Heavy Rain, a title thats been long in the works that was first teased back at Sony Playstation 3 launch. The Studio behind this work is Quantic Dream, their a team thats based on not only raising the bar but also moving in a different direction. Interesting enough Quantic Dream is also a French developer based in Paris France. Basically Quantic Dream goal is to create interactive cinema that puts you in the control of every situation and gives you multiple choices. Good or bad, you have to decide that for your self. Its a interesting take on the Game Industry as few Developers dare the tread these waters.
Luckily enough I am familiar with Quantic Dream previous works, have played Indigo Prophecy, I had an idea of what to expect and eagerly awaited Heavy Rain. Finally the wait is over, Heavy rain is here to place us in a thriller mystery ride...or does it? Read on and good news, this review is Spoiler Free so relax and enjoy the review. Now before I go in to the details I just wanted to say its hard to review Heavy Rain as titles like this are so few its a completely different experience to have. So like any review, you'll just have to go on with what the Game gives.
Heavy Rain throws you in to this world thats dark, grim and constantly raining. You play through out several different characters that all give you different views on the game. Each character is deep, developed and all dive deeper in the game. So not one character feels weak or is a pain to play. Also through out the game each of the characters will meet up with each other making an interestingly play out to see.
The Graphics in Heavy Rain are fantastic. Without a doubt some of the best out there to date. The animation is also strong and fluid. Theres times you forgetting your playing as the scene is so well built every second feels like your watching a cut scene. Heavy Rain makes for a great world that you want to get sucked up in but sadly the few flaws keep you pulled out. With seems almost every great moment is quickly ended with a long loading screen which sadly kills it at times. You'll finish a great experience that for a few mins you'll be at the edge of your seat then...loading. Your put back down at starting from scratch all over again.
Which brings me to my next point. Heavy Rain at times will be amazing, not to ruin any thing but there will be some moments worth playing for just to experience. Your blood will pump and you'll be at the edge of your seat. You'll wish the whole game was like this but sadly its not and almost every chapter is cut up by loading. Which for me kills it. I'll conquer an awesome moment expecting more, then i'm greeted with a black screen telling me loading for several mins. It keeps pulling you out time and time again. Imagine reading a novel but every time you try to flip to another page you have to wait 3-5 mins.
Now the biggest debate is how the game is played. Heavy Rain is controlled through various "quick time" events that ask the player to press the according instructions on the screen. But the game is far more complex then just that. You do have complete control over the character and will be free to move him any way. Also you can fail an quick time event and the story will still go on, in fact almost every action in this game can have mutliple different reactions. Not only that but your characters can also die, so you gotta be careful and quick, you'll never know what Heavy Rain will throw at you. One thing I do give Heavy Rain a lot of praise for is the use of the sixaxis controller. There will be plenty of times you'll be jerking or shaking your controller around. It does it extremely well and at times it feels so natural, you'll wish other games used this more often.
Now I don't mean to change attitude but theres some issues that can sour your experience. For one is the pacing. At first the game is slow but unique so you don't quite mind it. I can understand you have to create build up but alas the game can become incredible slow as in some areas you'll be continuously greeted with nothing but long dialog. True you can also interact with almost every thing but unfortunately almost every thing you'll interact with has little to no purpose. Towards the later parts of the game you wont even care to check out the areas, you'll just want to push forward as checking every square nook with no reward becomes painful.
Also yes, Heavy Rain has glitches and sadly for me, I was hit with some painful glitches right at the very end. I couldn't believe it. I go through almost the whole game perfectly up towards the end, then BAM a glitch so bad that I had to reset the PS3 and try again. Which killed me because it accrued at the climax as well. Thats the problem, the constant saving in the game will bug and shutter the game at times that makes its hard to move forward or get through a scene.
Now i'm sorry for the long write up but as a game so unique and fresh like this its hard to explain with out giving credit or going in to details. Heavy Rain is a fresh experience that comes down to really a love or hate it. If you craving something new then yes, Heavy Rain will deliver that on all fronts. Now another thing thats also great about Heavy rain is that theres tons of Trophies. So if your out to Hunt Trophies then Heavy Rain is a treasure chest for you. One last thing I'll praise Heavy Rain for is its replay value, once you beat the game theres still plenty of alternate ways to experience almost every scene and which is also great is the feature "chapter selection" that allows you to jump to almost any scene you want to re-experience in a different way or snag up a trophy.
So bottom line, if I had to sum up Heavy Rain in a single word, I would say "Potential". Heavy Rain showed off some tremendous potential that just makes you want more, in fact I cant wait to see what Quantic Dream can do next. Like I said theres going to be moments that will make you go "Holy @#$! that was awesome!" and just makes you wish the whole game was nothing but it, however due to the pacing of the game, the constant loading and glitches will keep you from enjoying a world filled with mystery and suspense as you try to stop a mad killer.