Heavy Rain comes to us from Quantic Dream, the same studio that brought us Indigo Prophecy (reviewed here about a month ago), and it is available on PS3 later this month. Here’s what I made of the demo, which went on limited release via a viral website mini-game yesterday morning.
First off, I’ll try to make the effort as to not spoil anything plot-heavy. Where there are scenes that I chose to partake in, you may choose not to when you play, and that will, of course, have a different bearing on the story at hand. But any details beyond character names, I’ll omit.
Floating on past the brief tutorial that you’re given, you’re given 2 scenes to play in. First, I find myself in the gumshoes of private detective for hire Scott Shelby, who’s been hired to help out with the case of the Origami Killer. He visits a brothel to question one of the employees, whose son was murdered by the Origami Killer. Questioning’s as simple as pressing the face button that matches the topic you want to talk about. Movement’s handled with R2 to walk forward, and the left analog stick used to direct (why they didn’t go full left analog is beyond me, it must have some use later). So after a while of hard pressing for answers, she gets pissed off at me and I leave. As I leave, another man enters, and I hear screams, run in, and somehow fend him off, in what was to me one of the best scripted fight scenes I’ve seen in gaming for a while now. The amount of leeway for different reactions from both characters is amazing, and it’s really open-ended so that you can get the crap beat out of you either if you so wish.
The second scene featured FBI agent Norman Jayden, who’s also been drafted to the case. He’s at one of the murder sites, gathering evidence. He converses with another cop, who shortly leaves the scene. Afterwards you have to walk around the crime scene looking for clues. You’re aided by what seems to be some sort of Minority Report-meets-CSI Miami shades and a glove of sorts, that brings up a heads-up display around clues, detailing items, information about the victim, and other clues also.
Like I said, I wouldn’t go into much detail, I’ll not ruin it for anyone who’s been dodging story leaks like southern Americans have hurricanes. For those that missed the viral, and want to give it a go before making their minds up, the demo goes on general release next week, with the full game following 2 weeks later, at the end of the month.