Quantic Dream’s Indigo Prophecy (released on PS2, Xbox, and PC), known as Fahrenheit almost everywhere else in the world, integrated captivating storytelling with a unique approach towards gameplay by implementing quick-time events. Now while this was not the first title to implement this gameplay approach, it was one of the first to perform it successfully.
Here we are today roughly four and a half years later and Quantic Dream has just pushed out their latest title, Heavy Rain. Quantic Dream has taken the control mechanics from Indigo Prophecy and has revamped the entire system. Instead of implementing a win/lose situation like Indigo Prophecy, they decided to integrate an all new system that could be described as a linked narration. You will encounter countless action scenes where you will have to make a decision in a heartbeat and that one decision could impact how the rest of the game turns out. Read more for the full review.
Now before I go too far into depth, I will go ahead and let everyone know if you are looking for a horror/survival game where you take full control of everything that goes on, this title is not for you. You will have a large impact on what occurs during the game and what actions take place, but do not expect full control of the characters. A majority of the game consists of button sequences and quick-time events which do limit your control of the character, but your decisions will affect how the rest of the game unfolds.
I am going to keep this review spoiler-free, but I will go ahead and let you know the background of Heavy Rain. In Heavy Rain, you will have control of four playable characters: Ethan Mars (young architect living on the east coast of America), Madison Paige (twenty-seven-year-old photographer living alone in the city), Norman Jayden (dedicated FBI profiler sent to investigate the case of the Origami Killer), and Scott Shelby (private investigator after twenty years with the local police department). All of these characters are investigating the serial killer known as “The Origami Killer”. You will venture off and live the lives of these four people as well as experience a tragic event no human being would be willing to take part of.
I will go ahead and warn you guys that the game does start off pretty slow and seems pretty boring for the first few hours, but do what you can to stick in there and concentrate on what’s happening because the introduction plays a large role in how the story unfolds. Just like many novels, it seems like it was meant to put you to sleep, but is filled with information which will make much more sense as the story progresses.
Once you get through the slow part of the story, be prepared for anything possible. Action sequences seem to pop out at the least expected moments and hopefully your prepared because if not, you may find yourself unhappy or upset with the result. I found myself taking a break from the game just thinking about what my decision has just produced and what it might mean for the future of the characters. This is a game where you must not have any disruptions during your gameplay because you might miss one of the most involved scenes implemented into the game. Things will without a doubt get intense and will have some kind of effect on you, so all I can really saw without spoiling the game is BE PREPARED!
Heavy Rain’s impressive visuals also greatly enhance the gamer’s experience as it makes them feel like they are truly playing a part in these people’s lives. With highly detailed facial structures and high detail on the smallest movements, you will find yourself becoming attached to the characters you are involved with.
Now while Heavy Rain does demonstrate amazing visuals that continue to grab the gamer, there are aspects that could have used some polishing. With the facial structures being as detailed as they were, it was a little upsetting to not see the same quality from objects in the environment, such as cars, or other body figures, like the hands. The facial details in Heavy Rain are top-notch and rival many of the most visually impressive games this generation, but the motion capture is not quite up to par with many of the other AAA titles this generation. Objects like a character’s hand seem to twitch or drag at certain points which becomes pretty noticeable when your eyes are glued to the screen. Now obviously with your eyes being glued to the screen, you are more likely to pick up on the minor defects, but I feel this is something Quantic Dream should have had in mind while developing Heavy Rain.
Although the game does suffer from a slow starting story and minor visual imperfections, it does not mean it hurts the game in any shape or form. I still had one of the best gaming experiences I have ever had since I started taking gaming seriously and has set the bar for games in this genre. With story twists, great dialog, and great character development, no gamer/movie-enthusiast should miss out on the experience Heavy Rain provides.
Final Score: 9.0/10