A half hour of Heavy Rain

Heavy Rain CoverI recently had the chance to sit down and play some Heavy Rain while my brother-in-law (who had already beaten the game) provided some running commentary.  Heavy Rain is one of a handful of games on the PlayStation 3 that makes me jealous of those who own one. In 2007, I played the first hour of Indigo Prophecy (the fourth first hour review ever!), also be developer Quantic Dream.  I really enjoyed it and went on to beat the game within a few days.  While the game had plenty of flaws, I thought it was still a fun experience that brought me on a slightly hilly ride of emotions (that basement level in the precinct was so creepy!).

Without knowing anything about Heavy Rain I wanted to play it.  I guess that's the most any developer could ask for, Heavy Rain isn't a sequel to Indigo Prophecy (commonly known as Fahrenheit outside the U.S.), it's not even on the same set of consoles, but I still counted down the weeks until it would arrive.

Heavy Rain's arrival came and went though and it wasn't until last weekend that I finally sat down and played it.  I wish I could have set aside a solid hour along with a notepad or voice recorder to do a proper first hour review, but alas, sometimes you just take an opportunity when given it.

The game's first half hour spans Heavy Rain's first two chapters.  The first is basically a really well hidden tutorial where you walk around a house and perform actions.  The game features quite a variety of inputs including both thumbsticks and moving the actual controller around.  Let me tell you though, brushing your teeth while waggling the Dual Shock up and down feels totally gimmicky.

The second stage is the game's infamous "JASON!" mall level.  There's actually not a lot to do here but it's an extremely well scripted zone that will leave your heart pounding.  I was very impressed.

One of my gripes is that walking around requires you to hold down the R2 button, why can't I just move the left joystick?  It's not being used for anything else that I can tell.  I was also expecting the game to feature Resident Evil-style tank controls and was disoriented for a few minutes as my character just wouldn't go where I wanted to go.  I was definitely surprised to find out that this is more like a traditional 3D game but with some fixed camera angles.  I'm not a fan of tank controls but it just seemed appropriate for Heavy Rain.  Odd that I would assume that.

All in all, I'm even more pumped to play the game now.  Would you kindly lend me your PlayStation 3?  Along with Heavy Rain, Metal Gear Solid 4, Uncharted 1 and 2, and Demon's Souls?  That would be very nice of you.