It’s a QTE game. Anyone who sez otherwise is incorrect.
With that out of the way, let’s move on to other subjects.
0.5) GameStop gave me $30 for my six trade ins, and that’s with their 50% bonus through March 13. Whores. So Heavy Rain put me back another $30, which makes me sad, but not that sad, because I suck with money.
1) I despise children. They are disgusting and annoying. They knock things over. They interfere with everything. They’re not useful until they’re at least 13, when you can get them to mow the lawn and stuff. But you can pay a service to do that for just a few hundred bucks a year and the service won’t vomit on you, shit in its diapers, grow up to resent you, or otherwise suck. Don’t flame me and don’t post comments to the contrary: kids are repulsive. Why anyone would want them is beyond my feeble imaginings.
2) That said, Heavy Rain made me feel funny in the first hour. I did battle with my sons in the back yard, using toy swords, and I saw, for a second, why Dads are so happy with their offspring. I misplaced one of my children in a mall and my heart – my cold stone heart – was beating unnecessarily hard. Later on I feebly attempted to care for one of my (cartoon-addicted) kids and kind of failed.
Why? Sadly, not because I didn’t try.
Look, I’m less than two hours into Heavy Rain, but let’s right now put to bed any and all claims that it’s some revelation. It’s a Quick Time Event game, regardless of the fact that David Cage almost bursts into tears whenever you accuse it of being that. QTEs are fast and furious. Press up to set the table. Press X to dodge that broken bottle. Press down to kick the door in. And there is no indication of context; the prompts don’t tell you what a button press might do. Fridge open, I hunted for dinner for my hideous spawn. Push up, push right, push semicircle right-up. Aiming for a microwave pizza, I grabbed instead a carton of orange juice and drank some. After that the fridge refused to open. This isn’t a game where you can do anything, this is a game where you can do exactly, and only, what David Cage says you can do.
Two Toes wrote wonderfully about the opportunity of Heavy Rain, the implication of contextual controls and what have you. I’m sorry to reveal that for all its promise, it’s a game of Quick Time Events.
But does that make it bad? Hell no. Even 45 minutes tell me that this is a game that’ll make your eyes water and your stomach do weird buzzy things. Flaws so far are limited to the aforementioned QTEs, the Uncanny Valley, and the fact that most actors, regardless of talent, are very clearly speaking English as a second language. Beyond that this is an important game that does unpleasant things to your heart rate. Like 1UP, with an hour devoted, I recommend that you support what’s been attempted here, even if you hate it.