The Perfect Rental: (Not) A Review of Quantic Dream’s Heavy Rain

[100% spoiler free, in case you’re worried.] I love Heavy Rain. It’s one of the most impressive games I’ve played in years. Its graphics, music, characters (minus some spotty voice acting), and storytelling are phenomenal. Entertainment aside, it’s the kind of game that moves the industry forward and leads to greater experiences. As much as I want everyone with a PlayStation 3 to buy Heavy Rain, I have to say that it’s a rental for most people — quite possibly the perfect rental.

Before I get to that, I’ll go over various aspects of Heavy Rain. First and foremost, the way the game creates suspense and tension is extraordinary. I was literally on the edge of my couch during several portions of the game. There were a few times when I completed a thrilling chase scene, paused the game, and thought, “When was the last time a game made me feel that way?” That’s just totally cool.

The story is fantastic, which I expected from a Quantic Dream game. Learning the identity of The Origami Killer genuinely surprised me. (The killer is not Jesse Divnich, btw.) There were a few characters that I suspected, but when the criminal was finally revealed I was all, “Wow. I didn’t see that one coming…at all!” What’s even cooler is that the choices you make result in different twists and turns. While the game will take most of you eight or nine hours to complete, I think it’s worth replaying to see how the different paths play out. Like I said in another article, it would be stupid to only play this game once.

Most of you have seen screens and videos of the game, so you know how beautiful it is. To be completely honest, the graphics didn’t really matter to me most of the time. The other aspects of the game were so engaging that I didn’t really pay close attention to the gorgeous visuals. Stepping back for a moment, I’m glad the game looks the way it does. I loved Indigo Prophecy on Xbox, but its ugly graphics often pulled me out of the experience.

Some gamers dislike the gameplay in Heavy Rain, dismissing the entire game as a series of quick-time events. That’s just close-minded. Considering that my favorite games are turn-based RPGs, I don’t see how Heavy Rain’s gameplay is “lesser”. Some gamers with a heavy preference for shooters will find the gameplay slow and dull, but players that are opened to other genres will dig what Heavy Rain — in its entirety — has to offer.

So yeah! Right about now you’re thinking, “If you love the game so much then why do you think it’s only a rental?” Well, it’s $60 and you can can play through several branches and get multiple endings in a week. Most players will get their fill of Heavy Rain by then. They’ll enjoy it and “get” it. While the DLC should extend the experience, I don’t think the majority of gamers will care enough to hold onto the game for its DLC. Is Heavy Rain worth experiencing? Absolutely! Is it worth $60 for most gamers? Probably not. (Related note: remember this old discussion on gaming value?)

As someone that’s peripherally involved in the gaming business, I hate saying that Heavy Rain is a “rent” instead of a “buy”. As someone that can influence the amount of money in your wallet, it’s my responsibility to give you this answer.

Agree? Disagree? Either way, let me know (please)!

Author: RPadTV

http://www.RPad.TV

26 thoughts on “The Perfect Rental: (Not) A Review of Quantic Dream’s Heavy Rain”

  1. nice work rpad. I agree with you in many ways. I should have my review of the game up on GamersWishList.com by this weekend so I'll put the link up on Monday. Everyone should try the game so it is at least a rental.

    Considering the fact that I couldn't put this game down made it a short 2 day experience for me, but there's enough to go back and try again I think. This is the kind of game I'll play 3 years from now when I get an itch for it.

  2. I agree and disagree. Heavy Rain has multiple paths and endings so that takes care of the replayability. But I see what you mean that most traditional gamers won't like this game but may be willing to give it a try, to those I say rent it. I'm going to enjoy my story for a few weeks and then go back in for a different story. How many games can you do that with? I mean really different stories and not just choosing different words to say like other games that claim to offer different stories.

  3. @Raymond Padilla

    True, you can do it that way but I prefer to play the game all over again. And no, it won't take a few weeks to play them all but I will put it down for a short while and then come back to it. I don't know, I guess I don't want to change my story so quick.

  4. @Raymond Padilla

    By the way, I didn't get to enjoy that shock factor when the killer was revealed like you did because it was spoiled for me as I told you guys the other day. It ruined it some for me because from the first time I saw that person I knew they did and was just waiting for it to be revealed. Jerks!

  5. @RRODisHere Yeah, when you mentioned that I stopped looking at other sites because I didn't want someone to ruin it for me. I'm glad I did because I didn't expect this character to be the killer. So thanks for the heads up!

  6. @Nightshade386 From an outsider's perspective it's probably a little funny. I have to admit that I laughed at the YouTube video of the guys driving by a midnight bookstore launch of Harry Potter 6 yelling, "Dumbledore gets killed by Snape!!!" It was totally dickish, but it made me laugh.

  7. Here's why I don't like it: I left Resident Evil 2 controls back on the PS1. Holding down a button to walk and not having any control over the camera is too old school for me. I think it is a time best left behind. I also didn't like having to hold down 3 to 4 buttons to accomplish one action as simple as sidling. Lastly, I didn't care for how the fight scene(s) played. I wanted to do the fight, not react to the fight. The whole interface really took me out of the atmosphere and story telling aspect of this game. I never played Indigo Prophecy, and I am not enamored with my PS3 so I didn't have any preconceived notions going forward. I think this game will be lauded by some people for the wrong reasons and others will genuinely like the partial interaction with the world.

    Question about the endings? Is it always the same killer but with a different path to that end or what? If so, then I wouldn't call that multiple endings.

    (this comment would start a fight on most sites)

  8. @Smartguy I agree that the walk button is stupid. The run button in Pokemon games bothers me too.

    I disagree about the multiple endings. They're definitely different. I need to think of a way to tell you that you're wrong without spoiling things though.

  9. @Ray

    You can send me an email if you feel the need to really say it lol. I don't mind honestly since I don't plan on playing the game. However I am taking the most literal meaning of ending though. In the end, the bad guy/girl is still the bad guy/girl….so if one ending has 3 ppl alive while another has 1 but the same bad guy/girl, I don't see it as multiple.

    I get where you are coming from though. Remember, you have my email. Also, accept my friend request on PSN? Restloy

  10. What's your PSN Ray, I'll add you too, :) If ya don't mind. And Smartguy too since he posted his ^^

  11. thats rays "secondary" psn name

    his main one is "raymond_padilla"

    im kidding, i own that name from years ago…i was playing a trick on brian leahy

  12. @RROD – I'm loving it, except for the weird and awkward walking/turning. It just looks unnatural lol. Couple of times I was pretty surprised at how the story plays out.

  13. @RRODisHere Do you really think it will take you a few weeks to see all the various paths? It’s not like you have to replay the entire thing. You can go back to key moments and play the game from there.

  14. Having played the demo, I pretty much agree with Smartguy's assessment in post #10. Well, except for the multiple endings bit. I can see how you can have multiple endings but still have the same killer. But that's neither here nor there.

    Having said that, I often say that demos are the worst marketing tools developers have to use, because more often than not they turn me off to a game (Batman: Arkham Asylum being the rare exception). So I intend on renting the game via Gamefly at some point. But it's certainly not real high on my Q.

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