Review by ktwse

Reviewed: 07/06/10

Finally a game that makes trying to score videogames pointless

Every so often a game comes along that revolutionizes gaming. Heavy Rain is undoubtedly such a game. Yet, a lot of gamers will never realize that.

Simply put, Heavy Rain revolutionizes how consequences are handled in games. Video gaming is all about consequences, obviously. Do X and you’re faced with the consequence of Y. Every video game forces you to handle the consequences of your actions all the time. So does Heavy Rain. Every action, every choice has a consequence. But unlike other games, no consequence will ever leave you with the feeling that you’ve lost, or force you to replay a section. Rather, in Heavy Rain, every consequence is final, and will change the outcome of the game.

No other game to date has allowed the player to let main characters die, yet allowed the player to continue to see the game through to the end. And Heavy Rain doesn’t stop at that: it is perfectly possible to finish the game, yet fail completely with the main objective of the game... That’s a revolution.

Now, I write that a lot of gamers will never realize that. That is because unless you play the game multiple times, solving (or not solving) different situations in different ways, you will never see how the game will unfold differently depending on your options. At the same time, playing through the game several times will reveal its shortcomings.

Those shortcomings are almost all associated with how well Heavy Rain works as a video game. The controls are, most of the time, nothing more than timed button presses. And every single sequence in the game plays out a bit like an interactive story (a Quicktime game as someone so precisely put it): there’s a small number of scripted sequences for each situation where you will see a different sequence depending on your choices and how well you solve the timed button presses that follow those choices. In essence, the game is completely on rails: there is little freedom for the player beyond choosing whether to do certain things or not, and in some situations whether to do the ”right” thing or not (not that Heavy Rain ever imposes a clumsy karma or moral system like those found in for example Fable or the Bioware games).

So, as a game in the traditional sense, Heavy Rain unfortunately fails miserably, and this will only become more obvious the more you play it. Yet, at the same time it is absolutely brilliant for the way it revolutionizes how games can handle consequences.

The great British gaming magazine Edge once had a very simple definition for their highest rating 10/10. That definition was just one word: ”revolutionary”. Going by that definition, Heavy Rain, without a doubt, is a 10/10. Trying to score it according to more widespread definitions is impossible.

I for one can’t stop playing it. Not because of the story (although it is great), not because of the graphics or the sound (both are great), and most certainly not because of the gameplay (which is the game’s weak point). But simply because I want to see every single way in which the game can unfold. I want to know every consequence of every choice, of every action. Ultimately, Heavy Rain shows just how pointless a scoring system like the one here on GameFAQs is. It is not a flawless game, not in any way, and so it shouldn't be deserving of that 10/10. Yet, no other score comes close to doing the game justice.

Brilliant, then. And revolutionary.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Product Release: Heavy Rain (EU, 02/26/10)

Would you recommend this Review? Yes No

Got Your Own Opinion?

Submit a review and let your voice be heard.