“Jason? Jaaaassssson? Jason? JAAAAAASSSSSSOOOOOOONNNNN!” If you can’t guess what our game of the day is from that quote alone, you obviously haven’t played it. For those of you who would like another hint I have four words for you: Beware the Origami Killer.
Heavy Rain is a game that will always stick out in my mind. It wasn’t the prettiest, most exciting, or even the best game I’ve ever played. However, this game did something different and unlike anything else that had been done before and for that this game stood on its own for its unique storyline and innovative game play. When I say unique storyline I do not mean unique in the sense that most people first think of when they think of this word. There are many other games over the years that have had a detective like story. One thing that Heavy Rain did that most other games of the same vein did not however, was actually make the actions that you chose throughout the game take on real and irrevocable(unless of course you saved before you chose an action and then went back to replay it and get a different one) consequences. If one of your characters was killed in the course of the game that was it, they were not coming back until you started another game. If you chose to slice off your finger, search around the creepy doctor’s house, or use the triptocaine when you were bugging out, the course of the game could change dramatically. I loved this sort of thing. It reminded me a lot of those old choose your own adventure books but with more at stake since you couldn’t just turn back a few pages and follow another path. I was not once bored with the story and never wanted to give up on finding Shaun or avenging the children that were killed before him. I found myself convinced that one thing was going on in the game and then something would happen to make me reconsider what I thought until I realized(or was told) who was really the killer and why. Speaking of the killer, and the other characters for that matter, I really did care about them. *Spoiler Warning* After Ethan lost his eldest son, I cared wholeheartedly whether or not he found Shaun. When Ethan was slowly going crazy and Madison was there to comfort him but kept getting turned away, I felt for her. At the end, when all of the characters were running like crazy trying to save themselves or someone else, I wanted them all to survive. Whether I’d like to admit it or not, as crazy as Scott Shelby was to do this to a bunch of children, the game was good at trying to make him more sympathetic by showing the back story of why he turned out that way. *End Spoilers* Aside from the storyline, the game play was exhilarating as well. It sort of had the feel of a God of War or other games of this kind where you had to push certain buttons to cause actions to occur, but it took it to a whole new level. You weren’t just pushing the button and the action happened; how slowly or quickly you moved the joystick, pushed the square button, etc. made a difference on whether or not you succeeded in that action. All in all, Heavy Rain was a hit for me. It was not the best or most memorable game I have ever played but it did something different and ran with it. When the most popular games on the shelves anymore are sequels, it was nice to see something that took a new idea and did it well. When it comes to being a gamer in this day and age I don’t think we can ask for much more than innovative game play that is done well with a storyline that is not quite like any other on the market.
–Megan Highwind has left the party.
Well, the “Jason” thing has been done already… possibly to death but thankfully, it’s not the only thing I remember about Heavy Rain. In my younger days, I was the proud owner of a Playstation 2 AND a little game called Indigo Prophecy that was touted to me by my manager at the game store I worked at at the time as “the best game he’d ever played without an attack button.” This was kind of a big deal since he had a serious preference for the bloodier and more violent adventures of Main Characters X, Y and Z. I checked out Indigo Prophecy and while I found the game play a little boring, I was pretty hooked into its method of story telling. Moral choices and real-time decisions that had actual impact on me as a player. Years later, I get word that developer Quantic Dream developed and put out a similar style game so of course, I snapped it right up. A lot of the same elements of game play that bored me from Indigo Prophecy were in full effect but in these sort of games, it really is more about the story and how the game chooses to tell you that story. Thankfully, that’s Heavy Rain’s stronger point. It’s got the same “jump around” from person to person character development device but each person’s story is really compelling and for the most part, you’re drawn in to see what happens to them next and how it affects the other characters in the story. As is to be expected, the game also has branching story paths, meaning making certain choices and succeeding or failing at doing something will impact the outcome. There are SEVERAL ways this game can turn out but I really only explored a few of them since I was playing other games at the time. To sum up, Heavy Rain was and still is a fairly boring game to me in terms of immediate interaction but its ability to tell a story and make a player care about it is unmatched.
– Evo out.