Synopsis: I’m starting to suspect David Cage showed up one day at Quantic Dream, burst through the boardroom door, and said “Guys – I have an awesome idea for a movie!” The people sitting around the table stare at him in disbelief, before one person quietly says “But sir – this is a videogame company”.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but I finished Beyond: Two Souls (as much as I could, I saw 4 different endings and wasn’t prepared to go back and unlock the supposed 20 additional endings), and was hungry for more of the same style of game. Thankfully, Quantic Dream has three games on Playstation Now at the moment. I started playing Detroit: Become Human and then quickly switched to Heavy Rain, because Detroit is Quantic’s newest game and I wanted to see
where they started (Edit: I found out there were two Quantic games before Heavy Rain: The Nomad Soul, and Fahrenheit) before trying the latest and greatest.
Heavy Rain is another “this could totally be a movie” choose-your-own-adventure game, in the same vein as Beyond and Detroit. (I think the company officially calls it “Interactive Drama”, which completely makes sense) This time, it’s about a serial killer (the “Origami Killer”). I’m not sure if there’s a main character yet, because so far I’ve played as three different people. Most of my first in-game hour was spent getting ready for my kid’s 10th birthday party, before taking him to the mall only to have him wander off and get hit by a car. I then switched to a completely different character; a PI investigating the Origami Killer. I briefly started a third character before the hour timer went off.
I’ll be honest, the mechanics of the game, while very similar to Beyond, are driving me a bit bonkers. They went a bit heavy-handed on the interactive mechanics, and every little action requires button presses, controller shakes, and all sorts of nonsense. (For example; setting a table for lunch, you have to press an arrow and put each individual plate on the table, one at a time). Critiquing the controls in Heavy Rain seems unfair because the company clearly recognized their errors and corrected them for Beyond. I’m only mentioning them here, in case someone wants to check the game out.
I’ll likely keep playing Heavy Rain, because I really enjoyed Beyond and I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve seen of Detroit so far. I have a feeling Heavy Rain while frustrating in the controls department, will completely deliver with the plot. Note: The screencap is from Quantic’s website – I still haven’t figured out offloading screenshots from the PS4.
Edit: I’ve been playing Heavy Rain quite a bit since this post. Cumbersome controls aside, it’s a fantastic game. There are four main characters you switch between, all with crossing paths at various points throughout the narrative. The plotline definitely feels like it could be a movie, and I’m having a great time. Highly recommended. Also; if this were a movie it’d definitely be Rated R, so maybe one to play after the kids go to bed.
What I like: Interactive Drama (my current favorite genre of a videogame!), Available on PS Now, Great Graphics (especially considering the now vintage nature of the title)
What I don’t like: Really slow start, over-use of the interactive controls, no indication of alternate plot choices like Beyond/Detroit have.
Would I buy it again?: Likely
|Game Type||Action Adventure, Interactive Drama|
|Publisher||Quantic Dream, Sony Interactive|
|Tested Platform||Playstation 4 Pro|