A jab at gaming – with love

Heavy Rain Review

-By Josh

Heavy Rain is an adventure game that allows you as the player to control four different characters as their storylines are told individually in parallel and ultimately leading to an interwoven conclusion. Given how the game is played, many decisions are made by each of the characters that can lead to multiple conclusions or endings. If you like adventure games that have a more mature storyline, as oppose to saving the princess, then you will enjoy this game. The action of the game is controlled by timed button presses/holds as well as analog motion with the right thumbstick. Thoughts of characters can be observed by hold L2 and pressing a corresponding button of the thoughts.

What I like:

Presentation – This game is pouring – pun intended – with beauty. Environments are well detailed and the city looks, feels, and sounds like a real city. I might help that I have a 5.1 surround system and the audio is presented in DTS, but it really adds to the engrossing feel.

Story – While there are certainly plot holes in this game, the story’s cohesiveness keeps you interested in continuing to play the game. The story also provides for a personal attachment to characters – that is as long as you are not a robot and actually have feelings.

Gameplay – Struggle with the controller translates well to struggle that the character is experiencing.

What is questionable:

Gameplay – Some required button presses/thumbstick movements are hard to identify what action will actually occur. Given that the game is supposed to have “consequences” for certain actions, you want to be sure what action is going to occur with a certain press/movement and the game doesn’t always make that clear. Also, when a character is nervous or scared, the actions and thoughts start to shake and make it hard to clearly identify the associated press/movement. Sometimes this can lead to a missed press or movement that may be critical to the player. Also character control can be an issue.

Thoughts vs. Decisions – This is probably the hardest thing to understand about the game. When holding down L2, thoughts will float around the characters’ heads. The thing that confused me was if these are the people thoughts, how come they are diametric opposites? Also, it seemed to me that by making a button press I was actually making a decision for the character, even though I just wanted their thoughts. So are the thoughts of the character or are they the decisions of the player? Confusing.

Presentation – Same as mentioned in the impression.

OVERALL – 3/4 stars. This was a very enjoyable game to play and I’m currently playing through it again to see what the other endings are. This game does some very unique things that haven’t really been seen in other games so definitely check it out. I would recommend this game to anyone that enjoys adventure games and try to stay away from spoilers as it could really ruin the game (from a story aspect).

4Couples – Can be a great game to experience together and also do some controller sharing. If you can overcome some of the gameplay and thoughts vs. decisions issues, then you will both have a wonderful experience.

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