Heavy Rain — Game Review

This 2010s video game delves into the psyche of the human mind. How acts of trauma could lead to inflictions of violence towards innocent people to discover a reality and the potential to become better than what one has experienced.

Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls Collection

Story

A typical family with two children being busy and enjoying life. Until one day, after buying a balloon for his son, the father tries to find his son. Only to end up in a coma after attempting to rescue his child after he runs across a busy road. Regrettably, the efforts were in vain as the son dies.

A few years later and the mother and father have split up. There is joint custody of the children. The father is looking after his son whilst still reminiscing of his twin brother. Then, a short while later, his son turns missing. He has a suspect:

A serial killer is on the loose who has been responsible for a string of murders across the city. He always leaves a paper-figurine of an origami next to each of his murders. What is his motivation? Why is he doing this? And how can we ultimately stop him?

HEAVY RAIN Origami Killer by Santi

Characters

There are a several characters of importance throughout the story. Character developments are evident through the progression of the game:

  • Ethan Mars — The central character who loses his son, Jason, in a car crash. After the disappearance of his surviving son, he goes out on a quest to discover the whereabouts and rescue his son.
  • Scott Shelby — A private investigator who is desperately trying to find the Origami killer. He is hired by the victims’ families to investigate what the police couldn’t.
  • Carter Blake — An FBI investigator tasked with finding the origami killer. He is coldly (somewhat) welcomed in the police force and will assist in their investigation.
  • Madison Paige — A journalist who suffers from Insomnia. She discovers Ethan injured in a hotel room and tries to comfort him.
  • Lauren Winters — A prostitute who lost her son to the origami killer. She tags along with Scott Shelby.
Heavy Rain PS3 Poster

World-Building

The story takes place in an average American town. People carrying on with their lives with all of the usual necessities it has to offer. It was relatively quiet and its depressed undertones reflected the psyche of the central character, Ethan Mars, who is still reeling over the death of his first son even before the kidnapping of his second.

This is in contrast to Madison Paige, who appears to be residing in a more high-end apartment and appears to be in a reasonably more wealthier environment. Not significantly richer, but the difference in the standard of living is apparent.

Carter Blake has an office assigned at the police station which looks quite woodedly-depilated in comparison to the modern-styled facility. Scott Shelby has turned his apartment into his office, filled with all of the relevant necessities and privacy one can expect from such an accommodation and is reasonably better off.

Watching The Storm by Sergey Moltyansky

At the same time, Lauren Winters has a speciality in satisfying men in her place of residence. Her place of living is styled-yet-simple. Whilst these five characters have a slightly different standard of living, they all share a similar sense of struggle and the desire to uncover the truth.

Gameplay

The gameplay was slightly funky. It’s a bit like a mouse-directed game, even though I played this on the PS4. To travel to a certain place, the character has to first turn to a particular location and then hold down the button to walk forward in that particular direction: You can not fully walk and turn at the same time. At least by Detroit: Becoming Human, this appears to have been rectified.

At the same time, the game manages to pull a sense of thrill during the action-fast sequences. The player in question has to click the correct button during close encounters in order to neutralise or evade the threat. Wrong buttons/inputs, depending on the magnitude of the situation, can prove fatal.

In each chapter, you play as a specific character depending on the need of the story. Important decisions have to made which will have a consequence during the progression of the game and will ultimately influence the ending of the game too.

Heavy Rain Wallpaper by CrossDominatriX5

Summary

In brief:

  • Story revolves around a father trying to rescue his child from a serial killer.
  • The father had already lost his previous son and he will not lose this one too.
  • The killer always leaves origami figures in his tracks.
  • There are five central characters (or at least the first four are), with the main one being Ethan Mars.
  • Story takes place in a typical quite American town with a depressing undertone.
  • Gameplay was slightly funky, but manageable nonetheless.

Critique

I had a great time with this game. The story had a slow build-up (not as slow when compared to Beyond: Two Souls) and it become more of a thriller over the progress of the game. The journey was well thought out and the pieces gradually fell together by the end of the game. The plot twist was great and I enjoyed every moment of it. The game is not at the same level as Detroit: Becoming Human, but I still enjoyed it nonetheless, despite the odd gameplay mechanism.

Quantic Dream Collection

Initially, I was worried this game would be dated since it was originally available on the PS3, but its PS4 counterpart had improved graphics and I managed to immerse myself into the game. Aside the previous issue, the only other noticeable issue was the bland-faces of the characters: During tense situations, the emotions portrayed by the characters failed to translate into their facial or body animations. Other than that, I quite enjoyed the game and I am glad I received the opportunity to complete this journey.

Overall, a great experience!

Afterwords

This is a game I would definitely recommend to others! I have previously played Beyond: Two Souls, followed by Detroit: Becoming Human and I was only told recently this game was connected to the latter, whereas I did not know this game was connected to the former until the writing of this article. And when I say “connected”, I mean it being made by the same company, i.e. ‘Quantic Dream’. It was radically different from the previous game I played before I started this journey:

Disclaimer

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Writer. Reader of Novels. Video Gamer. Documentary Watcher. Tech nerd.

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