Heavy Rain: One of the Greats

February 23rd saw the culmination of the three years I’ve been waiting for this game. Now I have beaten it, the fastest I have ever beaten a game, and I’m pretty close to being able to say that it has beaten Shadow of the Colossus for top spot in my list of best games ever. Heavy Rain is the first game I’ve played with real human characters, characters you would see in a good thriller flick.

Heavy Rain was developed by a French company called Quantic Dream that previously made Indigo Prophecy (another personal favorite). The game tells the story of 4 people who are all affected in some way by a serial killer who has been at work for three years. People call him the origami (or origarmi/oragahmi/oregano) killer based on his calling card, a small origami figure left in the hand of his victim. His victims are also all children between the ages of 10 and 12. The four characters are a P.I., a FBI agent, a journalist, and the father of the origami killer’s latest victim.

This game deserves it’s mature rating. Not because of excessive violence, or swearing, although there is some of both in this game, no, it deserves it’s mature rating because it tells a mature story that isn’t for the little ones because they wouldn’t get it, nor will they actually give a shit. Here’s the test to see if a kid is mature enough for this game, if they can sit down for David Fincher’s Zodiac the entire time and not get bored, they can handle and enjoy this game. (Holy shit that test excludes a few of my friends from playing this game)

Also there is nudity, but only from the female character Madison, and you only see her breasts. At least twice you see a male character take a shower but you never see his penis. This upsets me because the way to make something classy is to show a penis. Think about it; the classiest things in the world all have at least one penis shot. The beginning of Antichrist, Alan Moore’s graphic text-book From Hell has more than a few, maybe that’s the thing Alan Moore stole all the dick shots in Europe, so now European art can’t have anymore.

Seriously check this book out, it's chock full of class (class = dick shots)

Another small problem I have with the game is a lot of the voice acting is sub par. Nobody in this game consistently says origami correctly. I realize that most of the voice talent was French but origami is a Japanese word so it’s pretty much the same everywhere. The main characters are all really good, especially the P.I. and the journalist chick.

Oh yeah and the graphics. The graphics are for lack of a better word… beautiful. The people at Quantic Dream took a long time on this game and it shows, apparently the better part of a decade is how long it takes to climb your way out of the uncanny valley, and while they don’t make it all the way out, it’s the best I’ve ever seen. The games industry has come so very far since Custer’s Revenge.

Let’s compare:

This...

... Looks significantly better than this

Gameplay wise this is a lot like an old point and click adventure from the early nineties, but better because I actually gave a shit, granted I wasn’t really a functioning human being when that style of game was popular. The only real difference is that now the point and click adventure has been updated with what could loosely be called Quick Time Events, but unlike previous games that use QTE (God of War, Resident Evil) the one’s in Heavy Rain are integrated smoothly and flawlessly into the game, they are organic and intuitive to the gaming experience.

But really Heavy Rain as a game is about three things, Story, Character, and Story. Which is amazing for me, I get so sick of space marines and assassins and open world who gives a shit games that an ultra linear, ultra story driven game is the best thing ever. Similarly, the story in Heavy Rain is about three things, Daddy Issues, Daddy Issues, and Daddy Issues. Seriously Heavy Rain is David Cage’s (the writer/director of Heavy Rain) Hook.

Watch it again, it's just Spielberg bitching about his dad for 2 hours

Unlike Hook, however, I don’t absolutely hate Heavy Rain. Actually I love Heavy Rain, I beat it about 30 minutes ago and I already want to start a new game up. Heavy Rain absolutely belongs on your PS3 shelf, next to the other essentials: Little Big Planet, Metal Gear Solid 4, and The Ant Bully Game.

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4 Responses to “Heavy Rain: One of the Greats”

  1. You know who else I just recently realized has daddy issues? JJ Abrams. Everything he puts his hands on has a main character with daddy issues: Lost (Doctor with a drunk for a father), Star Trek (Kirk with his dead dad), Armageddon (The girl who is Bruce Willis’ daughter, though that one sort of gets resolved), Fringe (Main dude’s dad is a mad scientist). It just seems to be pervasive throughout his work…

    Anyway, about Heavy Rain, I totes want to play it, perhaps I shall sometime if it only takes 30 minutes to beat, despite my distinct lack of a PS3 or the money to buy one…

    • It takes a bit more than 30 minutes to beat but you should certainly play it regardless, also Mission Impossible 3 doesn’t have anything in the way of daddy issues, as far as i remember

      • Well, I don’t think it did either, but maybe it’s due for a revisit with this in mind… In any case, when a majority of your work is daddy-issue-laden it suggests something about you… specifically that you have daddy issues yourself, in case you didn’t get that implication.

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