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Heavy Rain (PS3)

Posted in Video Games

{tab=Overview} Heavy Rain is a tremendous and for the most part successful movement in the world of gaming. Heavy Rain is a rich and nourishing game, which will challenge video game narrative from now on. {tab=Review}

Heavy Rain revolves around 4 characters Ethan Mars, Madison Paige, Detective Scott Shelby, and Agent Norman Jayden who are all trying to capture a murderer dubbed "The Origami Killer" who abduct you boys, and drown them leaving small origami figure on his victims. As you progress through the game you're confronted with various scenarios and challenges that can have devastating effects on the game's story. If a character dies that's it, there's no redo, and no second chances that character is gone for good and you have to continue the story with someone else. To be honest there's no way of talking about the story without giving away too many details, so that's all I'm going to say about the story.


While Heavy Rain has a great narrative it unfortunately suffers from several minor technical issues. First of which is the games graphics. Heavy Rain should be a shining example of what the PS3 is capable of producing graphically, and it is for the most part. Character models are more lifelike than any I've seen in a game. However, there are frequent parts in the game where low textures and sometimes no texture can be seen, an insignificant amount of screen tearing (only noticed about 2 or 3 times), as well as weird character animations. For a game like Heavy Rain, every aspect of the game needs to be as close to perfect as possible to keep you involved in the experience since it's not the most action packed game out there, and these graphical issues while not damaging to the experience, do provide so minor grievance. One more thing, for a game title "Heavy Rain" they could have done a lot better with the water and rain effects.

The next problem with Heavy Rain is the games audio. Music and sound effects are perfect for the game. However, voice acting is only decent. The main characters voices are all good, with the exception of Agent Norman whose voice just seems awkward. Some of the minor characters have poor voice work as well. But the problem with the voices isn't the talent. The problem is ALL the voice work sounds like it was recorded inside a vocal booth in a studio. The takes away from the immersion especially when most of the game is either outside, or is cement or concrete spaces which have a huge effect on the ambiance of the human voice. This may sound minor, and it is, but it's very annoying. Another problem with the voice work is that there's no emotion expressed through the voice, with the exception of anger. To explain this there is a section where you play as Ethan, and he calls out to his son Shaun who is lost. The problem is that instead of hearing fear, and worry in Ethan's voice, you hear an everyday Shaun come out, which again is minor, but it takes away from the immersion.


The most controversial part of Heavy Rain, besides the nudity, is the controls. Yes the game is a big QTE, but it works so well for Heavy Rain, and playing on the hardest difficulty will truly test your knowledge of the Dual Shock 3 or Six Axis. But once again there is a however. Everything is fine with the controls except for some odd reason you have to hold R2 down to walk while the left stick. This is fine, until you get to scenes where you have to move quickly to escape and it becomes a hassle. There are also scenes in the game that needed more visual flare and stimulation to add even more tension to the situation such as the first Origami Challenge. Other than that the controls are spot on, and do nothing, but make the experience flow smoothly.

Overall Heavy Rain is an amazing story, with unfortunate and unnecessary flaws. Heavy Rain is easily a 9+/10 from the story alone, but the graphical, audio, and controls issues bring the game down from its full potential. There are slow moments in the game, but they allow the jaw dropping moments to be as impressive as they are (for example Origami Challenge 3). In Heavy Rain every decision matters, and will affect how your story unfolds. Heavy Rain succeeds with what the developers set out to do, but as a game Heavy Rain just missed that plateau of gaming genius. Heavy Rain is a tremendously and for the most part successful movement in the world of gaming. Heavy Rain is a rich and nourishing game, which will challenge video game narrative from now on.

8.8/10 {/tabs}