Developer Quantic Dream has always made deep, involved games, their last of which was Indigo Prophecy (otherwise known as Fahrenheit), and if you loved that kind of game and storytelling, you’ll most certainly love their next offering. Heavy Rain was one of the most anticipated PS3 games for years, and it’s certainly lives up to most of the hype.
Without digging too much into the story — and we won’t, because we certainly don’t want to give away anything — Heavy Rain is a deep game which centers around characters and relies a lot on the choices the player makes. However, when reading this review, keep in mind that since the game relies on the story a lot, and since we won’t give you any spoilers, it’s a bit tricky to do a review. But we’ll try anyway.
The gameplay is quite unlike anything else you’ve seen, and it immerses and requires more from the player than other games — any other game, actually. It also requires patience, and demands of you to follow the story, the characters, listen to the dialogue and generally pay attention, and you’ll want to do that, since the story is the main selling point here, as you might expect. The game follows four characters, each involved with chasing the Origami Killer, and while the story takes a bit too long to really start — as you’ll be doing mundane things like brushing your teeth and other nonsense — when you’re past Act 1, you’ll in for quite a ride.
Since you’re playing as four different characters, and since you make all the decisions in the game, obviously the game will progress depending on your actions, which begs for a replay of the game, something you’d definitely want to do, although, as noted before, the beginning might put a damper on the excitement. One of the interesting aspects of the game, to say the least, is the control mechanism. Each button represent a choice at a different time in a different scene, so it’s impossible to memorize things, and some of the action sequences seem too animated and pre-determined. However, there are instances where the controls work great, for example, when you need to make a quick decision, and your character is confused, you’ll have the options swarming around on the screen, mimicking just how difficult it might be for the character to make a choice.
Visually the game looks great, especially people’s faces and the world is rendered wonderfully and sets a wonderful mood. However, a few things aren’t of such a quality, for instance, lip-syncing with dialogue, some animations look crude, some items are quite low res and not animated correctly. Probably the worst thing about it is the dialogue, which is supposed to be delivered by American actors, but instead, it’s delivered by Europeans with a fake American accent, which really puts a damper on the authenticity of the game. Overall though, Heavy Rain still stands out as one of the best PS3 games of the past few years, and you should definitely check it out.
A few visual glitches
Starts off quite tame
Control scheme might no suit everyone
Bad voice acting
Overall score: 8/10