My Game of the Year: Heavy Rain
The choice for me was hard, there’s many games I’ve played this year all great in their own way, Mass Effect 2, Fallout: New Vegas, Red Dead Redemption to name a few but after thinking about it for a while, I finally decided on Heavy Rain.
I didn’t follow the news on Heavy Rain until February, just a few weeks before its release. The first time I looked into it was when the Four Days Challenge was put up. This being the online ARG, where you could unlock a demo code by ‘investigating’ the full game’s Origami Killer and figuring out what evidence needed to be submitted. I gave it a try and I really enjoyed it, the trailer that came after the demo got me even more interested. I then followed news on the game up until its release when I bought it, completed it and was not disappointed.Heavy Rain does a great job at telling a story, it told a dark, gripping tale and most importantly, it was a real mature game and really full of emotion. The characters are great, they all have their own reasons for trying to find the Origami Killer and they’re very believable; they’ve all got their own problems, some bigger than others, which they deal with during the game.
The music really adds a lot to the game, it always fits a scene perfectly, every character’s theme is suited to them and it helps build the atmosphere incredibly well.
The gameplay is enjoyable too, the HUD is quite unobtrusive, it stays hidden most of the time and when it does appear, it blends nicely into the game. I really enjoyed some of the things done with it too, like having the options shaking and moving quickly when a character was tense or nervous, it gives you a real sense that you’re feeling their tension. The controls are quite unique like holding R2 to walk and using the left analogue stick to move the character’s head, you get used to it fairly quickly but it does get a bit annoying when the camera changes angles though. As many have said, most of the game is a series of QTEs, but they’re done really well, if you play on the highest difficulty setting it can be quite challenging at times. It should be familiar to anyone who’s played Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy.
However, there are a few problems in the story, that can’t be denied. Without spoiling it, there are a few parts that are left unexplained. Some were covered in a behind-the-scenes video, but they shouldn’t be left out for only curious gamers to find. Most aren’t big parts in the game, but it still can be annoying.
But even its flaws don’t detract much from the game. It’s brilliant. If you haven’t played it yet and have managed to avoid spoilers, I really suggest you try it. There aren’t many games like this, so it’s good to enjoy the ones there are before they’re spoiled for you.