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Heavy Rain - What the what!?! A game review???

 

"Heavy Rain" (2010) (PS3)

What the hell is a game review doing on Bitter Balcony? Well, “Heavy Rain” counts as something more like to an interactive movie than a video game. The controls are non-traditional and the storyline, score, and direction are on par with the few good movies out there.

“Heavy Rain” follows a group of five characters who are all connected by one person, the Origami Killer. Norman Jaydem is an FBI agent sent in with high-tech gear to help police profile the Origami Killer. Shelby is a private detective hired to track down the killer. There is a prostitute who lost a child to the killer and a woman who gets tangled up with Ethan Mars, the closest to a leading man in this tangled web. Mars has already lost one son when his other son is kidnapped. He receives a box from the Origami Killer with a list of challenges he must win in order to save his son. The game feels very much like a cross between “Seven” and “Saw.”

Gameplay is mostly a series of timed events where you have to hit a certain button at a certain time, or one of several. The other components are exploring the environment you are in for clues or how to succeed at the task the Origami Killer has sent you on or picking which dialog options you take (sometimes a series of more or less aggressive reactions). Since this is something unconventional it takes a second to get used to; after that it’s a matter of timing and choices.

The characters are developed well (written by David Cage) and, since the decisions you make affect the ending, their progression makes sense. The ending I got the first time around was logical and well-paced. The voice acting is also very strong for the main characters, though there are a few that have some strange accents when they shouldn’t. Also, if you make a bad choice for a character and he/she dies, they are gone for the rest of the game. The story continues seamlessly.

Direction (also by Cage) in this game is superb. The shot selections are great and the pacing starts off slow to build character, but picks up steam as the story progresses and the big reveal creeps closer. This reviewer found himself yelling at the TV when he screwed up, and the last stretch of the game got him so hooked he didn't set it down for its five-plus-hour stretch. Sorry, but no matter how good you want to believe “Avatar” is, you probably won’t be intrigued with it for five hours straight.

"Heavy Rain" is a stellar piece of gaming and in its own way, cinema. Soon after beating it, I started again from the beginning to make a new set of choices for the characters and to see where it took them.

Images:

Trailer:

Gameplay:

Official website:

"Heavy Rain" (2010) (PS3)

Credits:

Directed by: David Cage
Written by: David Cage
Cast: Pascal Langdale, Jaqui Ainsley, Sam Douglas, Leon Ockenden, Mike Powers, Aurélie Bancilhon





Source of the Bitter: JAS

Comments, rants and other stuffs below
JAS on Fri, 03/26/2010 - 11:58pm

See what happens when you are not around!?! :P

Que on Thu, 03/25/2010 - 2:34pm

What the what? a game review???

we had this discussion elsewhere when this exact game was treated as 'movie'.

personally I think a movie is like a book or a piece of music, like a song, you sit there and just enjoy the maker's intention.

whenever your 'interaction' start to get in to play, it becomes a game from that point.

plus the fact that you can only 'watch' this on PS3 making it less of a movie.

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