Heavy Rain

A very unique and interesting game, but not one worth £40

12th April 2010

I know it's been a while since I posted a blog, but I've recently had a lot of work to do regarding 3D modelling and documentary editing. All university work is over now, though, so I decided to rent the critically acclaimed "Heavy Rain" - essentially an interactive film filled with QTEs.

For those unfamiliar, QTE are "Quick Time Events" - normally portions of a game that require detailed cinematography rather than the standard animation uses these to give a sense of interaction, basically telling you to press square/circle/A/B or whatever at the right time, if you do, your character will manage to hit the opponent, but if you fail, your character gets shot, for example.

Now most of the time, QTEs are used by game designers being too lazy to include a more interactive combat system, but Heavy Rain manages to make it seem like less of a rip-off and more of an experience. That being said, charging £40 for a film that you can press buttons in IS a rip off.

However, this game is well worth a rent. Gameplay wise it's fairly limited, but the story is compelling (although there are several issues I take with the consistency of it) and the multiple endings will make you want to play it through several times more. Graphically, it ranges from average to very good - the textures are absolutely fantastic and the environment incredibly detailed. However in some scenes the character models look slightly blocky, but most of the time the absolutely superb lighting effects manage to disguise this. Somewhat strangely, the rain effect often looks fake - which is a massive oversight seeing as it is raining for 95% of the game.

The soundtrack is not so good, however. The voice acting is average at best, and the background music often doesn't fit the situation and there seem to be 4 different tracks repeated for the entire 7 or 8 hours which gets VERY grating, especially on re-playthroughs. The lifespan is limited to obtaining all the endings, and I managed to obtain the platinum trophy within the week I rented it with not too much effort.

To sum up, just don't buy it. Worth a rent definitely, and maybe if you can pick up a cheap copy somewhere, but you won't get a full priced game out of it.