Margaret (pling) wrote,
Margaret
pling

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Heavy Rain

Heavy Rain is the game J's been playing most recently on the PS3 - we bought it for his sister for her birthday, then borrowed it off her once she was done. And the timing worked out rather nicely coz it got patched to work with Move, too. It looks like a pretty good game, and it's definitely doing something different (and doing it well).

You mainly play 4 different characters through a story of a serial killer & a missing child - you play the child's father, an FBI man, a PI and a journalist as they all follow the clues to find the killer & the child. The control system is interesting - whilst in one sense it's a collection of QTEs (quick time events - press this button now, now this one, now this one), in another sense (and particularly with the Move controls) they've put a lot of work into it to make you feel it's doing the things the characters are doing. For instance you lift the move controller up for the character to stand up, or pull it back to open a door. At decision points (answering a question, deciding what to do next, remembering something) you get keywords swirling round the character like they are thoughts swirling round in his or her head & you point at & choose the one you want to go with.

The decision points are actual decisions, too - what you do affects later parts of the story. Sometimes subtle, sometimes less so. And the ending does very much depend on what you did - there are 17 little epilogue bits & you get a different selection depending on how you got there & who with. And having seen J do the ending a couple of different ways, it does give a very different flavour to the story.

The whole thing has a very distinctive look & feel. The name is Heavy Rain, and (after the prologue) it's always raining. And the story is in that mood - it's not a cheery tale, this is not a world where you have guaranteed happily every afters, none of the characters is in a good place in their lives. And depending how you play it you can either reinforce that or overcome it.

So it's a good game, I'd recommend it if you like thrillers or investigative-type films/stories and I'd even recommend it if you're not much of a gamer. And yet despite saying that, it's so not my sort of thing, I have absolutely no desire to play it myself (and not just coz I know what happens). It straddles that line between film & game - that's one of its strengths, it's like watching a film but also you get more involved in it as you are guiding the characters. And that's why I'll not play it, it's too much like watching a film and I'm weird in preferring my fiction to arrive as text (or possibly still images, I've read graphic novels & enjoyed them).
Tags: games, ps3
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