Special Edition Unboxed – Heavy Rain: Special Edition
In this second episode of Special Edition Unboxed, we’re taking an in-depth look at the Special Edition of the incredible Heavy Rain. This version of the game is exclusive to the PAL region, and in the UK is only available in HMV.
Unfortunately, it is currently out of stock on hmv.com, but you may still be able to find copies in-store for £44.99, or £39.99 for the standard edition. When considering the extra features included in this version, the additional £5 is an excellent deal.
It’s clear you’ve bought something special even before you open the box, as the game comes in the much-publicised black slide-out case, with artwork on all sides and even embossed rain on the cover. The overall effect is slick and stylish, and immediately sets the tone for the actual game. However, as we learned with Dante’s Inferno, it doesn’t matter how good the packaging of a Special Edition is if it doesn’t have decent content inside to back it up.
Fear not though, as Sony and Quantic Dream have come up with a fantastic package. The soundtrack finally went live on 4th March (hence the slight delay of this article), and users can now successfully redeem their codes. This will get them a Heavy Rain dynamic theme (worth £1.59), early access to the Heavy Rain Chronicle, Episode 1: The Taxidermist (an additional playable scene to be released publicly at a later date), and the aforementioned soundtrack.
As stated above, the dynamic theme is purchasable from the PlayStation Store for £1.59, so to get it for free is clearly a steal (assuming you don’t already have it). That being said, whilst the theme is okay, it’s nowhere near as good as certain others currently available. It’s basically the background of the game’s main menu, only much, much darker, so not much can be made out other than a drain pipe on the right, and lots and lots of rain.
Next we come to the soundtrack, which is a 79MB download, and in our opinion was well worth the wait. Once you’ve downloaded the installer, you can use it to export the actual tracks onto the HDD. Sixteen tracks are included, all of which were composed by Normand Corbeil and recorded at London’s Abbey Road Studios, adding up to forty minutes of music. The game features an immensely atmospheric score, so it’s nice to see it hear.
The final piece of downloadable content also happens to be the best. The Taxidermist was first shown at Gamescom in 2008, so it’s great to finally be able to play it. For obvious reasons we won’t go into specific plot details, but just know that the scene stars Madison Paige and is Heavy Rain at its most intense. The stellar presentation is equal to that of the main game, and there are even five different endings to discover and a concept art gallery to unlock.
One criticism of the DLC is that the voice artist for Madison is not Judi Beecher who voiced her in the main game. This is not a major problem, and some players may not even realise, but when you’ve played the game as much as we have it becomes very noticeable. Another slight criticism is that at 789MB it’s not exactly a small download, especially as this is only the first episode in a series. However, overall this is a great addition to Heavy Rain, and it’s definitely got us excited for future downloadable content.
It’s hard to complain about the extra £5 you have to pay for this edition of Heavy Rain. The packaging is sleek, the dynamic theme is a nice inclusion, and it’s good to see the full game soundtrack. However, there’s no denying that the star here is the first episode of the Heavy Rain Chronicle. True, it doesn’t offer any extra detail on the main game’s story, but it’ll probably entertain for about an hour if you try to unlock all endings, which isn’t bad for free. It’s no surprise that supplies are dwindling fast on this edition, so our advice is to act swiftly and if you’re lucky you just might still be able to grab a copy.
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