Friday, February 12, 2010

Heavy Rain - Demo - PS3

Through the trickle of information from it's development, Heavy Rain has both intrigued me and left me indifferent. The virtual actress video released many months ago creeped the hell out of me, bringing memories of the Polar Express movie back.

I sometimes wonder if I have that problem because I'm in animation. Normal people don't seem to be affected by it. My parents LOVED Polar Express and thought it looked wonderful. They didn't see anything wrong with the characters... anyway, on with the review.

The following videos (the mall one with the balloon and the kid) didn't do anything to alleviate that Uncanny Valley creepiness. And there's a creepy clown. *jibblies*

Early after it's birth and during it's golden age, I was a fan of the point-and-click (which started out as type-and-read) adventure game. Yes, I'm that old. Shut up. This game has been described at times as an adventure game in the traditional sense. And previous games from that studio, which I have never played, were also hailed to me as being excellent by friends.

I just finished trying the demo and I have mixed feelings. But ... they are heading to a good place ... I think.

The stiff creepiness and frequent lack of animation add to a feeling of something's-missing. But on the other hand, looking at the scope accomplished, it feels like I'm complaining for nothing. It's odd. The world looks at the same time maddeningly realistic and impossibly fake. But it nevertheless is pretty damn impressive, just for the sheer undertaking.

The demo has two levels, one with an asthmatic private detective and the other one with an FBI agent with some high-tech futuristic glasses that can analyse and identify blood samples and DNA on the spot. I had a little trouble swallowing that last one. But, for the sake of entertainment I let it slide and was ok with it.

Heavy Rain Various

At first, the gameplay feels a lot like a convoluted long quicktime event. It was starting to even get a little annoying ... until I got into a frenzied fight that required constant manipulation and was truly intense. I was on the edge for the whole thing. The precise directions and button pressings do keep you engaged in the action. I just wonder on a long-term how it will hold up.

The demo lasted about thirty minutes on the whole. Not long enough to see the consequences to your actions that this game boasts. But it gives a good general idea of how the game operates.

Heavy Rain Screenshot

The clue searching with the glasses is pretty neat in the end. It gives a sci-fi feel to what's going on.

It does get the feel of an interactive movie. It feels a little passive, but not at the same time. It's hard to explain. Certainly, I've never played/seen anything like it.

On the whole, I was entertained and intrigued about the bits of the story that were presented in the demo and although I am not totally sure yet, I think I might pick the game up when it comes out.

Heavy Rain Various