Review: Heavy Rain

Quantic Dream and Sony allows players to discover the truth behind the Origami Killer their way with the recent release of Heavy Rain for the PlayStation 3.

The facial features on the characters are amazing.

In Heavy Rain the player enters the shoes of four people investigating the Origami Killer: Madison Paige a journalist, FBI profiler Norman Jayden, private investigator Scott Shelby, and the father of the latest victim Ethan Mars.  Each character investigates the killer from their own point of view sometimes meeting up with other character’s at various points in the game.  However if the characters actually find the truth behind the killer is all up to the player.  Unlike most games where decisions made by the player only affect the ending to the game, every decision the player makes in Heavy Rain affects even the most minute details in the game.  This can be anything from choosing the wrong dialogue option to failing a combat event, which could end with the death of the character.  Character deaths are unlike any other game, as instead of simply reverting back to the last checkpoint the game continues on and the story for the remaining characters changes.  There is even a proper conclusion to the story should all four characters die.

One of the most interesting aspects to the game is how good all the characters look.  Even the most minor of characters look incredibly realistic as each voice actor’s face was meticulously mapped to be placed on their respective characters.  This adds a lot to the player’s enjoyment and connection to the game, as the more realistic the character’s are the more believable they are.  However, some of the believability of the characters is offset by some subpar voice acting.  As Quantic Dream is a French developer a lot of the voice actors are Europeans, but a lot of them just could not get an American accent right.  For the most part the acting is well done, especially that of the actor who plays Scott Shelby.

Choices in the game could end with the death of your character.

Overall Heavy Rain is an amazing game.  The story and setting are engaging enough that the player will want to know what is going to happen next.  While some of the voice acting is not that great, this is more than made up for with both the engaging story and how gorgeous the facial features are in the game.  The fact that the game actually changes based on the decisions of the player means the replay value is among the highest of any game out this generation.  For anyone looking for a great thriller action game, this is one to pick up.

15 Comments

  1. Ethos
    Posted 2010.03.04 at 00:54 | Permalink

    I agree that Scott Shelby is the strongest voice actor. I’m only 25% done the game, but I’m enjoying it quite a bit. I don’t adore the gameplay, but the story is worth it.

  2. SiliconNooB
    Posted 2010.03.04 at 02:27 | Permalink

    I’m loving the shit out of this game. Dramatically speaking I think the VA is fairly solid, though of course their accents slip quite a bit (though seeing as I’m not American, this doesn’t really irk me in the same way that it may do to others).

  3. Ethos
    Posted 2010.03.04 at 02:30 | Permalink

    I don’t mind the accents, but then again, I’m one province away from Quebec

  4. Bup
    Posted 2010.03.04 at 09:15 | Permalink

    Just wait until a sequence with a couple of kids. They are the worst.

  5. Lusipurr
    Posted 2010.03.04 at 20:17 | Permalink

    Bup, you should link us to the VA scene on YouTube if it is up there.

  6. SiliconNooB
    Posted 2010.03.05 at 00:25 | Permalink

    I think I know what he’s talking about, the VA of Ethan’s two young sons early on did sound quite rough, but then I imagine that getting 5-8 year old children to turn in an adequate performance in such a serious game would be rather like herding cats.

  7. Bup
    Posted 2010.03.05 at 01:56 | Permalink

    @Lusi: I know we don’t have a spoiler policy, but I absolutely refuse to spoil even the tiniest bit of this game.

    @NooB: It’s not them. Later on there are another two kids. You’ll know what I mean when you get there.

  8. SiliconNooB
    Posted 2010.03.05 at 03:00 | Permalink

    Yeah, this game is not to be spoiled!

  9. Oyashiro
    Posted 2010.03.05 at 03:12 | Permalink

    I just got my copy tonight. So far its…. well…. FANTASTIC! I didn’t think I would be enjoying it so much as I am.

  10. SiliconNooB
    Posted 2010.03.05 at 03:44 | Permalink

    Yeah, after the broken narrative of Fahrenheit I wasn’t expecting Heavy Rain to be (so far) this polished! And the presentation is just sublime!

  11. Oyashiro
    Posted 2010.03.05 at 08:05 | Permalink

    JESUS! Just beat the game! One complete playthrew! I already want to star it up again to see how different it would be if i did things wrong. I think I may have gotten the best ending but I’m not sure. Must playthrew it again.

  12. Bup
    Posted 2010.03.05 at 08:55 | Permalink

    @NooB: The problem with Farenheit (or Indigo Prophecy as it’s known in the States) is that Quantic Dream was forced to cut some scenes out due to time constraints. If you listen to old episodes of 1Up FM they do a play through of the game and talk about how some of the plot points are a bit confusing because of the cut out scenes.

  13. Oyashiro
    Posted 2010.03.05 at 09:11 | Permalink

    I heard QD is having financial issues right now. Sony needs to step in a buy them like the did Media Molecule earlier this week. I defiantly want to see more “Interactive Drama” from them.

  14. SiliconNooB
    Posted 2010.03.05 at 09:40 | Permalink

    @Bup- Yeah I figured that was the case, seeing as it was much more coherent at the start of the game than towards the end.

    @Oyashiro- Yeah I’d absolutely love for Sony to acquire them, as it would likely eliminate any Farenheitesque funding problems.

  15. Eric J
    Posted 2010.03.29 at 22:45 | Permalink

    I doubt this comment will be read by anyone other than Nate and maybe Shawn, but I hope Quantic Dream doesn’t die because I heard their next game could be a musical (said jokingly probably, but still) and that would just rock my world.