Musing about Heavy Rain
Coming soon to a PS3 near you.
Quantic Dream’s upcoming Skinemax Movie You Play, Heavy Rain, is firmly on my list of anticipated games for the year, but of course I am trying to keep my expectations and standards low.
While there are quite a few videos showing what appears to be gameplay, I am still not totally convinced of how playable this Not a Game really is. It plainly isn’t just Dragon’s Lair or Space Ace in 3D, but I am still kinda weirded out by the context-heavy controls, and the seemingly mundane stuff you do. Making architectural drawings? Setting a table? Applying makeup? What is this… the next gen of Shenmue? Is it all about memorizing when or where to press ‘X’ or ‘O’? Will this be a game with true interaction, or is it really just Quick Time Event: The Game?
That aside though, what really got me interested is the narrative- having four playable heroes whose paths cross or intersect throughout their individual searches for an elusive serial killer is a great premise. Not too sure about the way that if and when a character is killed, the story goes on without them. What player would just abandon a path and just plow forward instead of just reloading a previous save? I guess it adds to the replay value if you let some player characters die, but perhaps this shouldn’t have become a selling point, instead just noting that the Save system is vital for branching paths.
Also, as great as the game looks, it’s plainly no Avatar in terms of character believability. Characters still have a blank stare in their vacant eyes, which only exacerbates the dry delivery of some of the lines of dialogue. Still, I’ve only seen snippets, so hopefully this all turns out to be little nitpicks.
When all is said and done, hopefully this game delivers on the aspects of interactivity, groundbreaking narrative, dramatic punch and, well, mature elements that it is promising. We’ll find out in a couple of months.