[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)!