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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ‘Heavy Rain’ a thrilling narrative ride

    If I was forced to choose, I would have to say “”Heavy Rain”” is among the best five games I’ve ever played. Good games can get away with taking pieces of other genres and slowly building on them; great games push the boundaries of what interactive entertainment can do and prize innovation above all else with no cost to the established rules. “”Heavy Rain”” is a great game.

    However, it’s not for everyone. The gameplay is entirely based on “”quick-time events,”” meaning you use simple button presses to complete whole sequences of actions. This is not a game where you control everything you do. There are roughly four or five instances when guns are seen. The first few hours are very slow and it isn’t the most exciting opening as far as video games go.

    “”Heavy Rain”” does eventually pick up the pace, and when it does you will find yourself pulled along on a breathless ride through a branching narrative where your previous decisions affect your future choices. You control four distinct characters on their journey to save a young boy from a serial killer. From the father’s “”trials,”” which include cutting off his own finger, to a private detective’s brusque methodology, you will be caught up in this story.

    And the story is the true focal point of “”Heavy Rain.”” Everything weaves around it expertly. The tension quickly builds to unfathomable heights, and for a game with no multiplayer, it will bring other people into the room and keep them there in a remarkable way.

    The entire game is based around decisions and the aforementioned “”quick-time events.”” By choosing to or to not press a button, you face consequences. The game almost constantly autosaves, meaning you are stuck with your decisions until the bitter end and will be forced to see how they play out. None of your stories will be exactly the same as your friends’. It’s a compelling notion that should definitely be explored in other games.

    The art style is well directed as it paints the game with a gloomy feeling of despair. The constant rain soaking every texture is a technical marvel and it accents the emotion of the storyline. The music is minimal and rarely interferes with your experience except when necessary. I only noticed it on the most exciting parts of the game, which is another good design decision.

    On the whole, “”Heavy Rain”” requires a great amount of personal investment. If you give yourself to it, it will move you. “”Heavy Rain”” is not so much a game as an experience, and one that absolutely must be played.

    Scored: 10/10

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