A warning to young parents or soon to be moms or dads. Do not try out Heavy Rain, the Playstation 3 video game that’s been getting rave reviews. You’re liable to get all teary-eyed and depressed and push the x button instead of the o.
Ok, non gamers may be thinking I’m speaking some sort of crazy talk. I feel where you’re coming from, my friends. I’m far from being an expert gamer of any sort. I’m actually one of those people who likes the idea of games, but seems to lack the willingness to commit to an extended period in front of the screen. That is, unless the game is good. And Heavy Rain is very good.
The buzz on Heavy Rain had been building for months before it was released this past February. A game where you control 4 characters at various times and where your decisions can literally change the outcome and what pieces of the story you experience. In this case, there is a serial killer named The Origami Killer on the loose, and all of your characters are somehow linked to his story. That’s about all I can tell you at the moment, seeing as how I’m not particularly far into the game as of yet. But here’s what I like about it.
When I’m playing particular character, be it the private eye, FBI agent, or angst-ridden father, I feel like I’m in complete control. I can decide how quickly my character sits down or opens a car door with the flick of a stick or a push of a button. I choose what actions I want to make and when I’m not sure exactly what I’m doing, neither is my character. It’s actually a very cool experience and far more immersive than you’re typical shoot em up. You’ve got to have some patience to play, however, because Heavy Rain moves at a slow and methodical pace. This is not a game of instant gratification.
As immersive as your character is, the world of Heavy Rain is equally as exciting to wander around in. Chock it up to the quality of the PS3 graphics and the overall design of the game, because Heavy Rain feels like a great film noir/gothic film we haven’t actually seen yet. Think David Fincher’s Seven, with a little more heart (and hopefully with a line as memorable as “what’s in the box???”). It’s always raining in the game (hence the title, right?), and you can literally feel the water spilling off of you screen as you make your way from chapter to chapter.
While I’m fairly certain that Heavy Rain is an essential purchase for anyone who owns a PS3, there is something to consider, which goes back to my opening paragraph. Similar to Seven, Heavy Rain is dark. Bleak. Depressing. One of our main characters, Ethan, is dealing with the death of one child, and where I left off, discovered another might be missing. And that’s a huge part of the game so don’t think you’re going to work through the sad parts because as far as I can tell, that just isn’t going to happen. So while Heavy Rain come highly recommended, it’s worth noting that this is not two plumbers and a giant monkey.
Proceed with caution and a few hours to devote to playing.