Friday, February 12, 2010

Heavy Rain: Maybe a Bit Too Heavy?

The game's demo is finally out on the PlayStation Store but it is very light in actual content. Since the game is going to be heavily-focused on telling a story, it makes sense that developer Quantic Dream doesn't want us to play too much of the game from the demo. How can I describe the game? Well, think of it as a less interactive Shenmue - Heavy Rain is played mostly via quick time events while allowing you to actually control your character to move from one area to the next.

Just because she is cheap, it doesn't necessarily mean that she is easy.

Not much of story is revealed in the demo: You get to play a private detective and a FBI agent who are investigating the case of the "Origami Killer" who seemed to have murdered quite a number of people, including children. The character movement is rather awkward - you have to hold the R2 button to walk and every single action in the game is dictated by a motion command of the Sixaxis controller or by elaborate inputs of the buttons and analogue sticks, mostly mimicking the real motions of the actions. This gives the game a deliberately slow pacing. It's very cinematic almost to the point that the game becomes an interactive movie but then it takes you away from that confined aesthetic by allowing you to freely move your character around. The game feels familiar and new at the same time. It's oddly mesmerizing. For a game that has been repeatedly praised for its graphics, Heavy Rain unfortunately doesn't look that impressive. The detailed character faces during the loading screens do look incredible but the same facial models are not used during the actual gameplay section of the game. More disappointing however is that the game can only run as high as 720p. Overall, I am still very curious about this game. The simplistic gameplay doesn't deter me from wanting to experience the whole thing and I always like a game that tries to tell an interesting story. Heavy Rain is definitely going to be popular with the more adventurous type of gamers once it is released on the 23rd of this month.

The game is very moody.


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