Rating – M
System – Playstation 3
Genre – Interactive Drama Action-Adventure
Heavy Rain was released only for Playstation 3 in February 2010. It is an interactive psychological thriller video game. The game features four playable characters: Ethan Mars voiced by and modeled after Pascal Langdale, Scott Shelby voiced by and modeled after Sam Douglas, Norman Jayden voiced by and modeled after Leon Ockenden, and Madison Paige voiced by Judi Beecher. Heavy Rain is based on the mystery of the Origami Killer who is a serial killer that uses rainfall to drown his young victims.
It begins in the life of Ethan Mars, showing his daily activities with his family. A tragic event sends Mars into a six month coma and when the player comes across him again, he is divorced, depressed, and living in a small apartment. He tries to reconnect with his son Shaun but ends up having a blackout while at the park. When he wakes up, he finds that Shaun has gone missing. The player learns that Shaun’s disappearance is the work of the Origami Killer. As the story progresses, the player meets the other three playable characters: Norman Jayden is a FBI profiler who has been assigned to help the police apprehend the killer, Scott Shelby is a private investigator, collecting evidence from the victims’ parents to further his investigation, and Madison Paige is a photojournalist who begins to conduct her own investigation of the Origami case. Once all the characters begin investigating the case, the suspense and action really starts.
The characters in this game are realistic and have a good amount of character development. The player is able to care for what happens to the characters, and since the player is able to view four different viewpoints of the mystery, it makes each person important to the plot. Of course, the player can choose who shows up at the final confrontation and who is left out but that is what makes the game enjoyable. The ending of this game can be different depending on what the player chooses as he/she goes through the plot.
Heavy Rain’s gameplay is unlike most video games. It allows the player to interact with the game by replicating the actions shown on the screen with the controller and sometimes, having to perform quick time events during action sequences. Sure, video games have these types of controls in their gameplay, but Heavy Rain is based entirely on this kind of gameplay, which I find different and fun.
I will say that this game is great the first time playing, but if anyone plays more than once, it is much easier to catch errors and illogical story progression. I only have one complaint about this game which is about the killer. While I feel the killer could have had a better reason for murdering children, in certain endings, he/she tries to kill a character even after he/she proved himself/herself worthy of the killer’s demands. During those endings, the killer seemed fickle for changing his/her mind over what to do. Other than that, I would recommend this game because it is a lot of fun and definitely worth playing.
Story – 4/5
Controls – 4/5
Gameplay – 4/5
Replay Value – 3/5
My Rating – ★★★★