Heavy Rain: The Origami Killer
"How far are you prepared to go, to save someone you love?" (David Cage, director: Heavy Rain).
From the beginning, you can already tell that Heavy Rain is a game like no other. Everything about it goes against what everyone else expects of what a video game experience should be, from the game play to the striking story line.
Heavy Rain is really a dramatic thriller centred around four playable characters, and one other, a serial Killer known as the Origami Killer who uses rain water to drown his victims. A US city on the east coast is being terrorised by the Origami Killer, whose victims are all discovered drowned, four days after they go missing. The killer’s trademark includes leaving an origami figure and orchid on each of the victim’s bodies. Ethan Mars, an architect trying to save his son Shaun from becoming one of the killer’s next victim is just one of the characters you get to control in the game.
I am not afraid to say that this is one of the most progressive games of this generation. The game has no supernatural elements to it and has a mature theme, portraying identifiable subjects like heartbreak, fear, and a wide spread sense of darkness that pulls gamers along. Some critics claim this game could be a pioneer for the largest digital entertainment medium to emerge this generation - the interactive movie. The story draws on elements of thriller movies like Se7en and Saw.
In the game you carry out some ordinary tasks like showering and shaving to drinking orange juice and doing home work with your son. A number of gamers would throw their arms up at this, as they would rather get straight into the action. These tasks actually let you get to know the characters more and this is one of the things that make the game so different.
It will take a couple of hours to get into the core of the experience and for things to really pick up, but once it does, you'll be on the edge of your seat until the end and won't want to put the controller down. At the end you’ll probably end up thinking to yourself how different things would have been if you had made a different decision during the game. The beauty of this game is that you can go back and make different choices that will ultimately lead to a different ending to the story.
Most of the action in Heavy Rain is guided by quick time events, where the player needs to press a button corresponding to on-screen prompts. This type of play is not really in great favour with some gamers as they would rather have control of what the character does, but for this game you realise the appropriateness of the control system. In Heavy Rain, however, players do not control characters so much as guide them through the story, making key decisions to move the plot towards a particular outcome.
Controls differentiate the game from any other and are well designed so as not to feel unrelated to the game play. In certain stressful scenes, the player is forced to hit complicated sequences of buttons that place stress on the hand position, similar to the stress of the character on screen. The controller helps to deliver the story in a more natural way as it becomes a part of the action.
With Heavy Rain, this control mechanism was taken to a different level by eliminating the fail result you would normally get on other games, if you do not follow the on-screen prompts. Instead, the story just takes a different turn and leads to a different ending. You can't ever actually fail in Heavy Rain. No matter what you do, the game, its characters and the story move on.
Heavy Rain is a mysterious, immersive and emotionally-engaging experience; where any of the decisions you make are of great significance and the actions taken can have drastic and unanticipated consequences that players will have to deal with. The graphics are highly realistic, with characters rendered with near cinematic realism. The game play is based upon the story, emotional involvement and the player’s decisions and interactions, rather than high-scores, combat and competition of the standard role play game.
There is such a strong connection with the real world that the gamer feels as though they are actually part of the action. There are very few games that can compare with the psychological elements, or the power of choice elements that this game has.
The outcome of the game's final scenes depend on choices and actions the player has made throughout the game; Any of the four characters may die at some point, or fail in a way that results in them not reaching Shaun's location.
This is one game you do not want to miss out on, and one you'll greatly appreciate having played. Get your copy of Heavy Rain now in the bidorbuy Gaming Category.
Available on Playstation 3 platforms only.
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