Quick Impressions: Heavy Rain (PS3)

I haven’t got a lot of time tonight to write about it, but I’ve played the opening few hours of Heavy Rain and thought I should at least put something down.

So: it looks great. Storyline works well. Direlogue (sic) can be pretty bad. Voice acting’s very hit and miss.

But those are just the bullet points. It’s quite an experience to soak up the atmosphere of the world that writer/director David Cage has created. While there are some pretty obvious control flaws, and issues with Cage writing for his second language (script doctor quite obviously required. I don’t understand why Cage didn’t employ one, tbh), the texture (and I’m not talking about graphics here) of the piece is really quite something, unlike any console game I’ve played – and yes, that includes his previous release, Fahrenheit.

Even Agent Jayden’s sci-fi glasses (which in this month’s demo seemed like a rejected gadget from a particularly ludicrous episode of CSI Miami) work well in the full game, and the flashiness of the tech behind them is a nice contrast from the more old-fashioned investigative methods of Private Detective Scott Shelby.

The real standout so far is Cage’s direction. While it’s in danger of coming across as a cheap shot to say that he clearly wants to be in Hollywood, here it’s actually a compliment. He has a very good director’s eye, and a nice line in framing particular shots and angles. The QTE fight sequences are thrillingly exciting, there’s already been one outrageously effective fake-out that made me gasp, and I’ve felt tense, sad and angry in different scenes in response to the action happening on-screen, so he must be doing something right.

Check back in a few days for a full article about Heavy Rain. For now, I’m already looking forward to my next session with the game. It’s a goodie, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

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