Going Gold: Why You Need to Buy Heavy Rain

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Samechiel:
Out of all the talk of Heavy Rain, it's the constant insistence of "maturity" that gets me. It's no more mature than any other game out there, and offers no content not covered (and in some cases covered better) by other games; they just slap that label on the cover in the hopes that the pretentious douchebag crowd will overlook the fact they're playing a Quick Time Event: The Movie: The Game.

There will, sadly, also be pretentious douchebags (sorry, uncalled for, but you see where I'm getting with that) who can't see past the "IT'S A QUICK TIME EVENT MOVIE GAME!!!!"

Read Irridium's comment above yours, while Mass Effect may "technically" deal with those issues, it's hardly a central point in the story. Especially murder since you're just blowing alien heads up.

Azaraxzealot:
AAAAAARRRRRGH! I hate it when console exclusives get more praise than other games (from reviewers)! Has anyone noticed that a lot of games that get mostly critical praise (such as Fable 2 and Halo 3) are received with more of a "meh" to the common person?

Umm... no, I don't find that at all. I thought that stuff like Halo 3, Killzone 2, LBP, and to a lesser extent Fable 2 were quite worthy of their critical praise (I wasn't a fan of Fable, but I do recognize that it did a lot of things right). What I do find is that the general gaming public become very polarized about exclusives; it tends to be more of a love-it-or-hate-it situation. Most likely because a lot of people can't play it, and deploy a kind of sour-grape tactic to debase the game a bit.

Rocketboy13:
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".

I may be crazy, but for the most part I fail to see the difference between a game and "a program you dick around in".

Samechiel:
*snip*

I agree that the "maturity" tag makes very little sense. However it does offer something that's not often covered by games; emotional response. I haven't finished the game, so what I can offer is only a part of the full experience. However, I can confidently say that Heavy Rain is already on my list of top 10 favorite games for one very important and unique reason; it made me care. This is the first game I played that had me emotionally invested in it. I have enjoyed a lot of great games, but none of them have managed to do that.
I'm going to use Mass Effect 2 as comparison here, since it seems to be the other name being thrown around the most. I think Mass Effect 2 is most likely Game of the Year 2010 (f*ck you, Mario Galaxy 2), even if The Last Guardian comes out this year and is better than both Ico and Shadow of the Colossus (and I am a Team Ico fanboy if nothing else). However, at no point did I emotionally CARE about anyone or in Mass Effect. Tali came close, but my affection for her is nothing compared to my attachment to the characters of Heavy Rain. I had invested my time in Mass Effect 2, but invested my emotions in Heavy Rain. I still think Mass Effect 2 is the better game of the two by a good margin, but I had a lot more fun (up to this point) in Heavy Rain.

Also, calling it "Quick Time Event: The Movie: The Game" is quite unfair. I honestly cannot say that Heavy Rain less a game and more a movie when compared to a lot of other games. Any absolutely linear game would be even more movie-like than Heavy Rain because Heavy Rain has more possibilities. I found games like Uncharted, Call of Duty, God of War and Halo to be more movie-like than Heavy Rain was (though I think Uncharted was actually striving for that movie-like feel). Heavy Rain was a very interactive game, just in a different manner. Heavy Rain made me think, feel, and search my conscious for the right decision. Games like CoD made me react with nearly primal instincts.

Yeah, as my disclaimer said, I'm not trying to argue that Mass Effect 2 is trying to do what Heavy Rain is. Really, none of those themes are explored in any real depth there.

But, let's try another example. Shadow of the Colossus. I've brought it up before, but that's OK.

Shadow of the Colossus is about murder. It's not about killing. It's about murder.

It is a game in which you, repeatedly, run up to beautiful, singular creations that will never be repeated. (That is, people.) And you brutally overpower them. They have little ability to fight you off. (Player death in the game is uncommon for most of the challenges.) And then you plunge your sword into them over and over until they die.

That's deadly serious stuff, and its fantastic setting doesn't change the game's basic discussion one iota. But if you find it still too fantastic, what about Far Cry 2? While it's a bit more muddied in its message, it's again about murder, and in particular, about violence. It's about stripping away the so-called heroism from most first person shooters, making you realise how facile it is. And it's set in freaking modern day Africa; the general consensus is that it's tactfully unspecified country setting is the Congo. That's heftily political and controversial in its own way.

Now, what Heavy Rain does that these games don't is shift the setting out of what we might call genre pieces. That's all it does. And that's seriously worthwhile, because there's a large spectrum of audience who look down on genre pieces, seeing them as a marker of immaturity, neverminding the legendary status of sci-fi writers who can use that genre to touch on very human points. If gaming is going to expand, we need to find ways to explore the genreless. If Heavy Rain can make that work (and I'm unconvinced it does) then it's worthy of praise.

I'm also impressed with it on another level: SotC, FC2, and Bioshock (to throw that out there as well) were all basically about videogames, in one way or another. SotC and FC2 were critiques of videogame violence. Bioshock was a critique of 'player choice' in games. Heavy Rain genuinely wants to be about life, and that's to its credit. (Edit: Unless it's trying to be about film, which I have a suspicion it might be, in which case, meh. It's a wash.)

But it's not the second coming, guys. It's one game in a slew of games that is doing its best to be mature and serious. Some have been successful, others haven't. Both artistically and financially.

Christian Ward:
Gamers are very good at saying "no" - no paid DLC, no DRM, no sequels that come out too close to the original game.

Actually, I have to disagree. Gamers are dreadful at saying no. They'll shout no. They'll yell it out. They'll scream and shout that you'll never see them play whatever game they're boycotting for whatever legitimate (or not) reason. They'll scream it as loud as they can even when driving to the store and paying for the game they're boycotting, even later on while playing it...

BlindChance:
*Lots of very well written and important stuff*

I'm mostly in agreement.

I think the original article is treating Heavy Rain with too much potential. It is a game, released in a year that will feature dozens or hundreds of releases. It is an important game, because it is quite different from the slew of normal game releases. But in the end, it is still a game. It won't make-or-break the industry, nor will it spark some kind of renaissance.

I offer to everyone the same advice about Heavy Rain as I do about any game with a less trodden style. "Either rent, borrow, or buy, depending on your financial situation. You will probably love it or hate it. But in the end, you should at least experience what it has to offer."

If I had a PS3, I would definitely buy this game. Not for the full price of 60 clams, mind you; I'd wait for the price to go down.

Games could and should be diverse. You can have a game heavily based in the story or having no story at all. The only thing developers need to improve on is understanding what they want a game to do and how to go about doing it. If you want to create a certain style of gameplay, devote yourself to understanding how use all other aspects of a game to support that style.

*ahem*

Mimimimimimi.....

*breathes in*

...

NO!

Don't want a game that is all quicktime events kthnx.

BlindChance:
Decent stuff

I mostly agree with you on the Shadow of the Collosus part, though after reading dozens of analysis-s-s on it I can say you sort of downplayed the "murder" aspect of it, though my GOD if I'm not trying to restrain myself from going crazy on the analysis and getting off topic (PM me if you want an explanation)

SomethingAmazing:
*ahem*

Mimimimimimi.....

*breathes in*

...

NO!

Don't want a game that is all quicktime events kthnx.

Thank you for your deep, insightful comment on the status of Heavy Rain as a game or not.

At least read a page before going on with an ignorant claim.

Jumplion:

SomethingAmazing:
*ahem*

Mimimimimimi.....

*breathes in*

...

NO!

Don't want a game that is all quicktime events kthnx.

Thank you for your deep, insightful comment on the status of Heavy Rain as a game or not.

At least read a page before going on with an ignorant claim.

Look, dude. I don't play games to watch them. And I sure as hell don't play games to watch them only to come up with some random ass quick time event to catch me off guard.

A whole game of that? No thanks.

I do not have a PS3. If I did, I think I would buy Heavy Rain just to see what it would be like first hand. I know that in more traditional games like ME, Oblivion, ME2, Fable or even Modern Warfare and Halo, I would always be interested in the story and how my character fit into it and affected it. While I definitely would not enjoy a game of quick time events, a game that puts you in a story and gives you a large degree of freedom in how you interact with the story elements, while focusing on the relationships between characters and the story would definitely appeal to me.

I care about narrative, but I want good gameplay to go with this narrative. I don't want to support quicktime events.

All I have to say is this: Push aside any doubt or preconception you have in your mind about Heavy Rain and just sit down with this game for a night. It doesn't matter that this game doesn't control like Call of Duty, or have the fast paced frenetic action of God of War. Forget that you only play "cool, manly games" like shooters or sports titles. Let the fact that it has no inventory or health meters slide. It doesn't matter that Heavy Rain can barely even be called a "game" in the traditional sense at all. If you allow yourself to forget what a game is "supposed to be" and let yourself enjoy the experience set before you I guarantee you will be hanging off the edge of your seat by hour 3.

This is not a game where the excitement comes from how rapidly you can frag the heads off zombies, or jump those impossible spike-filled gaps. The excitement comes from immersing yourself in a story that could have been pitched to HBO as a sure-fire prime time hit. This is a script that can easily take its place among the high-pulse thriller dramas such as 24 and The Sopranos. This is story telling that takes its audience seriously. Heavy Rain does not assume your are the lowest common denominator. It assumes you are a mature intelligent human being ready and willing to appreciate a mature intelligent story.

Does this game contain the sort of gameplay mechanics I want from every title? Hell no. But in a medium utterly starved of good, compelling narrative, Heavy Rain is a delightful and much needed breath of fresh air. By the time the Origami Killer had our intrepid heroes by the balls I didn't care that I was essentially "pressing X not to die", because I had to see what happened next. I had to see how my reactions would unfold and how my split-second decisions would effect the rest of the story being told to me. If you allow it, Heavy Rain will grip you in a vice and never let go.

P.S. Also, in reply to the most common comment I am seeing here, NO, this game is not all quicktime events. Far from, actually. You have full character control (thumbsticks and everything) for about 70% of the total game, only entering said quicktime for specific action sequences, some only a few seconds in length (i.e. push this desk to reach that high window). In fact, the success of one of the character's stories depends entirely on your skills to find and collect clues and evidence and use these to aid in your deductive reasoning. This is a murder mystery thriller, after all.

SomethingAmazing:
Look, dude. I don't play games to watch them. And I sure as hell don't play games to watch them only to come up with some random ass quick time event to catch me off guard.

A whole game of that? No thanks.

Do some research, Heavy Rain does not randomly give you a QTE for you to press. All of it is optional, you are rarely forced to press any buttons whatsoever. If you fail to press a button in time, the game just moves along as if it was always meant to be like that. If a character dies, they die, no "Game Over" screen, no continues, it just goes on as if that was the story.

You are given options at times, to try to convince a person to give you information maybe or to calm them down or a different route to take. All of these lead to different outcomes and different consequences.

Never does the game randomly pop out a QTE just for the sake of it. The only way it tries to catch you off guard if your expectations and how the story goes. Do some research before touting baseless claims.

EDIT: Read the post above mine, it sums up what you should expect from Heavy Rain nicely.

Videogames are going through the early stages that most new artistic mediums go through. People are unsure as to what the limitations and defining qualities are. One thing that keeps getting brought up over and over again: a game has to be fun. It has to have good gameplay.

Does it?

I've been taking an interest in videogames which do not try to provide a conventional form of entertainment. Games like The Path, or Dear Esther, handle With Care. These experimental titles are exploring how it is possible to create a compelling piece of art without having to resort to gameplay. Early on, perhaps the idea that a comic could be anything other than a collection of funny jokes or a humourous narrative would have been laudable. Nowerdays, we can see that comics have extended far beyond such single-minded requirements, and are willing to deal with serious, adult and intelligent subject matters.

Heavy Rain is to videogames, what the first graphic novel is to comics. I think it can be the next step in videogames - a mature, serious and poigniant story. An exploration of how far you can take interactive fiction. In fact, they may have to call it just that: "interactive fiction" as opposed to "videogame". Maybe that way, they may find a way around the limitations people impose on videogames.

From what I have seen of Heavy Rain, I have seen trite elements, clichéd scenes and corny dialogue. As a story in itself, it is fairly clunky - but it is a start. It is a necessary step. I agree with the article.

maninahat:
I've been taking an interest in videogames which do not try to provide a conventional form of entertainment. Games like The Path, or Dear Esther, handle With Care. These experimental titles are exploring how it is possible to create a compelling piece of art without having to resort to gameplay. Early on, perhaps the idea that a comic could be anything other than a collection of funny jokes or a humourous narrative would have been laudable. Nowerdays, we can see that comics have extended far beyond such single-minded requirements, and are willing to deal with serious, adult and intelligent subject matters.

Very well said.

BlindChance:

*Everything you've said*

You've made a lot of very excellent points.

It's never crossed my mind to NOT play Heavy Rain though - it was one of the reasons I purchased a PS3 when the Slims hit shelves. I loved Indigo Prophecy, start to finish. The opening scene in the bathroom, where you're standing there having just unconsciously murdered someone and you're frantically attempting to hide the evidence of your crime to give yourself enough time to get away from the cops, was unlike anything I'd ever played before. It shifted my conception of what was possible in video games. It was exhilarating, but not like storming the beach at Normandy in CoD was exhilarating. And the decisions I made in that opening scene creating a cascade effect in the rest of the game. I haven't played any other game that emphasized the impact of even the smallest decisions I made. It was brilliant.

You argue that there are other games that have attempted to tackle very mature themes. I agree that while ME2 addresses things like racism, genocide and chauvinism, its primary goal in establishing the impact of your decisions is, in my opinion, simply to show the correct way to pull off that game mechanic across 120+ hours of gameplay in three games. Don't get me wrong, I loved Mass Effect 2, despite horrible graphical and gameplay glitches, and completely unacceptable load times for a triple-A title. If Uncharted 2 can drop you right back into the game after a death, then there's no excuse for a 3 minute load time every time I die, amiright?

Shadow of the Colossus might be the best comparison point. I did not play it through to the end, but I feel like it has a core question in common with Heavy Rain - to what lengths would you go to save a person you love? Now, SotC didn't do much to establish _why_ I should care about the incapacitated princess. In fact, it did no more to establish my motivation for saving her than a Mario Bros. game. I'm supposed to save her because that's what princes do for their princesses. I did kill the first (and easiest) giant, and I did feel a tinge of remorse for doing so. I think that's ultimately why I quit the game. I couldn't bring myself to kill those magnificent beasts for some floozy I didn't personally care about. Now, if the game had spent some time letting me get to know this princess, somehow show me the love that existed between her and my player character, then maybe I'd have been more willing to murder the remaining colossi.

I think I have to take a moment to talk about Call of Duty, since they;re some of the best-selling games of the last decade. Shock and Awe in CoD4:MW was a revelation for me. In that instant, Infinity Ward took away the convention that your Player Character is invincible. Mass Effect 2 benefits from that leap. And whether you think it was a shock-value addition or not, No Russian in CoD:MW2 left me with an incredibly sour feeling in the pit of my stomach. You see, up until that point being Evil in a game was usually cool and/or funny. You could laugh at the antics of your character and Force Choke the living hell out of some Storm Troopers. But that was the first time in a game I've felt truly, irremediably EVIL. I was gunning down innocents, supposedly to save more lives. I only got a small taste of what it's like to make that kind of decision in real life, but I feel richer for it.

This is all to my larger point that while these games attempted complex emotional involvement with your characters in a sort of "feature on the back of the box" way, Heavy Rain seems to insist upon in. Like Wii Sports was a proof of concept, Heavy Rain sets itself up as an answer to all the faceless aliens and zombies and demons we've all slain without so much as a thought over the past 30 years. It takes a set of characters and says, "Here are all of the goods I have to offer. They are in the hearts, minds and motivations of the people you see before you. To understand the story we are going to experience together, is to know and understand these people." Meeting, learning about, and having a relationship with these characters IS THE GAME. It's the point of the exercise. Maybe the script and the voice acting will prevent this particular game from succeeding wholly. But you have to start somewhere.

Like others have said, Heavy Rain isn't meant to replace conventional gaming. It's meant to show that with the proper execution, the characters in our games can illicit a response other than see -> shoot in the face. I'm not going to stop playing excellent games like Batman:AA and Mass Effect 2 because they fail to make me care about the characters in the same way as Heavy Rain. But I want other developers to take a stronger interest in making me give a shit what happens to the characters in the games I play. And I agree that this game being a commercial success will send that message.

I wish they put their talents and efforts into a real game. So no, I won't be buying it on the grounds that I DON'T want to see more of this.

How absolutely pious of David Cage to declare that people should buy his game - even if it is terrible - for the sake of the industry. Stories about wizards and goblins have just as much ability to convey "complex emotions" as TOTALLY DEEP AND FVKKING COMPELLING murder mysteries. I like how he denies the literary worth of the majority of fiction in general and then simultaneously asserts that his TOTALLY UNIQUE AND GOAT KVLT style of nigh-soap opera murder mysteries are uniquely able to salvage video game narration.

You know what games have better narratives than this? Morrowind (a total sandbox), Silent Hill 2, System Shock 2, the entire Thief series, the entire Half-Life series, the entire Fallout series, Shadow of The Colossus (a game that prides itself on deconstructing classical narrative), Ico, Killer 7 (a game that prides itself on Lynchian surrealism), the Twilight Syndrome trilogy, Okami, and about a hundred others whose names I can't summon spontaneously. You know what games I'd rather play more than Heavy Rain? All of those and about a hundred more. You know what all of those games have that Heavy Rain doesn't? Guns, goblins, scary monsters, robots, demons, giants constructed of stone, multiple personality disorder, elves, zombies, and tons of gore. Maybe David Cage could do a better job preaching to me what's good for the industry or not if he could pull his stupid head out of his ass and actually play video games instead of watching French soap operas all day.

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.

Well said, good sir.
From day one I felt bad vibes about Heavy Rain. I never played Indigo Prophecy, and never even heard of the creator until news about Heavy Rain came out. Heavy Rain is a partially interactive movie. I seem to recall when compact discs first were made and used as media for computers, that there was a push for games such as these. Multimedia died a quick death and it was a gap of time before compact discs found their true calling in videogames and storage media.
Everything I heard from David Cage convinced me that in a previous life he was one of those people who threw cans of paint at some wind-creating device, and called the splatter on canvas "art." And then got offended when people called it what it was: garbage. I'd seen my niece and nephew do better work with finger paints when they were toddlers.
It would actually be better if Heavy Rain flopped, because it won't kill the idea. It will just postpone it until the proper media comes to surface. With better storytelling to go with it, I would hope.
If I want that sort of gameplay, I will just load up The Sims.

Irridium:

What other games had mature themes like child abuse/death, rape, murder, torcher, loss of loved ones, and deception?

Spoiler for those who haven't played fear 2 (its a big un' too)


Shocking moment that.

I've played games which are pretty lacking on the gameplay aspects. But I like a good story and I am not picky nor critical of story content. Also I liked indigo prophecy because it was so odd and I couldn't get over the crazy turn the plot takes.

I've played visual novels on consoles before so I'll get this... 2nd hand after a few months when its price drops and on a trade in... I just don't like the guy enough to dish out fifty squigs for a good story. I could just buy a book for 10.

silversun101:
LOTS OF SMARTS

This is a more accurate and far better articulated version of what I had thought of this game just from the previews... I might bump off the months wait and just get it 2nd hand on trade in after reading that.

BlindChance:

Irridium:
What other games had mature themes like child abuse/death, rape, murder, torcher, loss of loved ones, and deception?

This post isn't a literal attempt to answer your question, by the way. It's more a "consider this" deal.

But Mass Effect 2 gets almost all of them.

Child abuse? Check. Rape? Touches on it. Murder? All over the place. Torture? You bet. Loss of loved ones? Extensive subplot on it. Deception? One of the major characters is an embodiment of the theme.

People sometimes shortchange how much content and theme you can get out of standard designs.

Yes, actually Dragon Age: Origins covers all of them as well, including the deep resentment of a second class citizenry, slavery, and depression.

i would, but i dont own a ps3 and i like the GAME parts of video games

silversun101:
All I have to say is this: Push aside any doubt or preconception you have in your mind about Heavy Rain and just sit down with this game for a night. It doesn't matter that this game doesn't control like Call of Duty, or have the fast paced frenetic action of God of War. Forget that you only play "cool, manly games" like shooters or sports titles. Let the fact that it has no inventory or health meters slide. It doesn't matter that Heavy Rain can barely even be called a "game" in the traditional sense at all. If you allow yourself to forget what a game is "supposed to be" and let yourself enjoy the experience set before you I guarantee you will be hanging off the edge of your seat by hour 3.

I am in complete agreement with you, at around that one specific point in the park (people who played it should know what I mean)

I was hooked, my heart raced, I nearly cried several times.
This was an amazing experience, one that every gamer should enjoy. And I'd like to see some of those "hardcore" gamers tackle some of the tougher challenges, the electrical pylon challenge comes to mind.

This is a game that is definately rooted in the realm of interactive drama, it has a better script, a better story, better and more likable characters Than Halo, or Modern Warfare 2, or Gears of war or any of those other games. I am extremely anxious to see more games of this variety come out, we just need to hope that people can put aside the preconceptions they have about Heavy Rain.

I'm actually pretty much in agreement with BlindChance here. I'm all for mature games but I also think cinema should stay as far away from games as possible. David Cage obviously disagrees. No, I haven't played the full version of Heavy Rain but I have played the demo and Fahrenheit, which is basically a prototype for this.

I also kinda sorta disagree with Heavy Rain being the first of its kind for anything: we've had these sorts of games before, remember? 15 years ago. Back then, they were called FMV adventures.

uppitycracker:
[quote]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."

That`s emotional blackmail right there. And by any standards that was a cheap shot. I would try the game but since I don`t have a PS3 and the title is an exclusive guess I`ll have to do with zombies, trolls and goblins. But thanks anyway.

I'd love to buy Heavy Rain. Unfortunately, Mr. Cage has decided to make his game exclusively for the PS3, and I'm afraid that spending $300 on a console to play his game is simply out of the question. I look forward to the next Quantic Dream title available for Xbox 360 gamers.

drivel:
comment

Excellent comment. Greatly enjoyed reading it. I have yet to try Heavy Rain and I have high hopes for it.

drivel:
the characters in our games can illicit a response other than see -> shoot in the face.

That really reminded me of this here :D.

The article seems to put HR in an almost godly aura of untouchability and mystique. I agree that buying this game will help the industry, but the melodramatic pleading was kind of overdone and almost counter-productive for your point.

I simply fail to be motivated by most games that I try. I beat ME2, which is hailed as a master piece, and walk away neither richer nor poorer. I don't seem to gain a lot from playing modern games, they don't affect my thinking. Hope that HR can provide an interesting playthrough, I'll most likely rent it as I do with most games. Maybe it's so good that I'll have to have it in my collection, who knows...

Oh noes! I don't have a PS3, i will destroy the chance to have story based esoteric adventure games in the future FOREVER!

:'(

Seriously, this article felt so much like a thinly veiled advertisement that it actually makes me want to troll Heavy Rain, despite being apperantly good enough to make me want to play it (if i had a PS3)...

...although on the other hand, i bought Cage's Ultra-Pretentious Promises back when he made Fahrenheit and what i got was hardly-a-game (tm) with a story that falls apart SO badly in the last act that it destroyed anything about the game that was actually not bad...

Heavy Rain has a pretty good story and plays with your emotions (which I enjoyed) I can see why people are turned off by it having quicktime events to play out some of the action but the way the game presents them to you is interesting and really engages the player into the charaters. But seriously if you have a PS3 I strongly suggest that you at least rent Heavy Rain and give it a fair shot.

This is the only game exclusive to the PS3 that has made even consider buying a PS3.

So only games that take place in a close facsimile of the real world are mature and have good stories? Bullshit. That's what I got out of the goblins and zombies quote anyway. I don't mind a game were the gameplay is so bad it's practically an interactive novel. I think Planescape had the best story I've ever seen in a game, but it's fighting sucked ass. I still loved it. This game just sounds too mundane. It sounds like all those things we play games to get away from, but it's a fantasy were you control the outcome of those events. I'm sure there are some who will love the game, but it's not the absolute future of gaming, and we are not holding up the evolution of gaming by not buying it. Games have had good stories for a while now, it's nothing new.

As far as emotional investment, I can be just as emotionally invested in a burning dude or a sterile lizard as I can a human. It's the personality at work, not what they are. Hell, sometimes I'm more interested in the non-human, since they're a unique viewpoint, not that of just another human. I can talk to plenty of unique individuals in the real world. No reason to do it in a game.

Saying it's got better story than CoD, Gears of War, or Halo is damning with faint praise. I can't wait to see Yahtzee take a big steaming dump on it though.

tl;dr Genre-bashing fanboy review.

EDIT: Oh shit there was a spambot above me. Hope that's not a sign of an imminent invasion. I've never seen them around these parts before.

My thought is that I am all for encouraging innovation in the game industry, providing of course what works and is popular is not forgotten along the way. I for example do not like the way how "innovation" more or less destroyed turn based RPGs and such. When someone new comes out there is a tendency for it to eclipse and/or replace things before it which were just fine.

Concerns aside, new innovations do not have to replace what is there. However at the same token I do not think embracing anything that is new, simply because it's new is a good idea. What's more Heavy Rain isn't really "new" it's a very, very old type of game that failed and is being polished up for another attempt now that there are more mainstreamers involved in gaming.

I honestly never really got into the whole idea of the "interactive movie" even when it first appeared. I do not consider it any kind of "evolution" of gaming as much as a step backwards for people who can't really play games. A sort of big budget version of a "casual" game so to speak.

People can sit back and talk about the storyline, maturity, or whatever else, but truthfully we HAVE seen good writing and a lot of maturity from games before. Maybe not with every release, but it has existed and been praised. It's not like it's unique to this product, or the genere being pimped. In fact previous interactive movies of this sort have been pretty banal.

I have no problem with people who really enjoy it, but honestly it's not my cup of tea, and for all the hype I'd be surprised if it catches on with most gamers even if the hype does cause it to sell well initially. I also do not think this style of game is especially worth supporting.

To some extent the reviews of Heavy Rain I've been reading remind me of a game called "Gadget", which was an Interactive Movie/Adventure game type game designed for serious storytelling and a mature audience way back in the day. The typical review at the time was similar to this, looking at the parts individually the game was awful, and should have been a complete train wreck. Yet somehow it managed to work, and got a following at the time. However, the fact that it was made to work somewhat does not change the fact that the game was still a mess as was the genere and it's imitators.

Truthfully if having Tia Carrera (who I've had a thing for, for a long time. Especially way back then) in games like "The Daedalus Encounter" couldn't save the genere, I don't think resurrecting it now is going to make a differance.

Oh and for the record, to put this into perspective: Dragon Magazine reviewed "Gadget" in it's video games column, back when Dragon Magazine *HAD* a video games column <winks>. Back then computers, computer games, and video games were a lot less common. I think this is in part why a lot of people really don't see things the way I do in the "been here, done that" fashion.

I am pessmistic enough to look at what were truely banal games then and think that perhaps the strategy here is that someone thinks that enough "everymen" have come into the fold that they don't have to deal with picky nerds and "pseudo intellectuals" who want well designed games, and that maybe this kind of thing will go over well now that there is more of the "Sitcoms and Pro Sports" crowd playing games, rather than introverted nerds with their massive IQs strangely geared to give them massive bodies of knowlege and talent involving things with no practical value. :P

My advice is that unless your really in love the the idea of an Interactive Movie, don't buy this (except maybe from a budget bin a couple years down the road). Even if you hear the hype and the "OMG, it's selling so well" stuff. Plenty of good games coming out this year, and really, you can't even take this seriously as an innovation despite it being sold as one.

Jumplion:

Samechiel:
Out of all the talk of Heavy Rain, it's the constant insistence of "maturity" that gets me. It's no more mature than any other game out there, and offers no content not covered (and in some cases covered better) by other games; they just slap that label on the cover in the hopes that the pretentious douchebag crowd will overlook the fact they're playing a Quick Time Event: The Movie: The Game.

There will, sadly, also be pretentious douchebags (sorry, uncalled for, but you see where I'm getting with that) who can't see past the "IT'S A QUICK TIME EVENT MOVIE GAME!!!!"

Read Irridium's comment above yours, while Mass Effect may "technically" deal with those issues, it's hardly a central point in the story. Especially murder since you're just blowing alien heads up.

Well as one of those "pretentious douchebags", I will point out that I turned into one due to having a bit of experience with the genere the first time around.

As I pointed out, there have been a few worthy creations in the genere, but for the most part I think it results in a lot of complete trash.

from what I've seen and heard, while the tech has gotten better, it hasn't changed much on a fundemental level. There really isn't much there to see beyond the fact that "It's a Quick time event Movie Game". Okay it has good writing, and handles mature subject matter. While not all that common, neither are unheard of. That doesn't change what it is.

As I've said, this failed the first time around because simply put gamers were a bit more elitist than they are now, and there really weren't any "casuals". Standards were higher. I think the attempt here is to recycle an old idea, presenting it as new, and see if the semi-mainstreaming of games has lead to enough people with lower standards to make it viable. That's very elitist and pessimistic (I know) but that is really how it looks to me.

Even if "Heavy Rain" itself is good, even the most tortured genere is going to produce a gem once in a while. For example I mentioned "Gadget" as being a fairly well received exception to the rule.

It's also noteworthy that there was a middle ground achieved briefly between games and interactive movies. That was to pretty much put minigames into an interactive movie format. Games like "The Seventh Guest", and "The Eleventh Hour" for example on the PC, as well as some of the works by "Cinemaware" for the Amiga (which met with mixed reviews depending on the title). The former titles (for PC) pretty much had you wandering from minigame to minigame trying to finish them all to get to the end. Cinemaware had a general storyline and at certain points it would break into a minigame, like say if your lab lit on fire you'd have to try and click a fire extinguisher around to put out the fire or else it was a quick transition to a "hospital escape" minigame... fail too many times overall and it was a
game over. Heavy Rain however is more akin to the pure "interactive movies" than the thematic minigame collection genere.

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