Welcome to the evolution
Doing for PlayStation what James Cameron has done for 3D, French developer Quantic Dreams has crafted a spectacularly riveting opus, deftly melding elements of both cinema and games unlike any developer before it. The fabric of Heavy Rain is its narrative, but to delve too deep into its twisting storyline would be foolish, ultimately spoiling what is essentially an interactive thrill-ride sure to shape the outcome of grown up games on both PS3 and its rival platforms. This is a game whose foundations lie in choice, and an unprecedented level of choice at that.
Shaping the destinies of four playable characters (a father searching for his missing son, a photographer, a private detective and an FBI agent), you’ll make choices from the mundane to the profound. Whether choosing what you eat to conversational responses, Quantic Dreams doles them out in spades as you hunt for the sinister Origami Killer, a butcher with a penchant for drowning young boys in rainwater five days after kidnapping them and leaving an origami figure as his eerie calling card. Heavy Rain succeeds in evoking emotional responses unlike anything that has come before through a unique control system, slick motion capture and an utterly absorbing narrative.
Taking a huge risk and daring to break away from the crowd-pleasing line-up of FPS/RTS clones, Quantic Dreams has succeeded in charting genuinely new territory. Whether it enjoys the commercial success it undoubtedly deserves remains to be seen but Heavy Rain, by its very existence, has changed the landscape of contemporary video gaming.