Going Gold: Why You Need to Buy Heavy Rain

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Going Gold: Why You Need to Buy Heavy Rain

Whether you like the game or not, if you care about seeing real emotional drama in videogames, you need to buy Heavy Rain.

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The game's creator, David Cage, says as much. "It's about asking the market, are you interested in experiences that are for a mature audience based on storytelling and triggering more complex emotions?" Cage told Eurogamer. "If the game doesn't sell, it's going to close doors to everybody and for a long time... Do you want [games] to be just trolls and goblins and zombies? Then don't buy it."

This does little for me if the gameplay is shit. I'm sorry, but compelling story can easily drown out the main purpose of a video game in my eyes, that being interactive fun. Story is great, it bridges the levels together, gives you purpose and drive to accomplish what yer after, but it's the gameplay that is the core of what makes a game worth buying or not.

As I've heard from people that this is more of a choose yer own adventure than a video game, I certainly won't be investing money into it. And this will do nothing in the way of destroying where the gaming world takes story telling. If anything, I hope it will force developers to realize that it takes more than just good storytelling or solid gameplay to make a spectacular experience.... it takes both.

Well, the main reason why I won't be renting or buying the game is because I don't have a PS3. I also didn't like Indigo Prophecy, the gameplay got way too frustrating and boring so I just stopped playing in the middle. Does Heavy Rain have those type of frustrating and boring parts as well?

So the article's main thrust can be summed up thus:
1) sure it has poor controls
2) sure it is barely a game
3) there are numerous glitches
4) And the writing suffers from clunky dialogue and dragging narrative
5) buy it to encourage more of the same.

I don't follow your assertions. Buying something of poor quality only encourages the production of poor quality (for example, the Wii and all its terrible games).

I also find it mentally insulting to say that it would close doors on people who wish to develop mature subjects in the future. Silent Hill, Grand Theft Auto, and Mass Effect have all covered a variety of mature topics, and they smartly decided not to tackle the subject matter of Heavy Rain because video games are a poor medium for such a story that doesn't focus on wizz-bang fun or supernatural terror.

In fact I hope this game fails so that someone else can take the ideas behind it and do them with more skill and marketable execution.

It is on its way to me I preordered it and am just waiting for it to show up on my doorstep. I fear it will not to well enough to send a message about story but have a feeling it will become one of those cult classics that loads of people love but no company will want to take the risk of making again(other then maybe quantic dreams).

I wanna get the game i just need to get PS3 first but i'm close to geting 1

To me this isn't a game it is just an interactive story/movie. I'd rather have zombies, trolls and goblins. If they are in a solid game with great playability. This in my eyes could also destroy the gaming industry. Great writing is good but a game needs to stand up with it's gameplay first before it should think of anything else. This game been the next step in the industry would make me lose hope I don't want to play a movie even if it has good writing

I totally disagree. The problem here is that there's really three options, and the third option is harder to signal publishers with.

Option 1: I want more zombies and goblins! Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
You like gaming just fine the way it is. You don't see games as art, or don't see a need for games to be any more than they are now in order to be art.
Action: Just don't buy Heavy Rain. You're sending a message that these sorts of games aren't wanted.

Option 2: I want this! More cinematic games, more mature themes, please!
You're into this. David Cage's raw edged push for more cinematic design in games, with more focus on interpersonal interaction and less killing is just what games need.
Action: Buy Heavy Rain immediately. Buy all the DLC as soon as it comes out.

Option 3: I want more mature games, but Heavy Rain isn't mature.
You agree with Cage's opinions on the state of games, but you think his methods are disastrously wrong-headed. Maybe you find the reliance on Quick-Time Events juvenile. Maybe you feel that he's deeply disrespectful of gaming's heritage by tossing aside well-worn mechanics and devices that could have served his purposes better than his slipshod 'innovations'. Maybe you're a devotee of the Clint Hocking school of thought, which says that games should not try to become film, because all that means is that in twenty years, we'll be as good as, and no better, than film right now. (I'm all of the above.)
Action: ?????

Here's the problem for me. I think Cage's games are utterly, totally and completely the wrong way for the industry to go. It's a disaster -- He's doing his best to destroy games and replace them with weak film; hardly a recipe for success. I appreciate his concern about how limited games are, but his style of game making is to pitch out everything that's come before and denounce it as worthless.

What we need are more Jonathan Blows and Clint Hockings. People who see what gaming's accomplished, understand why it works and when it doesn't, and seek to leverage those traditions and mechanics into better games with brighter futures. We don't need David Cage. He's like that infamous girlfriend who goes out with a guy not because she likes him, but because she 'sees his potential', and sets about immediately to change him in the hopes of realising that potential. She's a horrible girlfriend, and gaming shouldn't be going out with David Cage, either.

So what do we do? Buy it, or not? Neither seem appropriate.

Amondren:
I wanna get the game i just need to get PS3 first but i'm close to geting 1

Same here, as in tommorow close.

Heavy rain is definetly on my list! I played Farenheit, and I loved the gameplay, so, if this is anything like that Im going to love it

Rocketboy13:
I also find it mentally insulting to say that it would close doors on people who wish to develop mature subjects in the future. Silent Hill, Grand Theft Auto, and Mass Effect have all covered a variety of mature topics, and they smartly decided not to tackle the subject matter of Heavy Rain because video games are a poor medium for such a story that doesn't focus on wizz-bang fun or supernatural terror.

What about The Sims? That didn't focus on wizz-bang fun or supernatural terror, and it was a fun game. Whether it's art or not is in the eye of the beholder.

That said, I think Cage is right: Games need to work out how to handle more mundane stuff. I just think his approach is horribly ill-considered.

Rocketboy13:
So the article's main thrust can be summed up thus:
1) sure it has poor controls
2) sure it is barely a game
3) there are numerous glitches
4) And the writing suffers from clunky dialogue and dragging narrative
5) buy it to encourage more of the same.

I don't follow your assertions. Buying something of poor quality only encourages the production of poor quality (for example, the Wii and all its terrible games).

I also find it mentally insulting to say that it would close doors on people who wish to develop mature subjects in the future. Silent Hill, Grand Theft Auto, and Mass Effect have all covered a variety of mature topics, and they smartly decided not to tackle the subject matter of Heavy Rain because video games are a poor medium for such a story that doesn't focus on wizz-bang fun or supernatural terror.

In fact I hope this game fails so that someone else can take the ideas behind it and do them with more skill and marketable execution.

Have you actually played Heavy Rain? I am done with my first playthrough and for the most part the controls did what they had to. They weren't optimal in anyway, but they offered about the same level of problems that I had with Mass Effect 2 and its' controls. I didn't find a single glitch (apart from some stutter due to disc reading that occured about once or twice when I selected an action) in the game and there were parts of the writing that wasn't stellar.

But these shortcomings are easy to overlook compared to the pros. This was the first game I've played in years where I was actually feeling my sympatic nervous system on a regular basis. Wait, you say, is it even a game? I say it is, but I also know that many will contest that and the discussion is kind of pointless.

As for the comparsions to other games, I've played them all and I can honestly say that Mass Effect or Grand Theft Auto do not manage to step up and stand on even terms with Heavy Rain. Even Silent Hill is dubious, but since my experience there is limited I won't go into detail. What Heavy Rain does, that neither ME or GTA did, is that it doesn't bat you over the head with its' own morality but rather lets you explore the topic within the confines of the gaming experience.

Heavy Rain is an experiment, that much is obvious. But to say that games as a medium is unsuited for this kind of story or theme is kind of silly. That's like saying roleplaying is only suited for dungeon crawling or pretending to be a vampire and it is quite obvious roleplaying has evolved beyond that point.
Mr. Cage talks a lot and he likes to be melodramatic, that I think we can all agree on. But I think he was right when he said that Heavy Rain will be the indicator on whatever or not the gaming audience is ready to take their gaming to the "next level". Your own comment about whizz-bang fun and supernatural terror shows that some gamers obviously don't want to test the limits of the gaming medium. As for me, I want to see just how deep this rabbit hole is and for all its' flaws (who still doesn't stop it from being a good game), Heavy Rain is a step in the direction I want to see the gaming industry move.

I believe games can be so much more than fancy explosions and living out the dreams of being the Special Forces soldiers we never became or getting scared of "monsters". Games currently are mostly like Steven Segal movies, but I think they can be so much more. I want to believe at least, that there is room for both the action packed, the thinking games and these games like Heavy Rain, that try to instill emotion and create a morality discussion.

uppitycracker:

The game's creator, David Cage, says as much. "It's about asking the market, are you interested in experiences that are for a mature audience based on storytelling and triggering more complex emotions?" Cage told Eurogamer. "If the game doesn't sell, it's going to close doors to everybody and for a long time... Do you want [games] to be just trolls and goblins and zombies? Then don't buy it."

This does little for me if the gameplay is shit. I'm sorry, but compelling story can easily drown out the main purpose of a video game in my eyes, that being interactive fun. Story is great, it bridges the levels together, gives you purpose and drive to accomplish what yer after, but it's the gameplay that is the core of what makes a game worth buying or not.

As I've heard from people that this is more of a choose yer own adventure than a video game, I certainly won't be investing money into it. And this will do nothing in the way of destroying where the gaming world takes story telling. If anything, I hope it will force developers to realize that it takes more than just good storytelling or solid gameplay to make a spectacular experience.... it takes both.

I tend to agree (and others) with this view for gaming. In the end it needs to be immersive, whether its reading a book, playing a game, etc. If you attempt to take on both immersive story telling as well as immersive gameplay you have to consider both and how they will co-exist with each other. For example in Heavy Rain, having the ability to perform tasks such as showering or going to the washroom helps develop the story and create a sense of atmosphere before say a climatic event but the effect may be diminish since the actual gameplay involving performing those tasks may detract the player because they find it boring defeating the purpose of what it was supposed todo in the first place.

I'm buying the game...No question asked.

Only because I like a good mystery.

I want this game so much, but I don't have a ps3. If I ever get one this is on the list... But I don't want to see games with story get sidelined for l4d3.

sueyed:

People are acting like this is the Schindler's List of gaming. It's not. It's John Q, without Denzel Washington.

The sooner I can move on from having all these pretentious douchebags tell me "I'm just not mature enough to 'get it'", the better.

1. John Q was a terrible movie, even with Denzel Washington. I mean, how could that possibly get any worse?? I want those 90-odd minutes of my life back.

2. Not sure about it being the Schindler's List of games (although I can't see the attraction of that movie either, but apparently everyone likes it so it must be good...) but at least it's trying something new.

I'm not saying we should get rid of shooty-shooty whizz-bang-pow games, but there needs to be something out there to tax the old brain cells with a bit of slower pace as well. Otherwise you're limiting gaming to a small demographic and thus limiting the industry's potential.

edit - i've already pre-ordered Heavy Rain, because I think I'll like it (I love a good story, but also because I want to see different types of games, not just the latest Modern Halozone 2 variation of a theme

I can sum up my thoughts on this in two words: "Say what?"

Should have it in a few hours cant wait. I personally think anyone that has a PS3 and thinks of this game as a QTE movie and is not buying is just scared of new things.Xenophobes
Anyways I'm waiting for Yahtzee to review it, It will be interesting to hear what he thinks of it.

my thoughts are why pay 40 for a b-movie?

Jaredin:

Amondren:
I wanna get the game i just need to get PS3 first but i'm close to geting 1

Same here, as in tommorow close.

Heavy rain is definetly on my list! I played Farenheit, and I loved the gameplay, so, if this is anything like that Im going to love it

I probably would be in this camp if I hadn't just bought a new car. The car wasn't a luxury, I need one in working condition. A PS3 would have been one... :(

sueyed:

are you interested in experiences that are for a mature audience based on storytelling and triggering more complex emotions?

Sure am sir. Am I interested in having these emotions triggered by horrific writing and Two Worlds-esque voice acting.

No.

...

Edit: Wow. I get it now. Playing and liking Heavy Rain turns you into a pretentious douche. That's the "complex emotion" he's refering to. THE MAN IS A GENIUS!

But... Two Worlds dialog was hillarious. "A bold man you say? For what purpose prey?

As for the edit, I admit, I chuckled.

I see where you're coming from and I more or less agree, but I doubt the impact of Heavy Rain will be more than a drop of water on the ridgid brick surface that is today's game industry. The bigger this industry gets the less risks they'll allow developers to make so you should probably be glad Heavy Rain was even made.

Atleast we still have The Last Guardian to look forward to, though I think that'll be The Last Big Budget Art Game we'll see in quite some time.

I would like to buy this game... but until it comes out for PC I can't.

(I enjoyed Fahrenheit quite a bit, even though the story went a bit weird towards the end.)

I'm pretty sure when dragon's lair and space ace failed to perform, Don Bluth didn't start spewing bullshit about the death of interactive media.

Story/writing is ALWAYS going to be relied upon to set games apart from one another. The better the story, the more it will set itself apart. But without adequate gameplay, it will set itself "apart" from its primary demographics. Making slight improvements to the button mashing sequence formula (AND NOTHING ELSE) isn't going to set any worlds on fire.

I, like others in this thread, fail to see how buying an obviously flawed experience in droves is going to push the industry forward. A bunch of games are moving into more mature territory, and have been doing so for a while now. More complex stories with emotional heft are becoming commonplace in gaming, even in games that aren't visual choose your own adventure books. Even your standard issue FPS gets blasted these days if it doesn't have at least a cohesive and interesting backstory to supplement the action.

I'm not saying don't buy Heavy Rain, I'm saying look at it for what it is and then make your choice. The author of the article points out numerous flaws in the game, both design wise and technical. The author also puts forward one real reason for overlooking all of that, a somewhat nebulous belief that buying Heavy Rain will somehow make all game makers wake up and realize that games need to head into more mature waters. Problem is, as I've pointed out above, games are already there. Sure not every game is going to be an emotional moving masterpiece of storytelling (not that Heavy Rain is), but neither is every movie or book. Some paintings are scenics, some are still life, some are portraits. Certainly it's an overstatement of what the author is intending but I, for one, would hate to see a world where every game was like Heavy Rain even if it does have it's fans.

BlindChance:
Here's the problem for me. I think Cage's games are utterly, totally and completely the wrong way for the industry to go. It's a disaster -- He's doing his best to destroy games and replace them with weak film; hardly a recipe for success. I appreciate his concern about how limited games are, but his style of game making is to pitch out everything that's come before and denounce it as worthless.

Since when was Cage trying to replace games? That is a gross exageration of Heavy Rain, when Citizen Kane came out did every movie suddenly become a serious, dark toned, drama after that? Hell no, there are still plenty of comedies out there. When Lord of the Rings was released, did every book become a fantasy adventure? Hell no, plenty of sci-fi and pussy vampire novels out there. Did everyone become a grunge musician after Nirvana? Well, aside from fads n' stuff, no.

You're looking into this way too deeply, no one genre will ever completely take over production and it's silly to assume that somehow Cage is trying to impose everything on gaming.

Heavy Rain is supposed to be a mature story intended for adults. It deals with issues like rape, suicide, child death, home invasion, drug abuse, ect... Does every game have to have that stuff? Hell. No. And don't think for a second that it's a "disaster" that Heavy Rain is trying to do that.

I've been looking forward to this game for a long time, so I doubt I can be dissuaded to buy in any case, but I am a little disappointed to hear the vioce-acting is sub-par and it suffers from so many glitches. I'm wholeheartedly looking forward to Yahtzee's point of view though, can't wait for his review!

EDIT:

Jumplion:
fads n' stuff

Wow, just had to say that sounds like a great name for a band!

Sadly_awake:
Should have it in a few hours cant wait. I personally think anyone that has a PS3 and thinks of this game as a QTE movie and is not buying is just scared of new things.Xenophobes
Anyways I'm waiting for Yahtzee to review it, It will be interesting to hear what he thinks of it.

I'm not scared of new things. I'm scared of things that take the worst of other things and try to hide it with a decent story. Why should I pay fifty dollars for an interactive movie? I'm sorry, but I like my games to have...gameplay.

BlindChance:
What about The Sims? That didn't focus on wizz-bang fun or supernatural terror, and it was a fun game. Whether it's art or not is in the eye of the beholder.

That said, I think Cage is right: Games need to work out how to handle more mundane stuff. I just think his approach is horribly ill-considered.

I belong in the crowd that the Sims was barely a game, Sort of like Croshaw said "It is just a program you dick around in".

Oh, sure. Wait right there while I spend one week's worth of my pay to buy a game for a console I don't own.

I didn't play this. I would certainly play this if I owed a PS3, though, but I'd probably rent it. What I did play, (a few months ago, in fact), was Indigo Prophecy. And it's obvious from it that Cage thinks he's the one guy who can save videogames. The game had a tutorial that thought the player how to move your character, written in way that made it obvious it was target at people who had never seen those newfangled vidya gaems thingies before. Cage was certain that Indigo Prophecy would be the game that turned games mainstream, that crowds of people who had never laid hand on a controller before would be lining up to play this one game that had broken all the molds. He was wrong.

(And gameplay-wise, I'm not a shoddy gamer myself, having finished Goldeneye and TimeSplitters 2 on the hardest diffuculty setting, but I had to knock IP down to easy to enjoy it. I can't imagine a non-gamer going through it without his thumbs falling off. Plus, you don't use the shoulder buttons if a game is aimed at non-gamers, that's just common sense.)

Cage is wrong. He thinks he's Alfred Hitchcock, but he's the German guy making weird senseless short movies consisting of unfocused shots of people vomiting overlapping with split-second pictures of vaginas. He thinks he's Kurt Cobain, but he's a guy who wears a beret and goes to small music clubs on Alternative Thursdays and spends his ten-minute show playing the mike feedback and flipping off the audience. He's not a trailblazer; he's the weird guy the trailblazers look at and say, 'He's doing everything wrong, but he's got a point.'

Tell you what. I'll buy Braid instead, OK? In fact, since I can't access Live from here and my computer can't run it, I'll spend more money buying a new video card for my computer so I can run it. Would that suffice?

Jumplion:
You're looking into this way too deeply, no one genre will ever completely take over production and it's silly to assume that somehow Cage is trying to impose everything on gaming.

I think my sentence was misconstrued. (And partially, yes, I admit to hyperbole. Mea culpa.) I meant more that he's destroying the game element of his own productions, replacing them with weak film.

That said, the very point that Christian Ward was making in his column was that by buying Heavy Rain, we're sending a message to publishers that we want games like Heavy Rain. I'm not saying that Cage's games will become all that's every published, but I sure don't want to send a message saying I want to see more games like it.

I'm sitting on the fence. fahrenheit showed potential, and squandered the whole damn lot. Qtes aren't even that bad, but repetitive gameplay can kill immersion. I'll pick it up when it's cheap though, just to see what it's like.

BlindChance:
I totally disagree. The problem here is that there's really three options, and the third option is harder to signal publishers with.

Option 1: I want more zombies and goblins! Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
You like gaming just fine the way it is. You don't see games as art, or don't see a need for games to be any more than they are now in order to be art.
Action: Just don't buy Heavy Rain. You're sending a message that these sorts of games aren't wanted.

Option 2: I want this! More cinematic games, more mature themes, please!
You're into this. David Cage's raw edged push for more cinematic design in games, with more focus on interpersonal interaction and less killing is just what games need.
Action: Buy Heavy Rain immediately. Buy all the DLC as soon as it comes out.

Option 3: I want more mature games, but Heavy Rain isn't mature.
You agree with Cage's opinions on the state of games, but you think his methods are disastrously wrong-headed. Maybe you find the reliance on Quick-Time Events juvenile. Maybe you feel that he's deeply disrespectful of gaming's heritage by tossing aside well-worn mechanics and devices that could have served his purposes better than his slipshod 'innovations'. Maybe you're a devotee of the Clint Hocking school of thought, which says that games should not try to become film, because all that means is that in twenty years, we'll be as good as, and no better, than film right now. (I'm all of the above.)
Action: ?????

Here's the problem for me. I think Cage's games are utterly, totally and completely the wrong way for the industry to go. It's a disaster -- He's doing his best to destroy games and replace them with weak film; hardly a recipe for success. I appreciate his concern about how limited games are, but his style of game making is to pitch out everything that's come before and denounce it as worthless.

What we need are more Jonathan Blows and Clint Hockings. People who see what gaming's accomplished, understand why it works and when it doesn't, and seek to leverage those traditions and mechanics into better games with brighter futures. We don't need David Cage. He's like that infamous girlfriend who goes out with a guy not because she likes him, but because she 'sees his potential', and sets about immediately to change him in the hopes of realising that potential. She's a horrible girlfriend, and gaming shouldn't be going out with David Cage, either.

So what do we do? Buy it, or not? Neither seem appropriate.

You sir have the most intresting post here

Gethsemani:

Rocketboy13:
So the article's main thrust can be summed up thus:
1) sure it has poor controls
2) sure it is barely a game
3) there are numerous glitches
4) And the writing suffers from clunky dialogue and dragging narrative
5) buy it to encourage more of the same.

Have you actually played Heavy Rain? I am done with my first playthrough and for the most part the controls did what they had to. They weren't optimal in anyway, but they offered about the same level of problems that I had with Mass Effect 2 and its' controls. I didn't find a single glitch (apart from some stutter due to disc reading that occured about once or twice when I selected an action) in the game and there were parts of the writing that wasn't stellar.
But these shortcomings are easy to overlook compared to the pros. This was the first game I've played in years where I was actually feeling my sympatic nervous system on a regular basis. Wait, you say, is it even a game? I say it is, but I also know that many will contest that and the discussion is kind of pointless.

See this is my issue, I have no sympathy for the characters. All of them fall into the Uncanny Vally, I find the dialogue goes from uneven to stilted, I dislike that the game has you act out pointless things like brushing your teeth, that isn't immersion, that is doldrums. And that is only part of why I find games a poor medium for this sort of story. The controls do what they are supposed to do, but why do those things, yeah action may be hollow most of the time in other games, having little narrative impact, but at least stuff happens, I couldn't get through the first hour of the game, it was boring and cheesy and it made me actively dislike the main character.

Here is my central position, if you are a parent you should spend more time with your kids rather than play this game, and if you are not a parent then you won't be able to fully empathize with the situation to begin with and the hoped for narrative impact won't happen. It is a failure of concept.

BlindChance:

I think my sentence was misconstrued. (And partially, yes, I admit to hyperbole. Mea culpa.) I meant more that he's destroying the game element of his own productions, replacing them with weak film.

That said, the very point that Christian Ward was making in his column was that by buying Heavy Rain, we're sending a message to publishers that we want games like Heavy Rain. I'm not saying that Cage's games will become all that's every published, but I sure don't want to send a message saying I want to see more games like it.

You know, when he says he wants more games like Heavy Rain, he means more story based games.

He doesn't mean games exactly like Heavy Rain, he wants all kinds of games have the same amount of hard situations. In most games with choices, its either "kill" or "not kill".

In Heavy Rain, there are shitloads of in-betweens. There are a lot of mature themes, and mature situations. Thats what he wants more of, and thats what the industry needs more of.

If this game tanks, it will send a message to all publishers that gamers don't want mature stories. All gamers want are generic, cookie cutter shooters. But if is does well, it will show publishers that gamers want better stories in their games.

I've been secretly (and occasionally not-so-secretly) regretting not having a PS3 ever since I heard of this game. While I still do not intend to get a PS3 for a single game (I'm a die-hard PC gamer at heart), this article makes me want to send Quantic Dream a 60 Euro cheque...

Then again, I did buy (and enjoy, despite their many flaws) Omikron and Fahrenheit, so maybe it wouldn't hurt to skip this one. Let's hope Omikron 2 will be available on PC!

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