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Heavy Rain First Impressions

Well I took a break away from writing and also a break from Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light. Before anyone gets worried about my time with 4 Heroes, I just wanted to take a break from it. I'm not wanting to wear it out, because I'm still enjoying my time with the game. Now I got Heavy Rain a couple days ago and have been playing with the PlayStation Move motion controller (along with the Navigation controller). I gotta say I'm more impressed with the audio and graphics than I am the gameplay.

You see Quantic Dreams are known for their dramatic based games. If you're not sure who the company is you might know another title they released during the PlayStation 2's generation called Indigo Prophecy for the PlayStation 2, Xbox and the PC. Both titles heavily share the dramatic environmental experience and placing the player into the ultimate decision maker role. Every decision I make for these characters will affect their lives in different ways. Holding L2 allows me to see what the character I'm playing as is thinking and I can interact with the character by selecting the topics floating around that characters head. Depending on where I'm standing and who is near me will determine whether I start a conversation with someone or the character just thinks out loud or mentally. This helps figure out what to do next and any miscellaneous information I might have missed out on earlier or recapping. It's a great way to stay on top of things. Providing insight into all relevant information for my playable character.

One of the most amazing things about Heavy Rain comes from the graphics. I swear, this game holds up greatly against titles like Gears of War III, Uncharted 3 and even Battlefield 3. The character models are incredible to look at, but a little creepy as well. Unfortunately, the character's realism starts to fall apart once I took over playing. Characters went from bring so lifelike and real to robotic and cumbersome to control. Everything about Heavy Rain encourages exploring everywhere and digging deeper into the details of the surrounding environment. However, HR makes things very difficult with the camera controls. I never had full control over the cameras, the right stick isn't used, leaving me with using the shoulder buttons to cycle through four different cameras. Adding to the problem this mechanic uncovers happens to be that I can't actually check everywhere. I walked up to a cabinet in Ethan Mars' new house and the game literally turned me all the way around and forced him to walk into the living room (which is roughly seven or more steps away from the cabinet by the stairs that I was looking to get into).

At the end of the day I would recommend checking out Heavy Rain. I enjoyed the story, the characters (when I wasn't walking them around places) and atmosphere. At the absolute very least you need to try out the demos available on the PlayStation Store.