Going Gold: When It Rains …

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Going Gold: When It Rains ...

Heavy Rain has beaten the odds and sold more than a million. It's time for the industry to take notice.

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Very good article. The emphasis on great game play and great story-line seems to be what gamers want. Would help it make gaming more mainstream too. Ties into gaming as an art form which has made its round around the site recently.

Victory!!!
It's a good thing for gaming...

Now we have something to shove onto Mr.Ebert...

Well, I'll agree that the game had some awful voice acting.

"JAY-son....JAYSON! JAY-son...."

To think that a game that is bad in some many ways could be so damn good... It's hard to grasp.

Oh, and Heavy Rain had the best QTE ever.

Loved that game.

Le Tueur:
Well, I'll agree that the game had some awful voice acting.

"JAY-son....JAYSON! JAY-son...."

"I'm Namen Jaden" What? You're who? "Namen." Are you trying to say Norman? "That's what I said, NAMEN."

I dont think that Heavy Rain is flawed because it did not explain every little thing like ethans blackouts. Did you ever consider that there is no logical explanation to them? That maybe the traumatic death of his son has screwed Ethan up in ways he can not imagine? Maybe he created the origami figures himself for some other reason. Just because the killer happens to use origami as his MO doesnt mean my grandmother is a serial killer too.

I know that the part in the repair shop is ridiculous but even on my multiple playthoughs to get all endings i still loved that game so much. It restored my hope that there might be a few developers actually willing to sacrifice a larger market for a new style of game

Oh I sure hope you're right. I really enjoyed Heavy Rain, despite it's oh so obvious flaws. It was just refreshingly different. I really think they're on the right track in terms of story-driven interactive narratives. The formula needs refining, and the execution needs work, but we can get it right in time.

razormint21:
Victory!!!
It's a good thing for gaming...

Now we have something to shove onto Mr.Ebert...

True, he cannot say a game like this is not art...Everything about it just screams it

Heavy Rain sucked.

When a bad game sells well, it'll just encourage more bad games.

Zombie Nixon:
Heavy Rain sucked.

When a bad game sells well, it'll just encourage more bad games.

Yea its so evil for doing something new. Lets have MOAR games with muscly marines in supersuits fighting aliens.

I loved heavy rain. It took great ideas from Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy and made them ... well, less insane.

Despite not agreeing with Christian Ward's harsh take on some of the components of the game, it DOES have it's flaws. However, I still enjoyed the game a lot more than I do most. I hope that "interactive drama" games pick up. I would be in heaven!

I didn't like Heavy Rain at all, but I agree that it's reassuring to see such seemingly non-mainstream titles sell well. Not that I have a problem with Modern Warfare or God of War or Final Fantasy or anything, but it's good to encourage variety among releases.

Zombie Nixon:
Heavy Rain sucked.

When a bad game sells well, it'll just encourage more bad games.

Or since everyone is pointing out the flaws it will have them make a better game with a better story.

I'm glad this game sold well. Hopefully now people will see that games based on story will sell well.

Then again I'm suprised that the millions upon millions of sales of Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age didn't show this, but I guess publishers are a little slow.

DividedUnity:
I dont think that Heavy Rain is flawed because it did not explain every little thing like ethans blackouts. Did you ever consider that there is no logical explanation to them? That maybe the traumatic death of his son has screwed Ethan up in ways he can not imagine? Maybe he created the origami figures himself for some other reason. Just because the killer happens to use origami as his MO doesnt mean my grandmother is a serial killer too.

I know that the part in the repair shop is ridiculous but even on my multiple playthoughs to get all endings i still loved that game so much. It restored my hope that there might be a few developers actually willing to sacrifice a larger market for a new style of game

Even if they don't give an explanation, having an explanation would be good. They're trying to create a semi-realistic environment, so using made up mental illnesses that have symptoms that don't exist doesn't really help that...

thimblyjoe:

DividedUnity:
I dont think that Heavy Rain is flawed because it did not explain every little thing like ethans blackouts. Did you ever consider that there is no logical explanation to them? That maybe the traumatic death of his son has screwed Ethan up in ways he can not imagine? Maybe he created the origami figures himself for some other reason. Just because the killer happens to use origami as his MO doesnt mean my grandmother is a serial killer too.

I know that the part in the repair shop is ridiculous but even on my multiple playthoughs to get all endings i still loved that game so much. It restored my hope that there might be a few developers actually willing to sacrifice a larger market for a new style of game

Even if they don't give an explanation, having an explanation would be good. They're trying to create a semi-realistic environment, so using made up mental illnesses that have symptoms that don't exist doesn't really help that...

How do you know it doesnt exist? Im sure there are many people who black out and do things they dont understand.

There is no need to explain everything though. Having some mystery keeps the player thinking so it means that they never truly get the complete story and they can use their imagination to fill in what is not there.

Heavy Rain is an example of a risk that unfortunately didn't fail. Assuming publishers commission more games in a vein similar to Heavy Rain, what kinds of things should we expect in the future?

- Point and click adventure games, where instead of pointing and clicking you shake and wiggle analog sticks, thus doing more work for essentially the same result as a simple button press.

- Moody, Se7en inspired serial killer stories and settings

- Bad voice acting

- Non-sequitur endings

- Bad voice acting

- Pointless showering

- Numerous slightly interactive cut scenes whose cumulative effect is to make the entirety of Metal Gear Solid 4 feel like a short film in comparison.

tendo82:
Heavy Rain is an example of a risk that unfortunately didn't fail. Assuming publishers commission more games in a vein similar to Heavy Rain, what kinds of things should we expect in the future?

- Point and click adventure games, where instead of pointing and clicking you shake and wiggle analog sticks, thus doing more work for essentially the same result as a simple button press.

- Moody, Se7en inspired serial killer stories and settings

- Bad voice acting

- Non-sequitur endings

- Bad voice acting

- Pointless showering

- Numerous slightly interactive cut scenes whose cumulative effect is to make the entirety of Metal Gear Solid 4 feel like a short film in comparison.

Like I said above:

Irridium:

Or since everyone is pointing out the flaws it will have them make a better game with a better story.

I'm glad this game sold well. Hopefully now people will see that games based on story will sell well.

Then again I'm suprised that the millions upon millions of sales of Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age didn't show this, but I guess publishers are a little slow.

I doubt he's saying that we'll be seeing games like Heavy Rain. What he's most likely saying is that we'll see games with more emphasis on story. Which isn't a bad thing.

I dont have a PS3 so I havnt played it. Not that I really want to either. If it has succeeded at doing what it wanted to then go it! In the end though I have categorized it under adventure game and thats that.

Interesting article, I enjoyed the game, but as you say, it's replayability is flawed in the sense that you start seeing the loopholes and little niggling annoyances start to pester the game after awhile.

-JB

Hope finally has appeared that games can be about story and sell, and they all don't have to be about Space Marines.

Now lets see if hollywood will get the message that some people like things about the story and not about the 3D.

Cough Inception cough

tendo82:
Heavy Rain is an example of a risk that unfortunately didn't fail. Assuming publishers commission more games in a vein similar to Heavy Rain, what kinds of things should we expect in the future?

- Point and click adventure games, where instead of pointing and clicking you shake and wiggle analog sticks, thus doing more work for essentially the same result as a simple button press.

- Moody, Se7en inspired serial killer stories and settings

- Bad voice acting

- Non-sequitur endings

- Bad voice acting

- Pointless showering

- Numerous slightly interactive cut scenes whose cumulative effect is to make the entirety of Metal Gear Solid 4 feel like a short film in comparison.

It is possible to create a game similar to Heavy Rain without copying the flaws of Heavy Rain as well, you know.

Heavy Rain is the first game that I would ever consider to be art. Its story is completely solid and there are very few flaws that I could find. (Besides the occasional phoned in voices)

tendo82:
Heavy Rain is an example of a risk that unfortunately didn't fail. Assuming publishers commission more games in a vein similar to Heavy Rain, what kinds of things should we expect in the future?

- Point and click adventure games, where instead of pointing and clicking you shake and wiggle analog sticks, thus doing more work for essentially the same result as a simple button press.

- Moody, Se7en inspired serial killer stories and settings

- Bad voice acting

- Non-sequitur endings

- Bad voice acting

- Pointless showering

- Numerous slightly interactive cut scenes whose cumulative effect is to make the entirety of Metal Gear Solid 4 feel like a short film in comparison.

Lame post. Barely any of your points actually stand so I can only assume you were being facetious.

One experimental game that I LOVED but everyone else apparently hated, Mirror's Edge. I've played through it so many times but everyone gives it hell. Shame.

Little by little, story is starting to gain acceptance in gaming. The recent announcement of Gears of War 3 included the announcement of the identity of the lead writer. Bioware's continuing success in the console field is exposing more and more gamers to the joys of narrative taken seriously. And now there's Heavy Rain.

It's statements like these that are why I'm really sick of Heavy Rain: the pretentious assertion that before Heavy Rain and it's loudmouthed creator David Cage came along, games were somehow devoid of meaningful stories, or that all people wanted was lots of action. This game is really trying too hard for its own good. It continually sells itself by the claim that "if you care about stories in game, you need to buy our game".

No. No I don't.

Jiraiya72:
"I'm Namen Jaden" What? You're who? "Namen." Are you trying to say Norman? "That's what I said, NAMEN."

Believe it or not, there are people that talk like that in real life. It's the voice actor's attempt at a Bostonian accent, so technically it's more like "Nahman". Trust me, I've lived in the Boston area long enough to hear that accent from various sources.

That said, his accent did kind of slipped from time to time. Still, it's better than some of the more obvious accent slips throughout from some of the rest of the cast.

I actually went through the trouble of buying a PS3 so I could play Heavy Rain. Is it a flawed game? Certainly. A few plot holes here and there, some bad voice acting, and maybe one or two odd lines that baffle. Do I regret getting my relatives to spend $360 on system and game? Hell no! I honestly can't remember any other time that I've felt so affected by a game's narrative. Not because it was necessarily a flawless narrative, but because the game was successful at immersing you in it. I can't remember any other time that my heart was pounding more often than in this game, because I knew that most of my decisions would change the flow of the story in a great variety of ways, and that I wouldn't get a chance to start over if my character died.

Of course it has its flaws. But I'm willing to forgive the flaws because everything else about the game is executed so well. And that, my friends, is why this is a good thing.

Hopefully the games like Heavy Rain that follow it have gameplay to go with their story.

soapyshooter:

Yea its so evil for doing something new. Lets have MOAR games with muscly marines in supersuits fighting aliens.

I can think of at least a dozen games involving supersoldiers/fighting aliens that have infinitely better stories than heavy rain.

Irridium:
I doubt he's saying that we'll be seeing games like Heavy Rain. What he's most likely saying is that we'll see games with more emphasis on story. Which isn't a bad thing.

So you hope.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sold really well when it first came out. The comic industry could have concluded it sold well due to:

- Its appealing, trashy-fun pulp premise;
- Some ludicrously over the top writing that made the most of that premise.

But instead, they concluded it must have been due to:

- Its poorly drawn black & white artwork.

And lo, the market was flooded for a short time with crappy black and white comics, because "That's what sells, right?"

(Kudos to Eddie Campbell, who told that story beautifully at Supernova back in... 2002? 2003? Something like that.)

Industries are filled with idiots. There are many different reasons for something to succeed, and there's every chance the market will settle upon the wrong one. I find Tendo82's fears to be very well founded.

Zombie Nixon:

soapyshooter:

Yea its so evil for doing something new. Lets have MOAR games with muscly marines in supersuits fighting aliens.

I can think of at least a dozen games involving supersoldiers/fighting aliens that have infinitely better stories than heavy rain.

What? Halo? Besides thats not the fucking point. The point is they are willing to try something new and take a risk rather than take the same formula and have nothing new come of it but know their game will be successful.

razormint21:
Victory!!!
It's a good thing for gaming...

Now we have something to shove onto Mr.Ebert...

No. Why do games have to constantly prove that they are like films. They're not, which is what makes them fun and unique. Heavy Rain still is an interactive movie.

soapyshooter:

What? Halo? Besides thats not the fucking point. The point is they are willing to try something new and take a risk rather than take the same formula and have nothing new come of it but know their game will be successful.

Well, if it wasn't the point why bring it up? But just for the record, there's ME1 and 2, KOTOR 1 and 2, System Shock 1 and 2, Fallout 1 and 2, The MGS games, Deus Ex, Star Control 2, and that's just off the top of my head.

I agree, it was ballsy of them to take a risk on a rarely-seen type of game, and I think that more companies should have that attitude, but that doesn't change the fact that Heavy Rain was a failure. It sucked.

soapyshooter:

Zombie Nixon:
Heavy Rain sucked.

When a bad game sells well, it'll just encourage more bad games.

Yea its so evil for doing something new. Lets have MOAR games with muscly marines in supersuits fighting aliens.

Exaclty, the point of the article was to say that even though the game was bad, the style of game is desireable by the public. Therefore publishers should try to make a good game on this new and interesting style.

Zombie Nixon:

soapyshooter:

What? Halo? Besides thats not the fucking point. The point is they are willing to try something new and take a risk rather than take the same formula and have nothing new come of it but know their game will be successful.

Well, if it wasn't the point why bring it up? But just for the record, there's ME1 and 2, KOTOR 1 and 2, System Shock 1 and 2, Fallout 1 and 2, The MGS games, Deus Ex, Star Control 2, and that's just off the top of my head.

I agree, it was ballsy of them to take a risk on a rarely-seen type of game, and I think that more companies should have that attitude, but that doesn't change the fact that Heavy Rain was a failure. It sucked.

Just wanna point out Fallout 1 and 2 take place on Earth and you fight mutants not aliens. MGS is a stealth game, no aliens.

Zombie Nixon:
I agree, it was ballsy of them to take a risk on a rarely-seen type of game, and I think that more companies should have that attitude, but that doesn't change the fact that Heavy Rain was a failure. It sucked.

Let's not be so casual with the word "failure." Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen sucked, but it wasn't a failure at all. Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne is one of the better games ever produced, and it was a complete failure.

Speaking of Max Payne 2, I was expecting something like it in Heavy Rain. A terrifically made game that just missed the market for whatever reason. Instead I got something that wasn't quite as good as I'd hoped it would be, but something that sold well enough that it might not turn out like Max Payne did.

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