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Customer Review of the Week: Heavy Rain


A lots been said about what Heavy Rain actually is. Is it a film? Is it a game? Is it perhaps the best toilet simulator in the world? Well none of these actually matter, as whatever it is, its an amazing experience. Watching about 90% of a game is a lot even for the most hardcore of Metal Gear Solid enthusiasts, but tolerate the constant stream of quick-time events and youve got one of the most engrossing stories seen in years.

Once youve replayed Madisons shower scene twenty-seven times for research purposes, the story unfolds across the lives of four different protagonists. Troubled father figure Ethan Mars lose son Jason at the start of the story, and his whole life is turned upside down when his other child Shaun is kidnapped by the mysterious Origami Killer. Hes not alone in tracking down the ominous villain though, Private Investigator Scott Shelby, FBI agent and tech-junkie Norman Jayden and Sixth-sense drop-out Madison Paige all play a part in discovering the origins the killer.

Its like a big game of whodunit?. The Origami Killer leaves message after message for Ethan to discover, with a series of trials ultimately deciding his own fate along with his son Shauns. Forget Broadchurch, this is proper edge of your seat mystery stuff. Five trials each have a life-or-death situation, one scene asking our main man to cut off a finger just to locate his boy. Its brutal, engrossing, and ultimately brilliant.



What really adds to the experience is the attachment to your characters. If one dies, you dont reload a checkpoint and carry on, theyre wiped out of the story and you march on as the others. The narrative twists and turns, until you ultimately uncover the grisly truth regardless of which of your fab foursome is still alive by then. Losing just one character feels like youre losing a limb, so should one meet their maker youll feel genuinely distraught.

Heavy Rain is only made a Marmite game because of the fact that it doesnt have much in the way of gameplay. Quick-time events is about as interactive as it gets beyond scouring crime scenes for clues and taking a whizz in the loo, and for some looking for a pure game that just isnt enough. Its an interactive experience thats designed to get you thinking rather than testing your trigger finger against fifty thousand waves of identikit enemies. Its a refreshing reminder that games arent all about racking up scores and pwning n00bs, and that sometimes and intriguing narrative is all you need.

In my opinion, Heavy Rain is up there with the best games on PS3. Basic gameplay it might have, but the story is far and away the best Ive come across this generation, and an example of one of a few that genuinely makes you stop and reflect about potential consequences.

With a ton of varying story routes adding an extra layer of replayability, theres plenty of reason to go back to previous scenes and discover the what-ifs too. Anybody whos yet to play the game and discover who the Origami Killer is, I urge you to get on the case right away.

Words by Sharpshooter88
(Version Tested: PS3)

Pros

+ Brilliant story
+ Many actions have game-changing consequences
+ Characters feel like real people

Cons:

- The fact that it's made up of QTE's will put some people off
- A few glitches here and there, nothing game breaking

Edited On 20 May, 2013

Comments
( 26 )
troublemaker's avatar
troublemaker 4 years ago
Good review man. Deserved winner. I was put off by the sheer amount of QTEs in the demo, so I never played it. It's on my rental list though, I will play the bloody game sooner or later
Joe2120's avatar
Joe2120 4 years ago
Oh you should play it now. Absolutely fantastic, you seriously don't know what you are missing.
Pyroloveridge's avatar
Pyroloveridge 4 years ago
Nice review, I was put of by waving my controller around in the air so i turned it off and never will it burden my console again.
troublemaker's avatar
troublemaker 4 years ago
It's too QTE heavy for my liking. It didn't feel like gameplay. I know I'm missing out on a fantastic experience having not played it. Story wise, it's everything i could hope for, but play wise, I simply couldn't get into it! I will play it thought though, at some point.
Dead's avatar
Dead 4 years ago
Yep, good review, but it sounds like exactly the sort off game I hate.
J-D's avatar
J-D 4 years ago
i hate to be a buzz kill but this isn't that good of a game, for a title thats meant to be pure story there is way too many plot holes, its ok if you ignore them but thats not good story telling if you have to switch your brain off to play it. and just to warn people who want to play it, there is game breaking glitches in it, i played the game right through to the end and once more just to change the ending to do a "what if" and i had to reset 3 times, 2 was when a character just stopped moving altogether and one were a scene didn't load. Now i do understand that the person reviewing this may not have experienced any glitches but the game is well known for its game breaking glitches, a lot of people have experienced them. and believeable characters is a bit farfetched, I dropped my jaw at an early scene were *SPOILERS* a police officer attacks a suspect's psychiatrist into giving them info *SPOILERS* just stupid and stuff like this happens more often than even I can disbelieve so i felt like the game was treating me like an idiot and thats the biggest flaw with this game, just how much the game insults your intelligence by half assed writing like this then choosing to ignore it as if you have accepted it. now saying all that the game is a techincal marvel, how each scene follows on from the last, the music and graphics are amazing and it can put in a lot of tense moments in the game and to be fair the QTE's became an after thought and in some moments it added to the game so if you are afraid of this game because of that then don't worry you'll hardly notice after some time so the game offers something thats worth just a peek at but the story is the games main focus and when its lazy and stupid it defeats the purpose of interactive storytelling. honest to god i started writing the plotholes as i saw them and had over a 100 by the end, its that bad. I'd say avoid this game and buy professor layton instead, i never felt like that game treated me like a moron.
Pyroloveridge's avatar
Pyroloveridge 4 years ago
Rant! I call it, don't worry though I'm waving my six-axis controller at you
troublemaker's avatar
troublemaker 4 years ago
mash X to avoid spoilers!
Bindiana's avatar
Bindiana 4 years ago
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx nothings happening trouble
0000000000's avatar
0000000000 4 years ago
lol pyro! wave it fast or it dont register!
ZdravkoN's avatar
ZdravkoN 4 years ago
Great review :) Deserved winner. I always wanted to play this game, but I don't own a PS3.
sharpshooter88's avatar
sharpshooter88 4 years ago
Thanks everyone :) And yeah J-D I know what you mean about the glitches, I had a few. However since I was posting on the Move edition I didn't think it was fair to mention them as the patches are included on the disc. I've heard that there's still a bit of freezing here and there, but the bugs are far less prominent than they were before.
J-D's avatar
J-D 4 years ago
sharpshooter88 I did play the original version but it had the latest patch so thats the version I was talking about but please don't get me wrong, I don't disagree with everything in your review its still pretty good but for the things I do disagree I gave a counter argument, at the very least you did give me some sort of classy response, yes i didn't mention the fact i had the latest patch version so yeah ok i deserve that one. I did get angry with the game due to the whole "introduce plotholes then never talk about them", it just went against the storytelling so in my view its not a good game, i said what worked and what didn't, thats my opinion and this review is yours. oh btw pyro, if you wanna call this a rant, fine, be my guest but hows about some counter argument rather than putting down someones else opinion just to boost your own ego and to also throw out unfunny comedy.
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 4 years ago
I love Fahrenheit and I have been meaning to pick this up for a while. Might get it next week
Gummy's avatar
Gummy 4 years ago
I can see why you won, this is a really great review. :)
sharpshooter88's avatar
sharpshooter88 4 years ago
Yeah I know what you mean, it's a very subjective game so everyone's opinion on it will vary somewhat. And yeah a few things were left unexplained too, although my theory was that they left deliberate gaps to fill in with DLC. And unfortunately said DLC was axed, so we'll never know now :(
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 4 years ago
Or (Mind you I haven't played the game yet so I don't know how big the holes are) the holes could be open to fan interpretation (Seen plenty of media do this)
J-D's avatar
J-D 4 years ago
to be fair that just horrible to leave out things that should be in the main game, DLC should be used to expand the universe not fill in plotholes, to be honest i'd love to go over the plot holes with you but putting them here is not that wise a move but i highly agree with your "everyone's opinion on it will vary somewhat" line, thats damn true, a perfect example is Blazblue were you have to commit yourself to it, to learn moves so they become second nature and spend hours upon hours discovering what works and what doesn't, i love the game because of that but when someone says "I can't stand to put hours into a game, i haven't got much time these days so i prefer something simple to get into", that is a very good point thats pretty watertight so yes i totally agree with what you said but you do have to admit the game did get dumb in places, that spoiler i posted in the first comment, i mean you can't really defend that scene can you? btw are you a bret hart fan?
J-D's avatar
J-D 4 years ago
loli-nox-tan - no theres so many plotholes that you can't even question about, its as bad as the original ending to mass effect 3 bad plotholes, if you go onto google and type in "heavy rain plotholes" you will see, obviously there is spoilers.
sharpshooter88's avatar
sharpshooter88 4 years ago
Loli-Nox-Tan - Yeah I agree, I love little holes as they give you something to think about. I personally didn't find any story breakers but it's all a matter of interpretation I guess. Although there's one quite big deal during the early stages which is in dire need of an explanation. J-D - Haha incidentally I was back in the day, but rather boringly I just chose this name because FPS' used to be my favourite genre and it kinda fit. So I stuck with it :P
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 4 years ago
That is precisely why I love the "When They Cry" Series since Ryukishi07 left a lot up to fan interpretation
J-D's avatar
J-D 4 years ago
haha yeah same here, more of a daniel bryan fan myself now. what plot hole early on are you talking about, if you list it as a spoiler below i'd love to talk to you about the ones i found.
sharpshooter88's avatar
sharpshooter88 4 years ago
OK, it's this one: *SPOILER ALERT* Ethan's blackouts. No explanation what he does during that time, and he wakes up with Origami in his hand. It was just crying out to be answered in DLC, it seems too big a thing not to be. Interested to hear yours :)
J-D's avatar
J-D 4 years ago
*spoilers* the irony was that i clean forgot about that one until my second play thru, that was just a ploy to make you think that ethan could be the killer but it made no sense. ok heres a few of mines 1. in that clock store with lauren, shellby is talking to his friend when he hits him with a blunt object from behind, now exactly how did lauren not hear this, it made a loud sound hitting the poor guy and he fell over making some noise too, also why would shellby risk this? wouldn't it make more sense if he came back later without lauren then killed his friend? you could say "lauren would make an solid alibi" but then that still leaves a chance for him to be caught and for someone like shellby he would not make this foolish risk. 2. madison visits that old lady in the hospital near the end of the game for the big reveal but its never revealed how madison and shellby know each other, she obviously knows who he is but they have never met. you can say dlc but no i can't excuse that, if its a plothole this big it needs to be in the game from the start. 3. theres an optinal scene were ethan gets arrested by the police but jayden (a walking big plothole himself) helps him escape on a whim, this scene baffles me, again bad cop starts beating up a suspect and is knowingly taped doing so, then jayden, on this whim, lets him go, and ethan goes back to the hotel with his key so the police never searched him before the interrgation and nothing is made out of this scene again, i ended this by going "WTF, seriously?" cause it was just a mountain of stupidity thats thrown in your face and you are meant to go "yup, ok then, next scene" , if it was just one thing then fine but it just piled up so yeah major plothole. 4. madison's crystal skull fridge idea, nuff said. 5. jayden is just ugh in this game, the addiction to drugs which should have been caught by now, the super 2713 spy glasses, the fact that he kills mad jack and again, its never mentioned again and the idea he'd let a suspect go because "he doesn't believe ethan is a bad guy" is just a big bowl of BS 6. how is shellby affording all this stuff, ok he has ties to some shady people helping him but i can't help but think the stuff hes got costs so much money the mafia has to go "ok we can't give you anymore, now owe up or we break your spine" 7. how is shellby able to set up these trials, some ok but at some point its shown lauren is with him so he can't be "im going to the toilet" heading out with his ipad to see if hes doing these things and coming back to lauren as if nothings happened but the big one is the 2nd trial i believe were you have to crawl on glass in a small vent, shellby could not have set this up, the vent is barely big enough for ethan so shellby could not have done this, now before this i started to think shellby could be the killer (him or jayden) but i discounted shellby after i saw this cause of that reason so it makes no sense and throws you off. 8. shellby attacking jayden in the club, how did nobody see the guy dressed in the same disguise as the ninja turtles use or see him leave, why didn't jayden immediently call for back up once shellby ran, hes not bolt, hes a middle age fat guy, he can't possibly get very far. 9. after the madison fire escape you can choose to call jayden, how does she have this number? like shellby, they have never met. 10. the gold watch that jayden latches on to belong to a cop is just silly writing, i myself actually own a gold watch but lets say for argument that gold watches are not common place, its still strange for jayden to say "it has to be a cop", why exactly does it have to be? and how the hell did he come to that judgment so quickly? the gold watch retirement present thing was shown in a scene hours ago, like ethan's origami in hand after he wakes up, this was hours ago so i barely remembered this, a few days must have passed in game so how did jayden who is always off his head on drugs suddenly remember this and again why does jayden suddenly latch onto this idea? for the record hes right on the money but only because the plot says he is. there are other ones like how is old fat shellby a kung fu master next to jayden or how he doesn't shoot madison 100 times while she climbs the ladder or why jayden would come to the warehouse by himself but those are the ones i can let go, those 10 i really can't.
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 4 years ago
WTF J-D. 870 Words? That's some essay [.-_-.]
J-D's avatar
J-D 4 years ago
oh come now thats like 2-3 pages from a book, its not that many

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