Heavy Rain (no spoilers)

The last game I finished would have to be Diablo 2 or maybe even Fallout 2  – so I’m hardly an expert on the subject. I didn’t even finish Portal or Plants vs. Zombies last year, such is my attention span. But last night around midnight (and a little drunk) I finished Heavy Rain on the Playstation 3.

I’ve been unable to think of much else all morning, humming the magnificent soundtrack, and trying to console myself after surely the most depressing gaming ending possible. What makes it worse was that after listening to a few podcasts this morning,  many/most other players had amazingly different endings and it appears that I missed several “classic” or “pivotal” scenes somehow. Even though the 7 hour game is replayable, the cut scenes are not able to be skipped, so I have not a lot of interest in seeing all 22 endings, and I’ve just taken 30 mins to watch Youtube vids of the good bits I missed.

Regardless of the outcome, I thought it was a very clumsy and crude game for the most part – no different to a bad version of a crime show on TV, and I’m amazed that so many gamers see it as a real evolution in gameplay. Is this how little gaming has progressed since I stopped around 2000? The graphics are fabulous, the women are realistically rendered to the point of being sexy, and some of the early exploration and family interaction – although slow, built genuine empathy and feeling.  Worst of all, when the killer was revealed, I (and many others) had a classic Agatha Christie moment of “Wha?” and in hindsight it is a ludicrous choice that is not at all justifiable based on the evidence and thoughts I’d witnessed. A confusing and perplexing game.

Feel free to borrow it from me. There’s still quite a lot to like, and there’s a huge amount of internet discussion still going on about it. I felt a bit cheated. I still don’t know how much of it was my lack of controller skill, or just some bad decisions, and I guess I’ll never know.

3 thoughts to “Heavy Rain (no spoilers)”

  1. Well I think it goes to show how review/podcast’s can be misleading. Not to say the review is incorrect but sometimes they over hype one moment/aspect of a game which makes you think the whole game is amazingly good (or bad), when in fact an average game seems a whole lot better (or worse) due to 1 scene or 1 element. I reckon a lot of RP games are highly variable depending on the wants and needs of the indivual player. I remember a lot of people cursing at how crap WoW was when they hit 60 back in the day…thinking 60 = game over.

  2. I see what you mean Tim – a huge amount of the disappointment people are feeling for this game is based on people’s preconceptions about what it “was going to be like” and there seems to have been a ton of hype in this case.

    Being pretty new to console gaming, I was relieved when people said it was more like an interactive movie, as I didn’t really trust my skills. But when you compare it to some of more sophisticated dramas / thrillers out there, the writing ends up looking very weak in comparison.

  3. The problem with games that have branching story lines is that you inevitably feel like you’re missing something (only because you are).The result is that half of the people who play it get endings that are not so good and end up not enjoying it, while the other half think it’s an amazing, revolutionary experience.

    The only obvious answer is that choices suck. Just give us the illusion of choice and we’ll be right as rain )

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