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9:33 PM on 03.17.2010

Nail in the Coffin: Heavy Rain

Welcome all to my (hopefully) new series Nail in the Coffin! An editorial/review where I have my final say on what I thought of a particular game and or game series. Today the subject is Heavy Rain. Be forewarned that I get into massive spoiler territory.

I've just this weekend I rented Heavy Rain at my local Blockbuster. I had Friday off from work so I got up, poped that SOB in my PS3 and I was blown away. I loved the feel, the tone, and the themes that the game had to offer. The graphic, of course, are beautiful. For me however I do wish they were more stylized much like Uncharted 2, but that's just me.

I'm going to start this thing off by talking about gameplay. The best way I can think of explaining the game is being a director of a mystery movie that you've never read the script for. This is both a good and bad thing. It's great because there is nothing else like it but it's not so good when you really want to do something, you do the action prompted on the screen and the character does something you really did not want them to do.

Now let's talk about the story. I was hooked from the start. I was really liking the characters and found myself really caring about what happened to them. From the depressed father Ethan, the asthmatic Scott Shelby, the drug addicted Agent Jayden, and to a lesser extent the blank slate Madison. Everyone has their own wants, needs, and their problems and the story builds them up nicely. It plays out like a good mystery/horror movie much like if the movie Seven ate the Saw series.

To say the least I was really getting into it. So many dips and dives, curves and twists, and lots of intensity. As it got into the final act and everyone was closing in on the Origami Killer things were finally coming into place. An old women whispers a name into Madison's ear, Jayden, in my playthrough, died after figuring out the truth, Shelby was hot on his trail. Then, then we learn the truth the killer was!...

...Shelby? Wa!? That makes no sense. Everything Shelby does is a contraction. You can read his mind at anytime and he doesn't make even a subtle hint at this. The game resorts to lying to the player to keep this twist intact. Right at the moment the entire story falls apart. Questions start to arise from this. Like, “What's the deal with Ethan blacking out and waking with an origami in his hands?” and “Why is Shelby so nice to the mother of his victims?” These are not answered. Plot holes so big I can drive my truck through them.

Another reason I was upset about the big reveal was that I had thought I had figured it all out. I thought I was cleaver. I was prepared to say, “My god! It's so subtle and awesome!” This reveal might have been just one of those twists that would have rocked my world. Let me set up the scenario if I may, Jayden has been cut off from the case. After holding back from his addiction he couldn't take it anymore. He snorts it up and activates his ARI. He realizes that he had recorded his fight with the killer. As he analyzes the fight he finds something.

When I saw this I was like, “ohmygodohmygodohmygod! I figured it out!” My jaw dropped. At this point you must be saying to yourself, “Will you just hurry up and tell us what you thought you long winded mustachioed man!” Well now I'm thinking of how you know of my fabulous mustache and will write the remainder of this in a dark corner of my room. Anyway! Who did I think the Origami Killer was, nay, should have been?

That's right Larry! Who is he? How the hell should I know, just anyone besides a playable character. In Seven the killer Wasn't somebody that you knew yet it was still powerful and effective. Shelby might have worked as the killer if Quantic Dream didn't add the mind reading feature. The problem is that, as Anthony Burch said it, the only reason Scott Shelby wouldn't think about being a killer is that he is aware that he is in a video game and is intensionally lying to the player in order to further the plot.

In conclusion (finally), Heavy Rain is a great game with a flawed ending. Contraction, after contraction makes the last act seem rushed and not thought out. I would love to see another game from Quantic Dream if they decide to really sit down and think of a good, satisfying ending that makes logical sense.

I hope everyone out there in the D-toid community likes editorial/review kind of thing I've done. Thanks to everyone that reads this whole rant of mine and if you want more let me know in the comments. It all depends on you guys and gals if I continue with this nail in the coffin series idea of mine. I got lots of ideas and trust me, I can go on forever on some subjects .   read

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