Heavy Rain (2010)
Heavy Rain is an intercative drama and action-adventure game that was originally released on Playstation 3 back in 2010 but was remastered and released on Playstation 4 in 2016. It is also available as a bundle with Beyond: Two Souls and Detroit: Become Human. The video game was critically acclaimed and New Line Cinema even purchased the rights to make a movie based upon the video game even though a specific project hasn't materialized so far.
The game focuses on a gloomy atmosphere centered on a twisted story with numerous different outcomes that guarantees that players feel like revisiting this game. A serial killer known as the Origami killer kidnaps young boys, keeps them in secret locations, drowns them and dumps their bodies with an origami figure placed on their chests.
There are four playable characters whose actions intertwine.
Ethan Mars is a family father who lost one of his sons in a tragic accident and fell into a coma. He awoke six months later but suffers from occasional disorientation and memory loss, wandering off at night for unfathomable reasons. Tragedy strikes again when his second son is kidnapped in a park. Ethan Mars doesn't want to lose another son and does everything he can to find his son before he gets killed. The serial killer contacts him and asks him to undergo a series of more and more twisted challenges to save his child.
Madison Paige is a journalist suffering from insomnia and strange visions who occasionally moves to a run-down motel where she seems to be able to sleep much better than at home. She meets Ethan Mars at the motel, realizes that he seems to feel tormented and offers her help for mysterious reasons. When she learns more about him, she decides to investigate herself in order to help him save his son and uncover the identity of the Origami killer.
Norman Jayden is a FBI profiler who is sent from Washington D.C. to support local police force to identify and arrest the Origami killer. The profiler uses a sophisticated evidence detecting system called Added Reality Interface but his unusual methods clash with his conservative partner lieutenant Carter Blake. Norma Jayden also suffers from a severe drug addiction that cause hallucinations, headaches and nosebleeds. He soon fails to distinguish fantasy from reality.
Scott Shelby is a former police officer who was let go under mysterious circumstances. He has become a lonesome private investigator who got hired by the families of the serial killer's victims. He tries to understand the serial killer's modus operandi and soon uncovers clues police officers had overlooked. He focuses his attention on an attention-seeking playboy and son of a wealthy businessman who tries to bribe and later on menace Scott Shelby. He reluctantly pairs up with the mother of one of the victims, a prostitute named Lauren Winter, who is emotionally unstable but motivated to find her son's murderer by any means necessary.
While the story, characters and atmosphere are the game's strongest points, its weakness remains the game play. The four characters are played from a third-person perspective but the camera angles are sometimes difficult to adjust. The game also focuses on numerous quick time events that need perfect precision and timing. This can become frustrating for occasional or less experienced players.
Still, this clever game is very immersive and almost works like a detailed film noir that requests the player's participation. This sinister thriller is much better than numerous actual movies and television series. The story, characters and atmosphere are this game's greatest assets while the game play could have been more diversified and fluid. In the end, this intellectual video game is highly recommendable and has aged particularly well.
Challenge level: 7/10
Game flow: 8/10
Long-term fun factor: 9/10
Total score: 83/100