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Heavy Rain back to reviews
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Simply Terrible
Heavy Rain would have made a great movie, or perhaps a TV miniseries.

As a game? Not so much. It follows the same format featured in Indigo Prophecy, of adventure-style sequences where you interact with the environment and other characters for the slow bits, and Quick Time Events to deal with the action-heavy bits. And it's a workable frame for the story, but it's not really a game. It's interactive fiction, and the problem is that the pace is too slow for the first half and a lot of the action sequences really damage what little build up the plodding pace provides.

I'll call out the fight Madison has at the beginning of her sequence. It could have been an interesting, and more importantly, dynamic introduction to her character. All of a sudden she's being attacked, and taking over control of her immediately puts the player in a position to sympathize with her. And then, no, it was all just a dream. A few minutes of exciting gameplay and interesting character development all thrown out the window because the designers remembered that people need to stay awake through this.

The absolute worst part is that it fails as something to be viewed, as well. The problem with the Quick Time Event bits is that you've got lots of button and analog inputs flashing on the screen, right on top of the action. Sometimes you can't even really see what's going on, which makes it rather useless as something watchable. Not to mention the previously-mentioned pacing issues.

I absolutely can't recommend this. The story is good, but nothing you haven't seen done well in movies like Se7en or Saw. The gameplay is crap because of the awkward controls and Quick Time Events. And the Replay Value is lost because nobody in their right mind will want to plod through the first half of the game to see the second half, meaning that discussing the game with friends becomes awkward.

I consider myself a collector of games, and I didn't even bother to keep this one. I traded it in. It's worth a rental, maybe, or picking it up used when it drops to about twenty bucks. However, buying it brand new is pure folly.
I can't play this (I own a hex bawx) but that is just as I suspected
comment #2218 ryal 12th Apr 10
This game was great. Your arguments are flaccid. Go back to playing Final Fantasy in your parents basement. You dont like this game because you have no idea how to grasp or appreciate art, fool.

Jus 'fo all yall niggas start player hatin on my ass, I have to admit to having only played half of the game so far, so my opinions are not fully formed. Also my over-the-top cruelty is genuinely reflective of my feelings but exaggerated for effect.
comment #2221 iwintheinternets? 12th Apr 10
I have this game and hate it. My 63-year-old dad even said "the controls are ridiculous", and had more fun playing Uncharted 2 (on Very Easy mode, as he's not a big gamer), then playing this.

I think that if Heavy Rain had a design like, say, Silent Hill, in which you walk around with more freedom, examine things, and actually control your character directly during action moments (instead of Press X To Not Die, or to not whatever, as the case may be), it would be a better game. I'd like the freedom to drive my car and visit other places and investigate. I'd like to actually fight. Ironically, point-and-click games have more feedom than this. Movie-like camera angles can still be used, as the first 4 Silent Hill games have taught us.

But I don't like Heavy Rain. Give me the same story but more gameplay freedom, and I might enjoy it. But give me what's basically a movie with button prompts, and locking the player in each building or room until the relevant story portion is over, and I feel more limited than a Choose Your Own Adventure book.

It's a shame, as there's obvious detail put into the individual areas. In the shopping mall, the people walk around realistically, and I wanted to explore the individual stores (I couldn't really do that). In the park, when my character's son was playing, the kids were running around realistically and playing around, and it felt alive. Every location feels -alive- and believable. That part is really well done, and to be honest, something I've wanted to see in a video game in a long time.

It's a shame that the gameplay itself doesn't appeal to me, as I think this game could have been something special.
comment #2243 BonsaiForest 13th Apr 10 (edited by: BonsaiForest)
iwintheinternets, my main argument is that the art part gets in the way of the game part.

If you're here for a game, it flat-out blows. It's not very interactive and there's not much fun to be had in wandering around and seeing the little extras.

If you're here to watch, it kinda sucks as well. All the button prompts and having to actually pick up the controller and interact get in the way of the experience.
comment #2305 lanky 19th Apr 10
I have this game, finished it, and found it to be pretty damn amazing. I don't see why everyone hates it.
comment #5517 HikarutheHedgehog 21st Dec 10 (edited by: HikarutheHedgehog)
People tend to hate it because it's not much of a -game-, and as such, lacks replay value, and also interactivity. I'd like it if I could explore each location more fully, and even leave the current area and go somewhere else. It would be nice if I could visit multiple locations instead of being limited to where the story is directed at the moment. The game is VERY directed in what you do and exactly when, and there's just not much in the way of interaction. Heck, point-and-click "Adventure" games have more interactivity than Heavy Rain, while still having cutscenes. If the game gave you more freedom, it would be a lot better. Heck, it would put the "interactive" into "interactive movie".

As it is, it's mostly a movie with button presses and stick movements, and occasional walking around and a few choices here and there. It could have been something truly special, but I feel they dropped the ball by making it way too rigid.
comment #5519 BonsaiForest 21st Dec 10
I'm quite surprised by your review, it's definitely a fresh perspective on the game but I have to admit, I think (and maybe even reasonably objectively) that some of the conclusions are almost exactly wrong.

The story really isn't good, it wouldn't work in a cheap b-movie horror torture fest and people would recognise that because the setting isn't very consistent, there are a lot of plot holes and too many people happen to be axe-murdering psychopaths to be believable.

However what makes it feel like it's a good story is the involvement in the game. The knife scene really isn't that great, but being in control makes it feel much more tense, even if you don't realise it.

So I don't think it could stand alone as a tv series, because it's the interactive part that provides the depth and not the story, but I think your each individual criticism and observation is fair and I'm trying to replay it and (despite loving the first half of the game) it actually is hard to plow through the first unchangeable parts to get to the end game
comment #9051 Tomwithnonumbers 3rd Aug 11
It's pretty damn bad as a movie, too. The plot is thin as sieve, and has just as many holes.
comment #21022 Morgulion 8th Sep 13
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