Remember the game 'Out of This World' for Super Nintendo? It featured a drastic shift in graphics style and gameplay in exchange for a very unique gaming experience. The graphics were broken down to their pure polygon roots to offer up a smoother animation style, and a more movie-like realism than what Super Nintendo players were used to at the time. Think 'platform version of Star Fox'. Even the music made it feel like you were in an interactive film. People were blown away by all this... at first.
It wasn't long before players realized that the extreme change in style that 'Out of This World' had, came with a cost. Clumsy, repetitious gameplay, novelty that wore thin quickly, and a longing to get back to what was familiar, and most importantly, fun.
Heavy Rain is the PS3 version of 'Out of This World'.
Heavy Rain is 'different', I'll give it that. And even the graphics are great, but it's really nothing more than an unending series of quick-time events. Some are unique, and do make you feel somewhat connected to the action you're performing in the game, but having your character do mundane tasks like go to the bathroom, take a leak, and take a shower, isn't exactly my idea of fun. If that's what I was after, I'd play The Sims. At least that title offered an unending sense of challenge. Heavy Rain offers none. No matter what you do, you can't lose. There's no death, no game-over screen, nothing. During fight, or 'negotiation', sequences (you heard right), what you do always ends up the same, it's just over quickly, or it drags on. There's no true sense of accomplishment. It's just like mindlessly mashing a bunch of buttons to advance a film.
The story is somewhat engaging, but Heavy Rain doesn't offer up much of anything else. It comes off as an interactive movie gimmick. The game was quite glitchy with me, generating bugs often that completely inhibited any progress. From what I've read, this is quite common with Heavy Rain. This game gets a lot of high praise, but I have no idea why. Kudos to the creators for trying to come up with something unique, but sometimes, in doing so, you lose out on all the fun.. and that's what a game should be.