Why Heavy Rain proves Ebert right

"Video games by their nature require player choices, which is the opposite of the strategy of serious film and literature, which requires authorial control."

Roger Ebert said this. He is correct.

During an average Heavy Rain playthrough, two forces constantly compete over control of the characters: the player, who wants to see interesting things and feel like his input actually matters to the story, and the actual characters, who simply want to be true to themselves.

This is what Ebert was talking about. This is why, for many, Heavy Rain just doesn't work.

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3215d ago
morganfell3215d ago

Just go away destructoid. Your relevance is nil and you no longer have a place. Your banal attempts a humor are sophomoric annoyances rather than insightful witty commentary. Outside of kotaku, there isn't a more delusional staff than you will find at destructoid.


sucks balls .. go play mw2

Figboy3215d ago

i feel dumber having read it.

the guy's whole purpose in this article is downplay Heavy Rain because it, what, gives you choices that are either "against character," or "true to character?"

he's angry because he believes that the only reason why anyone would choose certain actions is to get all the Trophies?

are you fricking KIDDING ME?

i wasn't playing the game for the Trophies. most certainly not my first playthrough.

i went through the trials the first time through for two reasons:

one, i put myself in Ethan's shoes. if my son was taken from me, and the only way i could 100% get him back would be to undergo a trial by fire, then yes, i'd do it.

two, i was staying in character and Ethan, through using L2 to understand his thoughts, made it abundantly clear that he was willing to do what it takes to save Shaun.

i never played games for Trophies, Achievements, and Accolades in the 25+ years i've been playing games, so why the flying F*CK would i need them to motivate me to play a game differently JUST FOR the sake of increasing my "gamerscore" or "level?"

if anything, this retard's article highlights how narrowminded and naive he is that all he can do is nitpick the game, and use a rigid, structured film as a reason why Heavy Rain "fails."

Seven is a GREAT film.

Heavy Rain is a GREAT game, but it's barely because of the tightness of it's mystery plot, but for the emotional affect it has on you as a player.

Heavy Rain succeeds and fails on how it draws you into it's world and characters.

i'm one of the many people who played the game, and empathized with Ethan and the rest of the cast, so their personal journey's in the game mattered to me.

Anthony whatever his name is, didn't WANT to enjoy Heavy Rain, so he went into it like just about every other gaming "journalist" goes into a PS3 game: with an air of disdain and indifference no matter how impressive the game is.

if this were a 360 or multi-platform game, there'd be no shortage of how and why it's the most amazing game in existence. we're already seeing this praise for Alan Wake (i'm not doubting Alan Wake will be great; it's from Remedy, so it's in good hands).

am i also the ONLY person that wonders why so many Playstation 3 exclusives get articles about why they "don't matter," or "aren't as good as everyone says they are," or "will fail" in some way? i don't see any articles about 360 games in the same way. i don't see any "why Gears of War fails because it doesn't have a Jump button," BS.

David Cage promised an emotional story very different from your standard game, where your choices affect the outcome.

having played the game twice now, and experienced two RADICALLY different endings and scenarios (i'm serious, in my first game, whole SECTIONS of story and plot were gone because of one choice i made).

also, the consequences of your actions don't just affect the ENDING of the game. it's not just about, "i did these choices in Act 1, so now i get to see the results in Act 3." it's immediate, seemless repercussions for subsequent scenes.

i'm offended that he thinks that all of us that are playing Heavy Rain a certain way are doing so JUST for the sake of something like the Trophies.

i played the game as cautious as i could, not to get the Four Heroes Trophy, but because i didn't want my fricking character to DIE because i CARED about their well-being! my god, what a tool.

but what did i expect from Destructoid. they are the dregs of the internet "journalist" slums we have this generation.

i wish i hadn't given them the click, but i thought it might actually be a well thought out dissection of the game, instead of a hypocrisy, double standard filled rant on how choice and not playing a game to character is suddenly BAD because the game is PS3 exclusive (Mass Effect is a poor counter, because the story and Shepard are left PURPOSELY vague enough for you to craft your own character. Heavy Rain is linear, and yet non-linear. the characters are defined, and yet open enough for you to reasonably and logically make the decision that you, as the player, feel you should).

harrisk9543214d ago

may be correct IF you use Roger Ebert's definition of great films... HOWEVER, that is based purely upon Ebert's narrow vision... Ebert is (to many) a very good movie critic, but it is obvious when he made that statement that he is from a different generation and simply does not understand video games... He also an elitist, as are many movie critics (critics in general, actually -- whether they are food, movie, travel or game critics) who believes that his understanding of what makes a film great is more true than what others may think or feel.

Whether Ebert is correct or not is not important, but if you take away Ebert's opinion, then there is no basis for this silly article. And the author of it never even says if he agrees with Ebert's hypothesis. He just takes it as a truth which makes the article fail on so many levels.

Personally, I think that Ebert is wrong in his assessment and that while Heavy Rain may not (as the author points out) meet Ebert's criteria, Uncharted 2 actually does reach the level of cinematic integrity that Ebert is talking about. That is a game where while you have some control of the characters, you are taken down a predetermined path and the characters "stay in character" for the whole game, which is well written, acted and directed.

So, in my mind, Ebert and this author have already been proven wrong.

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