If you haven’t heard about Heavy Rain by now you’ve probably been living under a rock for the last year. To bring you up to speed, it’s a game by Quantic Dream made exclusively for Playstation 3. You can get this game for around $60.00. It’s a thriller mystery game and is unique in that you play as 4 different “main” characters, each of whose decisions can affect the outcome of the game. A friend described it as a “choose your own adventure book, in game form”. Additionally, the gameplay is filled with a lot of QTEs (quick time events) to propel you on your quest for justice.
The story line follows 4 characters as they try to unravel a mystery surrounding a notorious serial killer known as the “Origami Killer”. His M.O. is to kidnap young boys, and drown them in rain water (6 inches to be precise). I suppose the true “main” character is Ethan Mars. His son is the Origami Killer’s most recent victim and he is sent on a terrifying mission to try and find him before it’s too late. You also get to play as Madison Paige, a journalist with a soft spot for Ethan and an eye for the truth, Norman Jayden, an FBI agent with an almost obsessive need to find the killer, and Scott Shelby, a private investigator trying to figure out who the killer is. Each time you switch between characters (you don’t get to choose when), the screen updates with the date and time, as well as how deep the rain water is by now. You’re goal is to find Ethan’s son, figure out who the killer is, and do it all before the rain water gets to 6 inches deep.
Shortly after Ethan’s son is taken from him, he receives a package from the Origami Killer. In this package are 5 origami figures. Each one represents a challenge that he must meet. After he has successfully completed the challenge, part of the address where his son is being held is text messaged to him. Each of the other characters have opportunities to investigate into the case by interviewing people, searching houses, and things like that. What’s interesting about this game is that there is a chance you will fail, or worse yet: die. You are thrown into different dangerous situations, and depending on how quickly you react (QTE), you will either survive or could get injured or killed. It makes playing this game super intense. This type of gameplay helps to get you in the mind of the character. You really want Ethan to succeed, and along with him, all the other characters. Along with being able to change the outcome of the game (22 possible endings!), you can win different trophies for the choices you make. Each time you play the game, you can add to your trophies, or you can just go back a chapter and choose again.
I loved this game! I was pumped to find out about the possibility of 22 endings, and as a bonus you can download an additional “prequel” level for Madison Paige which also had 5 possible endings. Since the game only took me about 9ish hours to beat, I’m going to have to play again. Hopefully I can see all 22 endings, but if not at least I know I have the possibility. If you don’t have it already, I suggest you purchase this one immediately.