In a short period of time I have played three games that may not seem to be similar or related. The co-op shooter Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days, the straight-up cover shooter Max Payne 3, and the thriller Heavy Rain share a third-person perspective, though, one that reflects their central cinematic aspirations. Although their critical reputations vary, each of these games is an interesting failure in the project of creating a playable movie.
I have to say, I find few things as irritating as a console game that will not play without being installed to the drive. Disc. Console. Turn on. Play. This is a very simple concept that has been happening without issue for a few generations now. The fact that I have to turn my system on at least half an hour before I intend to actually play never fails to infuriate me.
Our three Heavy Rain critics join Tim for a post-mortem on the game. We don't talk much about the story. Instead we focus on the game's emotional resonance (or lack thereof), its "fail-less" structure, the effectiveness of its quicktime events, and its possible legacy in the annals of videogame history. Also, somehow, we mention Shenmue about 20 times. Featuring Richard "Really" Naik, Trent Fingland, Dan Weissenberger, Tim Spaeth, and a cat hair mustache.
Well, I finally finished Heavy Rain, and was startled by a lot of things about the last few chapters. The identity of the killer, the lack of resolution offered to many parts of the story, and a certain twist that invalidates nearly everything that occurred.
Look, we all know that this is basically just another Saw game, and given how bad the actual Saw game was, I understand why hopes were high for Heavy Rain, and why we'd want to give it a pass for its unoriginality. But I thought I'd take a moment to acknowledge just how similar the premises are. They're both stories about a crazed killer who kidnaps people and then creates elaborate traps inside crumbling edifices deep within America's post-industrial wastelands, designed to test how much a victim will sacrifice to save a life.
It's fair to say that I don't have the greatest confidence in David Cage's ability to create something that makes sense. Still, I decided to delve into Heavy Rain and see what he'd produced this time around. Now, four hours in, just having completed "The Bear" I'm ready with some initial comments—and these are just going to be plot things, since this isn't an official "review" of the game. Also, unless it gets really egregious I'm not going to comment on the awkward phrasing caused by the game's sometimes iffy translation.
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