Heavy Rain Review

The floodgates are open. VideoGamesDaily spends a rainy day in with Quantic Dream’s masterful PS3 debut.

By Edwin Evans-Thirlwell, February 10, 2010

The game maintains an engagingly uneasy relationship with literalness. Awkward face button combinations are used to implement and evoke both the exertion of squeezing through an electrified fence, and the psychological stresses of pointing a pistol at an unarmed man in a dressing gown. During the heat of the moment your character will actually resist direction, the control cues dancing and shifting under the beat of adrenaline.

Madison's no cipher, but she's the least developed of Heavy Rain's cast.

Madison's no cipher, but she's the least developed of Heavy Rain's cast.

Perhaps inevitably for a game whose storyline turns on a single revelation, Heavy Rain’s replay value is a little suspect. The more you revisit it, the more evident the script’s conjuring tricks become. Life-or-death decisions prove less than decisive. You’ll spot the places where Quantic Dream has economised, feeding two plot branches into one scenario with a faint, telltale “pop” of non-sequiturs.

Nevertheless, that first playthrough is one I’d encourage anybody with 40 pounds in their pocket to experience. Hopefully Quantic’s competitors will follow their example, making off with some of cinema’s other archetypal tales – outer space odysseys, Wild West yarns, syrupy rom coms, rags-to-riches sport flicks, purple-prosed arthouse offerings – and reshaping them into “interactive drama”: every cliché, every idle director’s gesture, every theme Hollywood has milked to the brink of extinction, reinvigorated for another generation.

Releases of this import arrive once a hardware cycle, at most. Heavy Rain is more than a mere work of art – together with its flawed predecessor Fahrenheit, it marks the birth of a genre.

9 out of 10

Score guide thisaway, forum thread thataway, comments thread below. All feedback welcome.

12 Responses to “Heavy Rain Review”

  1. Stuart says:

    Great review Edwin, it’s just a shame we have so many quality titles out just now or this would be a definite for me. I’ll be picking it up at some point though, and trying my best to avoid any plot spoilers before I play it!

  2. Harold says:

    Birth of a genre? It’s a standard adventure game with nice cinematic trappings

    • Jack the Stripper says:

      This isnt a adventure. In a adventure you have to find and collect items and compine them and use them on the right spot to procced. But thi isnt so in Heavy Rain. You walk in that stages, talk to people, make a qte, maybe find somthing thats importend for the story and procced. That again and again and again.
      No brains needed!

      This is for people that prefer a graphics drama over the challenge of real gameplay to procced!

  3. Eric2929 says:

    Great stuff Edwin; informative as always. Have my copy pre-ordered (something I never do!).

  4. Edwin says:

    Thanks chaps, glad to be of service. I had to rush it a bit towards the end.

  5. Jack the Stripper says:

    Saying this game has a trivial/forgettable story and a almost non replay factor whereas the whole concept is based on storrytelling?
    That what this game is based on,the story, is its mayor flaw and it gets a 9/10? The the story must not be that important for your review! Its like saying the driving mechanics in Forza3 suck but the game is 9/10. Makes no sense to me!

  6. zarbor says:

    Seen a number of reviews of this game giving it high praises. That’s cool that its the birth of a new genre. Not my kinda game. Rental at best to see what all the hype is about. From what I’ve seen, I rather the more traditional gameplay. I like a good story but if I have to chose, I prefer great gameplay over story. None of the reviews give this game great review on the gameplay.

  7. Lawrence says:

    I can totally agree with Edwin’s view on Heavy Rain. It’s been my most wonderful gaming experience to date, be it a short one.
    Thanks Edwin!

  8. Christmas Ape says:

    Awkward jerks of the controller and painfully cramping finger layouts: the “slowly drag the mouse looking for the relevant pixel” of 21st century video games.

    I mean, it’s a novel control scheme, but I cut my teeth on the character-driven investigative adventure genre. It’s not ‘new’ or in any way ‘being born’.

  9. Core Yarn says:

    Truly masterful PS3 debut. My personal top game on playstation.

  10. Cools_Web_Thank_for_shared

  11. Nlrxkgyi says:

    chinese animals,


Kikizo Classic: