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Jahanzeb Khan
05 Sep, 2009

Heavy Rain Preview

PS3 Preview | We talk about a movie we played.
We had an in-depth look at Heavy Rain a few months ago and were impressed by what we saw, but today we bring you some hands-on impressions of the demo build that we recently took for a spin. The build we played had two scenes, both giving us a very good idea of what this game is going to be about.

The first scene took place in a convenience store and we had control of a private detective named Scott Shelby. After being greeted by the store owner ‘Hassan’, we proceed to walk around the store (this required us to hold down L2 and use the analog stick) and that moment really impressed us. The way the character walked around the store and the way we could control his head movements with the analog stick, made it look very realistic. We were also able to interact with objects but soon we go up to the counter and start talking to Hassan.

The conversation involved Scott asking questions about the Hassan’s missing son, through the system of different speech options mapped into the face buttons. They were not predetermined but were more like different approaches and attitudes towards the person and situation. These attitudes included being compassionate, persistent etc. Eventually the conversation ended and we decide to head to the back of the store to pick up some medicine. During that time a robber steps in and holds Hassan at gunpoint for cash. We try to sneak up on the robber but fail, this then initiated a context-sensitive event but it was a little different from what we are accustomed to.

Why does this always happen to me?

Why does this always happen to me?
Close
Keeping our arms raised by holding R1 and L1 together, we were then caught in a serious negotiation with the robber, trying to calm him down and playing mind games like any detective would. When that failed yet another quick time event followed which involved us disarming the robber and knocking him out. The button press and motion instructions were not just large symbols flashing in the corner of the screen but they were instead specific instructions that showed up near the appropriate focal points. For example, when the time came to swing a fist on the robber, the button/motion command showed up next to Scott’s hand.

The next scene we played was essentially what we saw in E3 2009. This scene featured an FBI agent named Norman Jayden at a junkyard during a heavy rain storm. Norman was here to interrogate the junkyard owner, 'Mad Jack’, with questions about a car, that didn’t go anywhere so what followed next was some investigation work. We take out an A.R.I (Added Reality Interface) which allowed us to view footprints, tire tracks and blood stains that were otherwise not visible. This sort of detective work was somewhat common to the first scene and it seems that apart from the usual story and quick-time sequences, investigation (perhaps even puzzle-solving) will be a major component of Heavy Rain.

One thing worth noting about the quick-time events, sure the focal point instructions are one thing that makes it different but what’s more interesting is that failing to meet one instruction on time does not end the event. Sometimes one failure can lead to other possibilities and events. As our first preview mentioned, even when a character dies the show still goes on.

We fail at being sneaky.

We fail at being sneaky.
Close
The game played nicely overall, it certainly makes good use of the controls and even an action as simple as opening a car door required a unique analog stick motion, as do other actions such as taking something out of a pocket, picking up a weapon and so on. It certainly makes them feel more realistic and believable.

The graphics of the build we played were absolutely breathtaking. The amount of realism in the character models and animations was frightening to say the least. The texture work was amazingly detailed but since this was a demo build, the textures were a bit off in some areas (such as the interior of the car). The second scene with the FBI agent showed off some impressive rain drop effects, which behaved naturally against the skin/clothing of the characters. It became clear in early media that this game was going to have mind blowing facial models and this demo build showed off near flawless facial animations, the expressions looked natural and the lip synching was well done as it really captured the tone and emotion of the speech. The audio was good too as the voice acting and dialogue delivery was spot on.

The game played out like an interactive movie with the main focus being on a strong narrative, and we know that the game will allow us to experience the main plot from different perspectives using different characters. Heavy Rain is in similar vein to Quantic Dream’s own Fahrenheit, as it has a very similar gameplay style and yet the overall experience felt very distinct. Overall, Heavy Rain seems to be at a whole different league and looks to raise the bar for this particular genre.
Overall:
Heavy Rain made quite an impression on us and we enjoyed what we played. Playstation 3 owners are certainly getting something special here.

Related Heavy Rain Content

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Heavy Rain Review
01 Mar, 2010 To save someone you love. The choice is yours.
PAL region Heavy Rain demo dated
22 Jan, 2010 Only a couple of weeks to go.
14 Comments
4 years ago
Am I the only person who this game doesn't appeal to?

It sounds stupid, but I just don't get it....
4 years ago
I'm sure there'll be plenty of other people who this game won't appeal to.
I think it looks very good so I'll be buying it, however moreso than other games Heavy Rain will need to provide a consistently strong narrative otherwise it'll get uniteresting very fast.
4 years ago
I don't really care about the controls,it's all about the graphics (always!) This is going to be something extra special and will make me so happy. What I can't wait for is to sit comfortably in my recliner and get in to the story. I want to really see if what they are saying about caring so much about the characters and what happens to them is true! I can't wait to see how my decisions affect the consequences and story-line of the game. I also can't wait to see if I actually get this bastard origami killer in the end!!
I am a 35 y/o male who loves his PS3 and love the idea of having a game with some "meat" in it, where you have to think!
Thank you Quantic Dream!!
Of course I will still pick up other games like Assassin's Creed 2, Uncharted 2, God of War 3 and Last Guardian. Can't wait!!!
4 years ago
Jahanzeb.....I am seriously jealous you got to play Heavy Rain...arghhh

Great work with the preview...cheers mate
4 years ago
No mention of the hilarious glitches we stumbled upon? icon_razz.gif

Man I love early builds because of that, might randomly encounter a bug which makes your character twitch madly icon_lol.gif

Fantastic game though, does indeed feel like a film.
4 years ago
Ahhh, I'm gonna buy a ps3 for this, Fahrenheit is AMAZING, even though I can't pass it.

An 'interactive movie' the good way, not the Squenix way. Yes Star Ocean, you did so have 45+ minute cutscenes.
4 years ago
dloiscute wrote
Am I the only person who this game doesn't appeal to?

It sounds stupid, but I just don't get it....
yes icon_razz.gif , i mean its a game that trys to mimic film noir - and dos a fine job of it icon_biggrin.gif
4 years ago
Hadn't heard of this game before seeing it here, looked up the trailer on youtube just now and am absolutely blown away. This game looks the goods and the best part is it's a PS3 exclusive.
4 years ago
I am really looking forward to this,I havent played an interactive adventure game since the X Files on PS1. It will be a welcome change after all the shooters I have been playing of late.
4 years ago
dloiscute wrote
Am I the only person who this game doesn't appeal to?

It sounds stupid, but I just don't get it....
deffinetly not, the more i see of it the less interested in it i am.
just seems like something that would put me to sleep.
graphics may look great but they dont really appeal to me either, i think that gives it that boring feeling to me.
4 years ago
Not sure if it's a spelling mistake or not but wouldn't the A in ARI stand for Augmented?
4 years ago
I for one am looking forward to this game. Nice to get a break from the constant shooting and killing of people in videogames these days... I just hope the story is of a good standard.
4 years ago
When is this set for release?!
4 years ago
Early 2010 I believe
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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  25/02/2010 (Confirmed)
Standard Retail Price:
  $109.95 AU
Publisher:
  Sony Computer Entertainment
Genre:
  Adventure
Year Made:
  2008
Players:
  1

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