I finished the game I've been playing for the past month--Mass Effect 2 on the Xbox 360--and now I've started on a new one, this time exclusive on the PS3. As always, check out my "Now Playing" sidebars on this site for specific progress updates on the games I'm playing currently.
Heavy Rain is unique in that it's a game dependent almost entirely on Quick Timed Events, or QTEs, to bring across the story. What this means is that players are presented with one long, uninterrupted and scripted movie, during which they are given quick choices to make at key moments in the scene. For instance, if your partner is patting down a suspect and that suspect suddenly pulls out an object from his jacket, at that very moment a button prompt flashes across the screen and you have literally seconds to decide whether to press it and thus fire your gun at the suspect, or hold off and see what's in the guy's hand. If you jump too early and shoot, you might find out that the suspect was only going for his wallet. And then, shame on you.
Of course, the actuality of the QTEs in this game are far more complex than that. And, even though many games have used QTEs before, it has always been in a limited fashion. The God of War and Resident Evil series (as of late) are famous for these. But, yeah, Heavy Rain is the first game to use it as the primary game mechanic. And you know what? It works! It works VERY well, in fact. I'm so drawn in to the story that I'm even surprised I'm writing this here blog entry now. I really should be back in front of the tube playing the game right this very moment!
Heavy Rain revolves around the stories of 4 characters who start off completely unrelated. But as the game progresses, you start to see how they are all connected in some fashion to a local serial killer who's been going around abducting and drowning little boys. The Origami Killer--because he leaves little folded-up paper animals in each victim's hand--apparently likes to keep the kids locked in some kind of flood drain and waits for a long-lasting rain storm to slowly fill up the drain and drown them. Yeah, real sick shit! But that's how this game is; it doesn't hold any punches. It's very mature, and so no kid should ever be allowed to watch this, much less play it. It's completely for adults only. There's graphic violence, a bit of unabashed nudity (both male and female), and of course copious amounts of cursing.
Check out the trailer below and maybe you'll get an idea of how dark and gritty, but also intelligent, this thriller is:
What's that you say? But of course! Right down my alley, true. But really, if you're a gamer and own a PS3, this really should be the only game you're playing right now. Until God of War III comes out in a couple of weeks, naturally.
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