PS3 Attitude’s Most Wanted Games of 2010 #2 – Heavy Rain
Polygons, online gaming, 3D – all are viewed as monumental markers in gaming history; bright and effervescent signs of progression and creativity.
We believe Heavy Rain will be another of these moments.
Heavy Rain is not the first game created for adults. In fact, Heavy Rain is not even the first Quantic Dream game aimed directly at a more mature audience. What Heavy Rain is, however, is a declaration of intent. While the average PS3 gamer is 28 and views gaming as an integral element of his or her lifestyle, gaming is still regarded in wider circles as an adolescent pastime to some extent.
If what we’ve seen of Heavy Rain so far is any indication of the final product, that viewpoint is going to be smashed to pieces.
A story about love, redemption, loss and, primarily, murder, Quantic Dream’s psychological thriller takes all the rules of gaming and spins them on their head. It’s a game where a main character can die, and yet the game keeps going. A game whose pacing is so alien – so fundamentally foreign – that some report that the first few hours of the game are somewhat boring. It’s a telling testament to the game’s subtle nuances and engrossing narrative, however, that the majority of these people admit to finding themselves returning to it, completely entrenched in the story and the possibilities to come. So much that, even if the expository first few hours are slow and pensive, the intention to burrow into players’ psyche and plant seeds of machination ultimately succeed, calling these critics back into its grasp.
The emphasis of Heavy Rain is not on unlocking the next level or beating a mini-boss, but on unravelling a gripping tale heavy (if you excuse the pun) with intrigue, mystery and the diabolical. No taboo is safe from the game’s twisted palette. From child kidnapping to sexual misconduct, this is a new plane of gaming where not only should children be dissuaded from playing and should be almost protected from, it’s a game so adult in tone and execution that most young people will not even want to play.
We want Heavy Rain so much, not because it promises to be a dark, fascinating tale, beautifully constructed in a world familiar to our own yet sinister enough for us to not actually want to live in – though it is this and much more. No; we want it for what it symbolises. We want it for what it says loudly and clearly to the masses: gaming has finally grown up.
We don’t envy the weight of responsibility now hanging over producers David Cage, Guillaume de Fondaumière and their team and we wish everyone at Quantic Dream nothing but success with the title. And though some naysayers are convinced that the game will tank in terms of sales; a victim of a product created for a market that just does not exist, or, if it does, is too small to warrant commercial success, we hope everyone over the age of 18 who has an interest in the evolution of gaming invests in the idea of Heavy Rain. For without games like this and what they are trying to achieve, we might as well as go back to playing Pong.
We should note that Heavy Rain is the first of only two games on our Most Wanted list to receive votes from every single member of PS3 Attitude. We hope this fact is at least a positive sign with respect to how the title will perform commercially. We need games like Heavy Rain.