Heavy Rain – The Origami Killer
Also published in Planeta Gamer
Release Date: February 23, 2010
Developer: Quantic Dreams
Genre: Adventure / QTE
Plataform: PlayStation 3
Perhaps the strongest feeling that humans have until today is LOVE. But regardless of its definition, we find ourselves questioning what actually emerges, is created and born of something as powerful as this. What is the love? Or even more, what would you do for love? Heavy Rain question exactly that: “How far you will go to save someone you love?”. And the answer is: “Everything I did, I did for Love”.
Heavy Rain, the second exclusive game to PlayStation 3 in 2010, developed by Quantic Dream Studio, treats exactly of a new concept in games, which happens through the player choices. If there is a way to summarize everything is saying that every choice you make in-game will result in consequences that you should check in the rest of the game story, in which are made guided by the load of emotion that you suck from each character.
In Heavy Rain you see yourself in control of four different stories. Four characters, different lives and feelings that somehow end up together in a central plot: The Origami Killer. Imagine knowing the life of each of the four characters in the game. Knowing their ideals, their ways of operating, their ways of interpreting things and, above all, the love that these have for their life and the life of another loved one. Now take this daily routine and remove what may be the most important thing in your life within it. Drag, and sink with him to an unknown place. What is left? In some cases, for some people, nothing else. A “nothing” enough to face everything and recover back what you love most.
We control four characters in the game, each one with its strengths and weaknesses. David Cage managed to shine a great deal of emotion for each character, which ultimately makes them unique. The old concept of perfect hero and anti-hero, which is present in many games, ends up falling to the ground in Heavy Rain. And this ability to make video game characters as human as us – the players themselves – makes the story seem even more real and sensible.
Ethan Mars, perhaps the star of this whole story, is a father, architect, married and has two children. His life could be seen as a trouble-free life, until an incident happens and Ethan witness the death of one of their children. Things begin to change dramatically, the feeling of guilt prevails over the man, which makes life seems increasingly meaningless. And when it seems to can’t get worse, the second son of him is kidnapped by Origami Killer and that is where the game story really starts to take off.
Madison Paige is a photojournalist who recently also attracted to the cases of the Origami Killer to get more information for your story. But beyond that, is romantically involved by the father of kidnapped last victim, Ethan Mars. Madison suffers from insomnia, which causes it to her spend your nights in motels to try to get in control.
Norman Jayden is an FBI agent who ends up being scheduled to investigate the case of the Origami Killer. Early on we can see that his “problem” is the main dependence on a drug – known as Triptocaine – which will eventually be a physical and psychological conflict throughout the game story.
Scott Shelby is a private detective who investigates crimes commited by Origami Killer. Like all the other characters, Shelby also has a physical problem, which in his case is asthma. Even dressing as a tough detective, we also can observe a sense of his attention and affection with their customers – the parents of the murdered victims – in what passes for much of the game a high degree of safety for the character.
Overall, Heavy Rain tells the story of a series of murders that are happening in the same region of a particular city. All crimes are against children, and have the same characteristics, proving to be a killer set that follows a logical and calculated, following the pattern in every act of killing the child by drowning and leaving an origami in the victim’s hand and orchids in their chests.
The four characters stories come together at the time that the son of Ethan Mars disappears, indicating that was one more work of the Origami Killer. Ethan initially seeks help from police, which involves the FBI agent Norman Jayden in this investigation as well. While Scott Shelby, private detective, search for other clues to the ancient families of the victims. Finally, Madison Paige, a journalist, just trying to find data for your article and also emotionally involved with the cause of Ethan.
Following a cinematographic line, the game is told with intense dialogues, actions and consequences. Thus, in the vast majority, Heavy Rain ends up being know almost like an interactive movie. Or in other words, a huge cutscene that players interacts through QTE – Quick Time Events – while deciding the fate of each character.
From begining, the game follows a slowly flow, or even boring. But all this is clearly justified in the game, since the time that the idea is to relate the characters to the insides of the players, creating a bond of much greater attention and sensitivity. For so, in the next scenes, we notice we can further feel more pain or happiness of each one of them. And when the player realizes, he is following a very strong and constant string of adrenaline and scenes that really bind you from start to finish. What, on the other hand, may end up offending some, since the game – like in the vast majority of PS3 exclusives games of these days – it has an average of about 9 to 12 hours of gameplay, which are divided into a total of 60 different chapters – which will vary in quantity, according to the choices that players made during the game, greatly increasing the replay factor.
If dealing with the gameplay of Heavy Rain, it varies from movement of the character, which is done pressing the R2 button; Read the thoughts of the character through the L2 button; Interact with objects in the scene and, finally and more frequent, the innovation is in the QTE system which vary since summations from buttons pressed, and even in accelerated repetition of buttons and individual sequences of the same.
As for the graphics, we are confronted with a very detailed universe. From art direction to the lighting of each scene of the game is extremely well done, creating the impression of a totally noir story and suspense from beginning to end. The facial character expressions surprises again, leaving the game Heavenly Sword to shame – until then, in my opinion, had one of the best graphics in this requirement – joining in with the scenarios, objects, very detailed clothes etc. However we must point out that while the game has spectacular graphics, he can sin sadly in a few props in scene. At the point of being noticeable the error from Quantic Dreams to not look away in small secondary objects. But nothing that upsets the final visual of the game, since there are few cases where this occurs.
Although I personally look at Heavy Rain as a spectacular work as a whole, the major highlights for me are two aspects in particular: the Game Script and the Sound. It’s amazing how the game manages to hold you from start to finish. You can’t leave the control until you understand why everything happened this way in the story. Why so much pain, evil and especially if your choices were the best possible in that situation. The script has a dose of mystery and suspense that unfolds bit by bit, giving you the “real answer for everything” only at the end. And when that happens you really realize that Heavy Rain has one great story.
Each key point is explained so well that you can convince even the greatest nonsense you wouldn’t expect. But the story can be so convincing, so naturally, because it was married perfectly with the soundtrack and sound that Heavy Rain has. Each dubbing was done impeccably. I lose the accounts of the amount of time that I’ve thrilled when I heard the beautiful laughter of the childrens. Or even when the own Ethan moaned and punished himself by his own pain, bringing a mix of lamentation and cries of pain. And in the background, as if that wasn’t enough, we come across a soundtrack very intense and melancholic. Each scene was very well selected for each sound. And each dialogue was very well played by each actor.
In short, Heavy Rain transports you to a universe in which your choices that will determine the continued flow of events. Your criterion for evaluating of the situations that will say what is right and wrong, or what, in your viewpoint, should be correct. And according to your emotions luggage, you will know the strength of each character and each situation.
Heavy Rain is not an ordinary game. It’s far beyond that. It’s like the real life of some people inside of a television screen. And who will tell the fate of each of these people is you, the player. Always keeping in mind that you become responsible for every little choice you make, whether for good or evil. But after all… how far would you go to save someone you love?
My Personal Score: 4/5
[button type=”icon” icon=”paper”]Written by Matheus Pitillo.[/button]