Heavy Rain is a game unlike any game you’ve ever played before, because it’s a game all about story. Heavy Rain is about the story of four characters hunting a warped psychopath called The Origami Killer. It’s about the story of how far someone would go to save someone they love. Finally, it’s about your story — your choices, your successes, your failures and everyone who lives and dies because of what you decided. These qualities make Heavy Rain unlike any other game you’ve played to date and make for a gameplay experience you won’t forget any time soon.
Heavy Rain technically is the story of Ethan Mars. Ethan is an architect who has a dream life and everything he ever wanted, until tragedy strikes and his wife leaves him as a result. Sometime later, Ethan’s son Shaun disappears and he discovers that The Origami Killer has kidnapped his son. Ethan must survive a Jigsaw-esque series of warped trials forced upon him by The Origami Killer to find out where he is. Shaun’s disappearance, one way or another, leads to the other three characters looking to save Shaun and hunt down The Origami Killer.
How this story unfolds and exactly what happens over the course of it is in your hands. Contrary to the claims of skeptics, this is not a passive experience. The choices you make affect everything. Whether or not characters survive life-or-death situations is entirely up to you. Whether or not characters have enough information to continue hunting The Origami Killer depends on how thorough you are. You are the line between progress and dead ends in the quest for Shaun Mars’ survival.
Even the smallest decision can have a domino effect on the story, which is part of what makes Heavy Rain so compelling. Over time, you see how each decision affects the story, which creates intensity and excitement for the player. Knowing that each decision will alter your hunt for The Origami Killer makes every situation stand out and the more critical choices in the game seem that much more important.
The more critical the situation, the more compelled the player feels to make the decision they think is best and the more determined they are to make that happen. This also extends to fight and chase scenes, which the player feels compelled to survive/complete them as best as he or she possibly can. The pressure of making critical choices in the face of seemingly certain doom and uncertain outcomes drives the Heavy Rain experience to an intensity and uniqueness unseen by other games.
When talking about a game that puts story and choices first, the story itself must be compelling and Heavy Rain’s is. There are quite a few twists and turns that the player doesn’t see coming and keeps him/her guessing the identity of The Origami Killer and what will happen to Shaun Mars right up until the end. The revelation of The Origami Killer’s identity is rewarding and the build to the end is packed with dramatic, unforgettable moments.
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