Just Like The Movies

User Rating: 8.5 | Heavy Rain PS3
While playing (or more accurately, watching) Heavy Rain, I was legitimately moved. The story of brave Ethan Mars, rogue cop Lieutenant Blake, private i Scott Shelby, recovering drug addict/FBI Agent Norman Jayden, reporter Madison Paige, and mourning mother/whore Lauren White, all try to save Ethan's son Shaun from the horrid Origami Killer, a vicious psychopath who kidnaps children, and then traps them in a pipe and leaves them to drown, only to then dump their bodies near railroad tracks with an orchid on their chests and an origami figure in their hands.

After losing his oldest son thanks to the works of an evil clown, Ethan Mars is sent into a coma for two years, who, upon waking up, is told by his wife that she wants a divorce, and apparently she gets the awesome original house while Ethan is stuck in dog poop compared to his former domain. As if this weren't bad enough, Ethan begins to suffer from signs of schizophrenia. And here's the icing on the cake: after taking Shaun to a park to try to cheer him up, Ethan suffers from one of his blackouts, and wakes up in the park late at night with an origami figure in his hand. Ethan, as described perfectly by a good friend of mine, is the world's best dad, and suffers from the world's worst luck. And wait, it gets even better. Now the killer has given Ethan a box with three different origami figures in it and a device I like to refer to as an iTorture. He has to do various tasks, which include murder, cutting off his own finger, and crawling through an air vent filled with broken glass. After he completes each task, three letters are added to his iTorture, which will eventually spell out the address where his son is held.

Then we move onto the story of Scott Shelby, a private investigator hired by the families of the victims to help try and give them closure. Early on in the game, we see the asthmatic cop be introduced to Lauren White, a prostitute whose son was one of those kidnapped. After Scott interrogates her, and is promptly kicked out of her motel room, an angry former comes a knockin' and winds up breaking in, where Scott wound up having to fight the baddie. Unfortunately, although very entertaining, almost of all of Scott's missions are just the same in the beginning, which is kicking some bad guy ass. Scott does nearly impossible for a professional bodybuilder, let alone an old fart like himself.

Now we move onto the cops, Blake and Jayden. After the murders were getting national attention, the police were given no choice but to drive Jayden up to Philadelphia from Washington to help solve the murders. Jayden, on the surface, is a model citizen. He is upstanding, he is kind, he is smart, and he has the most bad-ass pair of sunglasses you'll ever see in your life. But Jayden is hardly treated with any kind of dignity in the police station, because he is given a crappy office in the back, and is the subordinate to rogue cop Blake. Over the course of the game, you will see Blake's outstanding police work, which includes beating a helpless psychiatrist, badmouthing Jayden in practically every conversation they have, and incorrectly assuming Ethan is the killer, and nearly kills him multiple time. But here's the thing, although Blake is definitely not a model citizen, Jayden has his own demons. He is addicted to a drug known as Tripoten, which he is in the process of withdrawal. As a result, he falls victim to horrible hallucinations, and horrible pain. His butler (because just about everybody in this game is rich for some reason) even advises him multiple times that if he takes anymore of the drug that he is liable to kill himself.

And finally we have Madison Paige, a reporter who falls victim to horrible dreams about being murdered by multiple strangers in her own apartment (a penthouse compared to what I live in). She winds up reporting on the case of the Origami Killer, and soon becomes acquainted with Ethan. She obviously cares for him, and puts her neck on the line time and time again to save him from arrests, beatings, and murders. She also helps investigate the case on his behalf, and falls victim to an evil doctor, and a perverted club owner to name a few. But she perseveres and becomes a key in this very complicated chain of events.

As much as I loved playing this game, and having fun with all the alternate endings that can come about from killing off separate characters or changing certain choices characters make, it becomes a very entertaining game, and honestly, if this were a movie, I would go see it, buy the DVD, buy all their merchandise, go to the cult meetings, and so on and so forth. But the game does have a few minor complaints. The graphics vary widely, from great to my 8 year old daughter could do better. The same goes for the voice acting, which is obviously done by many foreign voice actors, as the children and a few adults have profound accents, which throws a wrench in some plans. And the decisions from the children in particular is very controversial. One child is killed by not following a simple fact that most children have drilled into their heads when they're just barely old enough to walk. Some of the scenes aren't very realistic, and some are just plain unbelievable, but it is still a very enjoyable experience, and THE best cinematic I've ever played. It is, essentially, just like a movie.