, and for what it is it does a fairly good job of feeling meaningful.

Heavy Rain brings to light the conundrum of optional paths and player choice, in more than one way. The story does branch depending on the outcomes of certain events, but very seldom are there any hard choices to be made for the player. Sometimes there is no choice, just a reflex-based challenge that you will have to overcome and the times where you as a player actually has to make a decision the morality of the character more or less answers the question for you. Gameplay-wise, the only difference are one selection of QTEs or the other so you are only really deciding how you want the story to play out, and with such a heavy characterization the game always nudges you in one direction.

It’s a tricky argument. With more gameplay and less characterization, choices might’ve felt heavier and sent ripples throughout the game in a scale closer to Mass Effect – but on the other hand, the story and presentation would’ve had to be simpler and probably not as interesting in themselves, so I you can’t really fault Quantic Dreams for making the game they set out to do. I once had a discussion with an actor that thought we needed more games presented in the same manner as movies, I doubt this is what he was going for but if I brought anything from that discussion it is that there is room in the world for niche games.

1 Comment so far

  1. Johan on April 20th, 2010

    I have only played the demo of Heavy Rain and I did not feel compelled to buy the game and continue the everyday adventure. However, for the good of the game industry, I would like to see more of these kind of games aimed for an adult audience. Right now, if a game is marketed as “for adults” it often just means ultra violence, which is just sad. More everyday adventure games to the people! 🙂

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Posted on Apr 19/10 by Saint and filed under Reflections | 1 Comment »