Review by jfvaughn1012

Reviewed: 03/26/10

Inspired and mature interactive experience like none other

Just finished a marathon session, 10 hr straight, playing through Heavy Rain the first time.Heard some good things and some bad things regarding the release, so I waited on this game for a month and a half. Finally went with my gut and played it. I was/am still blown away.

First off, the story is as well crafted as the best thrillers in the film medium, from Vertigo to The Silence of the Lambs, or Memento. Gritty and dark with excellent character portrayals. The story is adjusted throughout the time you play based off your choices and game performance. You do not see a game over screen throughout any of the game, even if a main character is killed. You just face the outcomes, and at the end the story can vary in so many ways. Without spoiling too much I will say this... there's lots of daddy issues. I cannot wait to try different things, see how I can adjust the story by having characters die, and finding all the clues surrounding the origami case. If you are a film noir or classic thriller movie fan, or enjoy novels of the same genres, you will very much so love the story and the presentation of the game.

The gameplay works very well with the game's intention to draw you into story much like a movie would. Buttons are pressed to coincide with your current character's actions, like an advanced Dragon's Lair. Brilliant set pieces in the story allow you to feel like you are struggling with the characters to accomplish normally impossible tasks. Some of the stuff you do is mundane in the beginning, but the fight and action sequences are exilarating, like a realistic, flowing fight where you have to be adaptable to anything.

The graphics are excellent, although uneven at times. Completely forgivable. Character animations are good 85-90% of the time. Music has the correct theme and plays out like any well-budgeted thriller movie score would. Voice acting is generally excellent, but the quality wavers a bit in some areas. Nothing that degrades the whole experience at all, just some minor crap.

All in all I love the whole experience, and commend the quality of Heavy Rain. Something this original and inspired is nice to see, especially in a medium that emphasizes function over form almost everytime. I hope to see this genre evolve, and more Quantic Dreams on my consoles in the future.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Product Release: Heavy Rain (US, 02/23/10)

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