Billed by Quantum Dreams as the direct successor to Indigo Prophecy, a dark game that centered around mysterious murders by seemingly innocent civilians who have been possessed by some sort of unknown entity.
It was highly praised for its clever gameplay and terrific script that was truly innovative back then as it is now. If drama and intrigue is what you're looking for, Heavy Rain and Indigo Prophecy has them in spades.
Heavy Rain is an amazing game and I was surprised at how transfixed I was at its story that took awhile to get started but once it did, I couldn't help but catch my breath upon completing the game. Twists and turns abound in this interactive game, that will keep you guessing and constantly speculating the identity of the Origami Killer.
A man who kidnaps boys for the sole purpose of finding the perfect father who is given a set of trials that upon completion will take him closer to unraveling the location of their loved one. A box with a phone, various origami's of animals, a message and a letter is the only clues that is given to Ethan Mars.
Upon closer inspection of these origamis, Ethan understands that his next clue lies on the address of the place that he needs to go to. The killer's message is simple: How much are you willing to sacrifice to save the one you love? As you take control of Ethan, its your actions or rather mistakes along the way that ultimately determines the outcome.
Will you successfully save your only son or die while trying to manoeuvre pass the Origami Killer's sinister trials that will push you beyond your breaking point?
Also a strong point of the game is its crisp visuals that are highly detailed and realistic. You'll be in awe at how lifelike the characters seem to be. With each passing motion, be it the swing of the arms or having to evade from the police during an intense escape, its all done with so much flair that you can't help but feel like you are taking part in it all.
You may come across the occasional instance where your character may have his arms through a table or another persons body, but as this occurs very rarely - it doesn't take anything away from an otherwise utterly compelling game.
Drawing you closer into its narrative is the brilliant musical score that kicks into an intense beat whenever you are in the thick of the action. Its also has got some rather soothing and infectious beats depending on the situation and its another high point in this action game.
In Heavy Rain anything goes and even if you do die in the game, it will move on without you. How it effects the story in the end remains to be seen as I have only beaten the game once, but know this as your death will have definitive and defining moments that will no doubt warrant another playthrough as you try things out from another perspective.
You have a total of four characters to play in the game at one time; Scott Shelby, a private investigator hired by the victims of the Origami Killer, Ethan Mars, whose only child has been kidnapped, Norman Jayden, an FBI agent who is tasked with putting an end to the mysterious deaths and Madison Paige, whose early presence is much of an enigma early in the game.
You will constantly be ping-ponging among different characters in Heavy Rain, taking on their roles in the game and its when their paths meet that the game truly shines. Choices abound in Heavy Rain, relationships are mended or worsen depending on your actions, and most of all - deaths can be avoided if you have the finesse and quick fingers to get out of a sticky situation.
To move your character, you'll have to hold R2 to move your character's head and use the left analogue stick to steer. If it sounds rather clunky and imprecise on paper? It is, and its one of the game's biggest flaws. Don't let that stop you from going out and getting Heavy Rain though as its intriguing and deeply moving story is just too hard to pass up on.
Throughout the game, button prompts will appear onscreen and its how you approach a given situation that determines the outcome of Heavy Rain's narrative. Falter and fumble in one of the intense fisticuffs that are littered across the game, and its all over for that one character.
This is when it gets interesting as the game will adapt and alter after your untimely demise. And yes, it means that there will be plenty of reason to complete the game and try things out differently.
Having said that, some might only want to play it through one time as they may have built a significant relationship with the characters, that to do things differently - it would spoil the sense of connection that had already been established.
Such is the strong storytelling and believable hardships that these four characters face that you'll cry and ponder on what could have been if you somehow messed up on one of the key moments of the game. In Heavy Rain, gaming as you know it has matured tenfold.
It's not often that games or movies for that matter pull you in such a manner that Heavy Rain does.
The same goes for the other characters in the game as your connection with them is unlike any other game that you have played. Put simply, Heavy Rain is the new benchmark for storytelling in videogames as you control the outcome and the lives of the characters.
Bioshock tried it with the Little Sisters but Heavy Rain takes it to whole new level that it would be hard to go back to games that didn't fulfill the very promise of letting you determine the outcome.