Review by KFC_Manager

Reviewed: 06/28/10

How far can love drive someone?

The main theme that seems to be the big question in all of Heavy Rain's gamers. This mind boggling, suspenseful, gripping and emotional third person adventure game sets a new goal in Sony Entertainment history. Imagine a game, where every small action can make a massive impact in your characters storyline. Where your eyes never leave your television screen, a game that you experience breath taking moments. A game where you actually have to pause and think about the repercussions of your next move. This game by far has been one of the best adventure games I have ever played. The drastic amount of emotional flow emitting from this game is just pulchritudinous compared to the thousands of other adventure games I have played in the past.

Storyline.

The game Heavy Rain is centered on a person known as the Origami Killer. The serial killer only kills little children for some reason (boys only). This psychopathic killer drowns his victims in rain water, then dumping the body faced up (back to the ground) leaving an origami figure next to the body, and a orchid flower on the chest. Throughout the game you will be able to control four different and unique characters in the story. These characters are Ethan Mars, Madison Paige, Norman Jayden and Scott Shelby. The story begins with the intentional main character (Ethan Mars). Ethan Mars is a young architect living on the eastern coast of America. Two years prior to the start of the game, which is called the (Prologue) he lost his eldest son in a car accident. Risking his life to save his son left the young architect in a coma for six months. Once a happy successful man, Ethan is now grief stricken, depressed and traumatized by the incident. Separated from his wife, and becoming more distant with everyday with his other son, Shaun. Still suffering from the side-effects from the accident, Ethan is thrown into a disastrous nightmare when he finds out his only son (Shaun) might be the next victim to the Origami Killer. Having lost his other son in the past, Ethan relentlessly pursues the clues left by the Origami Killer to find and save his only son.

Madison Paige is a young journalist, living alone in the city. She suffers from crippling insomnia and nightmares, (which you experience later in the game) she often resorts to checking into local motels for a night. (Seemingly the one place she can forget and relax.) Norman Jaydan is a dedicated and very thorough FBI profiler, sent into an unfamiliar city to support the police force with their investigation on the Origami Killer. Jayden specializes in utilizing an experimental device called ARI ('Added Reality Interface'), which allows him to investigate crime scenes and analyses evidence in a revolutionary way. (I wish we had that type of technology) With the police force resentful to both his compassionate (at times) ways and his very presence, he struggles urgently to piece together the evidence before another child is lost to this monster. Scott Shelby, a forty-five year old PI ('Private Investigator') former cop who after twenty long years left the police department. Two decades on the city streets have left him tough and cynical, but despite his hard demeanor, (every few often) he has a sense of honor and compassion that burns through like a forest fire when under pressure. Scott's role in Heavy Rain is, he has been hired by the past families that have fallen victim to the Origami Killer, and now he is conducting a parallel investigation into the case searching for clues, leads and any help possible that the authorities may have over looked or missed.


Game-play.
Heavy Rain combines exploration, suspense, cryptic arts, maniacal theming, dialogue and dramatic action scenes with a powerful and compelling narrative. Taking control of four different characters, with each having distinctive backgrounds and motivation, you will have the honor to take part in the race against time to find a psychopathic killer before time turns to an end.

As you interactively shape with your actions and choices that have tangible impacts on fates of these characters, and the way that the plot unravels. Your every decision can have a significant (and,or) an unforeseen consequences. Making the gameplay experience uniquely dramatic and engrossing. To take an extreme example, if one of the four main characters lives end (ever so tragically) due to one of your actions, it's not 'Game Over'. Instead, the plot will continue using the other characters, and the characters death becomes apart of the story. Influencing what leads and paths can be taken left from them. Heavy Rain is a game that truly focuses on drama and the emotional response, not violence and repetition; (Which I am getting sick of) on making difficult and high price implicative decisions in the heat of the moment and then having the after effect of having to deal with the consequences.

Graphics/Sound
Heavy Rain most likely the greatest graphics I've ever seen a long time. The detail is so amazing that your characters will have visible bruises and more based what happens on-screen throughout the storyline. For instance lets say during any of the quick time events you miss a button prompt the repercussions will be a visible bruise . The more you miss the more visible the bruise will be. During an early part of the game there is a section where a woman is about to be raped by one of her old 'clients'. You can choose to either help her or leave her but if you take time before actually deciding to help her she will have a black eye (from presumably resisting ). The severity of this black eye depends on how much time passes before you save her.

The facial expressions and motion capturing are absolutely flawless and the best I have witnessed. Wrinkles, cuts, scars, burns and even tears are visible on the character models. The scenes in this game are emotional but then to put a character crying, with such deep passion and and emotion..(I myself found my self crying throughout the story line) what an accomplishment. As the story unfolds and the atmosphere increases even you may possibly get a tad bit teary-eyed. You will truly sympathize with a character's emotions just by looking at them. The amount of detail and polish to everything in the game is something to grasp and hold it's glory. Whether it is clothes, a car, blood, or anything else you may encounter you can't help but notice the staggering amount of detail present and how 'life-like' it looks. In some cases the animation is so exquisite you may believe you are watching real actors. In an already immersing story this is a magnificent sight. The game is extremely polished and suffers from no technical errors (That I could find). The game runs at a constant 30 frames per second without screen-tearing or jagged images present. The sound layout in Heavy Rain, it must have been one of the most greatest original soundtrack I have ever heard. The symphony is absolutely amazing and adds to how powerful and gripping each and every emotional capture is. Sound effects are incredible too. It hurts hearing the crackling of glass as you crawl on it.

Re-Playability

There are 22 different endings. So for those hearts that have been captivated, you can relive the breath taking experiences differently every time. A first play-through will take nine-twelve hours. You will want to make different choices and see the many possible outcomes to every situation. Most of the endings actually feel unique and different. Trying to see them all can become addicting too. Also there is download-able content being released frequently to further expand on the past of each character. And if that still isn't enough, there will be download-able content that lets you play as the Origami Killer.

Pros
Deep and impactive storyline.
Outstanding voice acting.
Astounding and interactive and fluid game-play.
Very simplistic so ever gamer even non-gamers can have the experience.
Twenty-two different and extremely unique endings.

Cons
At the end of the game it shows what could have happened in the story 'have you' done what was as of you. That really downed the game in my book. But everything else makes up for it.
Occasional arrests.

Rating: 9.0/10
Reviewers rating: 8.9/10

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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

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