Heavy Rain Review
I had no idea what to expect with Heavy Rain for the Playstation 3. I usually focus on reviewing older games which, by in large, have a better overall decency percentage. After a lengthy update and installation process I found myself too exhausted to play the game. I picked up the next day, and at first glance, this “game” appeared to be a ‘daily life simulation’. As I had to put the playable character through his ‘daily routine’ this seemed to be a much more ambitious version of The Sims. I should have known when God intervened and caused the game to freeze and my console to restart. The Lord’s divine intervention came during a sequence where the game forced me to make my playable character, “Ethan”, strip completely naked for a shower. Wow. Heavy Rain really seemed to strive at earning the “M for Mature” rating on the box by introducing a “clothing optional” shower. If I only heeded God’s warning, I would have saved myself from enduring one of the more depraved gaming experiences of my life.
We learn quickly that “Ethan” is a parent and a pretty shoddy parent at that. I could only endure the first few “chapters” in my first sitting. This is, of course, due to the Lord trying to save me from playing the game and the late hour I decided to actually give Heavy Rain a shot. Ethan proceeds to lose his son in a shopping mall that is, honestly, not that large. Of course, Ethan’s son ends up getting run over by a car and dies. Heavy Rain then jumps into the future where the plot picks up with a now divorced Ethan taking care of his other son. You can then make Ethan be another “Father of the Year” candidate by completely ignoring the child and playing basketball or just walking in circles in his small townhouse. I opted to take better care of the child, but that still involved doping the child on cold medicine after one sneeze and feeding him pizza for dinner. The game rewards the player for that great parenting by unlocking a trophy. Heavy Rain has “daddy issues”, which becomes glaringly apparent as the game’s plot progresses.
I should pause a moment to discuss the bizarre gameplay of Heavy Rain. The action is controlled, entirely, by Quick Time Events. So, for example, you have to push left on the control stick to open a cabinet, etc. Heavy Rain tries to take advantage of motion sensors in the PS3 controller, a feature I honestly did not know the controller even had until playing this game. Those get pretty comical as the game progresses, but my first experience with the motion came when tasked with shaking the controller back and forth to simulate brushing Ethan’s teeth. Yes, you will brush teeth, clean items, make scrambled eggs, change dirty baby diapers, bandaging injuries, and drinking orange juice. Pretty much think of a mundane task and Heavy Rain finds a way to break it down into a nine or thirty step process involving moving the control stick in weird sequences while button mashing.
Heavy Rain goes completely off the rails of decency as the plot of the main characters begin to intertwine. Ethan’s son Shaun is kidnapped by a serial killer called the Origami Killer. You play part of the game as Ethan, a detective named Sam, a FBI agent called Jayden and a character named Madison that comes to Ethan’s aid. Madison’s story is easily the most depraved. As Madison, the player gets walk around in their bra and panties, seduce a sleazy nightclub owner by stripping, go drug seeking, and eventually have non-procreational sexual relations with Ethan. Yes, you read that right, there is a Quick Time Event controlled sex scene. I even saw a female nipple during it. Unacceptable. The “Hot Coffee” scene hidden in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas pales in comparison to this smut. When I selected to have Ethan kiss Madison, I expected a peck on the cheek to show his appreciation for her assistance. I did not expect a full on, clothes removing, sexual escapade. I said my prayers to the Lord Jesus Christ while Heavy Rain forced the playable characters to demean themselves.
The violence in Heavy Rain is off the charts as well. One scene involves Sam the investigator being angry and storming a mansion and killing about a dozen body guards of the father of a suspect for the serial killings. Agent Jayden also finds the night club owner dead and just leaves the body there. It seems that legal consequences only affect certain characters in Heavy Rain‘s twisted world. The game also features a man getting run over by a bulldozer’s treads, a man falling into a scrap metal grinder, several scenes showing a drowning child, and features a sequence where the player cuts off Ethan’s finger using Quick Time Events.
Heavy Rain‘s graphics are impressive. The facial expressions the main characters make when reacting to dialogue or actions are especially impressive. However, this works to the game’s detriment as it makes the disgusting sexual and violent acts tasked to the player that much more realistic and objectionable.
I can not, under any circumstances, recommend anyone play this game. I had to spend 24 hours praying and sleeping after finishing it. Only through my strong devotion to God, will I be able to cleanse my mind of the horrid things this game made me do.