The first entry in our new series entitled ‘what the fuck did i just play’, is PS3 exclusive Heavy Rain. In fact, this series was created specifically just for heavy rain and how mind bogglingly ‘what the fuck’ it is.
Heavy Rain is a game unlike no other, in that for a game, theres incredibly little gameplay, if any, and as the plot slowly descends into a cornucopia of ‘who writes this shit??’ moments, you’ll be left with the overriding feeling of…what the fuck did i just play?
Heavy Rain is a game that wants, nay, desires to be a film. Moreso than pretty much any other game you could mention that isn’t Metal Gear Solid. The big difference being that while MGS made you endure 2 hour cut scenes that made as much sense as a stapling your nuts to your forehead, it also had a decent bit of gameplay in there too. Heavy Rain on the other hand, eschews all pretence of gameplay that isnt ‘press a button’ and gives you a game that is treading dangerous ground between being a game and being nothing more than a massive semi-interactive, badly acted cut scene.
The story starts off well, and deserves credit for being one of the first ever game openings to feature full-rear male anal nudity. You play as some guy whos name i forget possibly because his actor was a plank of chipboard that recently graduated from the Keanu Reeves school of wooden acting. Plank McChipboard lives a mundane suburban life with his wife and 2 sons, and the opening chapter does a great job of ramming home just how shit real life is as your bitch wife nags you about setting the table and you feign interest in playing with your equally annoying and badly acted children. But then, SHOCK HORROR things take a completely expected turn for the worse as one of the kids is killed by a car, after one of possibly the only good sections of the game where you have to run around a crowded mall looking for your kid before he becomes roadkill.
Planks life descends to shit with his wife divorcing him due to his complete lack of discernible emotion (or that could just be the actor, god knows), and now he lives in a shitbox apartment and is growing a beard to show just how fucking upset he is. His remaining child is a personality vacuum that does nothing but whine and whine and whine and is SHOCK HORROR kidnapped by the origami killer. Then, you’re actually expected to give a shit and actively pursue his swift and safe return rather than enjoy not having to put up with yet another badly acted and poorly scripted character.
So far, so predictable. The game plays out like a crime thriller written by someone who got fired from a scriptwriting job in CSI Miami for lack of ideas. Its predictable slop, but entertaining enough to make you want to plod along. But then, the FBI turn up and things take a turn for the what the actual fuck am i seeing.
Not content with having already filled the game with actors that wouldnt look out of place acting alongside Reb Brown in a straight-to-dvd masterpeice, Heavy Rain drafts in another identikit plank of wood who at times it’s genuinely hard to differentiate between him and the other plank of wood who lost his kids. The only big difference between the two being the FBI agent has the power of VIRTUAL REALITY. Yes, Heavy Rain strives to be a gritty crime drama for the first hour or two and then pulls a complete 180 on you and says ‘actually wait, fuck that shit, i dont want to be silence of the lambs anymore, i want to be minority fucking report’ and FBI agent Beechwood whips out his magical crime solving shades that have the power not only of identifying tyre tracks, bodily fluids, how victims were killed, clues, and all manner of forensics thats so advanced he could literally have just used them then and there to solve the fucking crime if the plot wasnt so full of holes already. These crime solving shades are so fucking magical they also transform his dismal office into a space station, a waterfall, a forest, or whatever the shit the developers thought would look cool. At this point youll be left wondering why the shades arent the star of the show as theyre pretty much the best actor in the whole fucking mess.
Not content with one wholly unbelieveable and frankly ludicrous inclusion to the story of Shades Von Crimesolvin, the writers then decide that kids these days love torture porn, and the game goes out of its way to punish and generally humiliate Plank McChipboard by finding the most fantastically fucking ludicrous scenarios to put him through in order to find his emotionless shell of a child. This culminates with Plank being forced to crawl through a furnace shaft filled with glass for miles and miles (presumably the origami killer crawled backwards through this shaft laying glass as he went). During this scene i had to give credit to the game for the best bit of 4th wall breaking stuff ive ever seen when i realised that i too was being tortured alongside Plank McChipboard.
Its around about now the entire lack of any kind of gameplay becomes apparrent. Everything in game is done by responding to button prompts on screen, i.e press X to hug your kid, L1 & R2 to scrape him off the ground, X & Triangle to crawl through a glass filled shaft etc, so the ‘gameplay’ really is like a game of simon says only with torture porn.
After the vent glass scene i have to admit i literally couldn’t face forcing myself through god knows how many more hours of this garbage so i just watched the rest of it on youtube and twiddled my thumbs and pressed a button or two on my keyboard while watching it, which more or less is an accurate representation fo what it’s like to play the game. It’s worth noting that you too could save yourself 40 euro or so by employing this method.
Heavy Rain is easily the worst game ive played this year, chiefly because i didnt play it. I watched the computer play it while i sat there occasionally moving the analog stick or pressing a button. I can appreciate what the developers were trying to achieve with this, but the terrible writing, and worse acting, and all round WTF’ness of its flitting between sci-fi, crime drama, and snuff movie, meant that i was left with absolutely no desire to find out who the origami killer was or to bother my arse going through all these horrific trials to rescue an irritating child i honestly didn’t give a shit about.
Honestly, you’d be better off watching Silence of the Lambs and holding a pad at the same time, and pretending that by repeatedly hammering X youre making Hannibal Lecter do the ‘f-f-f-f-f-f-f-f-f-f’ bit.