Friday, 19 February 2010

Heavy Rain Demo Impressions

There has been a lot of noise in the gaming world about Heavy Rain. I must admit, I wasn’t sure about it myself and wanted to reserve judgement until I had at least played the demo. Well, now I have and if you like being sucked into a game head first, to not just play but be in it, to revel in the atmosphere and find yourself in a moody, dark film noir thriller reminiscent of an interactive ‘Se7en’ – then this game is for you.

Heavy Rain is developed by Quantic Dream of Omikron and Farenheit fame. First things first, this is not a game for kids. There are serious, adult themes covered in this game (these are clear from the demo). There will eventually be four playable characters - an FBI profiler, a retired private detective, an architect, and a photo journalist. The aim of the game is to find the serial killer known as "The Origami Killer". Sounds like fun...

In the demo of the game you play as the FBI and the retired private dick. Hmmm. In the words of Dr Dre and Snoop, ‘Hold up’ (from The Next Episode). Should I call this demo a game? It wasn’t just a demo of a game. It was an experience. When my character had an asthma attack, I panicked. When my character was in a fight, I panicked. The music is excellent as are the visuals.I was experiencing an interactive movie of sorts. My heart rate shot up, my sphincter tightened and I was gripping my controller for dear life. All from a demo! Wow. The gaming mechanics feature Quick Time Events which mean that at certain key moments you have to make the right motion on the joystick or press the right button in synch with what’s happening to your character. It sounds lame. It sounds terrible. I thought it would be awful but it works very well. This isn’t mindless ‘X’ bashing but mimicking your actions on screen and it’s not easy. So, when you’re climbing a slippery, water logged and muddy hill, your QTE’s correspond to left leg, right leg, push up etc. *sigh* that is an awful description. I admit it. My writing skills have deserted me (again). But the gaming mechanic works. It’s not the same as the QTEs used in the God of War series or Heavenly Sword. Seriously, it works. Take my word for it. Or better still don't listen to me. The Demo is available on the PSN store. Download it. Play it. Live it. Let me know what you think. And then agree with me. I'm always right. Especially when I'm wrong. Which I never am. Ahem.

Treehouse rating: N/A
It’s not just a game, it’s an M&S game (sorry to those outside the UK who don’t get that).

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