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death the kid
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PostSubject: Heavy Rain   Sat Feb 27, 2010 1:47 pm

Heavy Rain-only on PlayStation





If you're planning on skipping the bulk of this text and heading straight to the review score to decide whether or not you should play through Heavy Rain, just know this: the game starts slow. It'll take you a couple hours to get into the meat of the experience and for things to really pick up, but once it does, you'll be on the edge of your seat until the end and you won't want to put the controller down. In other words, if you stick with it, Heavy Rain will give you a ride like you rarely see in games.

Having said that, it's also worth quickly pointing out that I'm going to keep this review completely spoiler-free, so feel free to read it without fear of anything being ruined for you (and trust me, you don't want anything ruined).

Quantic Dream's last title, dubbed Indigo Prophecy in North America and Fahrenheit pretty much everywhere else, tried to bridge together intricate storytelling with gameplay by using what were essentially quick-time events (think Dragon's Lair). A button prompt appears on the screen, and if you press it in time, the game continues and you get another one. If you don't, you fail and usually wind up staring at the words "Game Over".
This has multiple effects. If you're in an action sequence, missing one prompt might not mean much other than that the fight or chase would play out a little differently. Rather than taking out the bad guy right then, you might get knocked down but get another chance right after that. Miss too many and the bad guy might get away, but like I said, the story will continue on, no matter the result. In other instances, these options (as there is often more than one button available to you at any one time) will decide what a character says, how they react to something, what you interact with or so on and so forth.

The result is that although you're still matching button prompts, Heavy Rain feels much more like you're choosing and influencing what happens in the game, rather than simply reacting to it. This is a major and key element of the control mechanics that separates Heavy Rain from the likes of Indigo Prophecy, Dragon's Lair or even God of War's boss takedown sequences, and it's really what makes the actual gameplay work quite well.

What's really interesting is that Heavy Rain manages to always keep you on your toes, and if you don't pay attention and keep your cool, you'll pay for it. There are action sequences that happen when you least expect them, and if you're not ready, you may "fail" them. In other cases, the opposite is true: events can happen very quickly and your gut instinct may be to react to them, when the best option may have been to wait for a better opportunity (or not react at all). The first time this last bit happened to me, I had to stop playing for a minute and think about what I'd done and what the consequences would wind up being. Things can get pretty intense, to say the least.

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