Don't let the title fool you. Heavy Rain isn't a simulation of London's most frequent weather-forecast, but perhaps the most accomplished cinematic experience since Uncharted 2. And if the full-price was warding you off, Cool Shop are now offering it for just £31.97!
Averaging an 87 on MetaCritic and earning numerous perfect scores from well-respected outlets, Heavy Rain proved to be something of a divisive experience. Whereas some championed its realistic animation and top-notch direction, others lamented the strict, confined nature of the gameplay, which often devolved into simply guiding your character through a pre-determined scene.
Heavy Rain follows four distinct characters, each in some way tied to the Origami Killer, a serial-murderer who leaves behind a carefully formed memento at each crime scene. Among the lead cast are Ethan Mars, a beleaguered father desperately searching for his lost son; Madison Paige, whose sleep deprivation issues mire her in the Origami Killer case; Norman Jayden, a spook equipped with a pair of glasses that allow him to study a crime-scene with preternatural skill; and Scott Shelby, a once cop, now private investigator who takes it on himself to uncover who the Origami Killer is, once and for all.
Heavy Rain is labeled an interactive drama game. Don't expect to wander the suburban sprawls or catch a passing taxi or engage in clumsy fisticuffs with passersby. It's not like most games. Take, for instance, the opening scene with Ethan Mars, where his son, holding a balloon, disappears in the churning masses of a mall. Desperately crying out his son's name, Ethan wades through the crowd, eyes roving for the balloon bobbing above. You guide Ethan through this experience, determining when he calls out, how fast he moves, instead of directly controlling his actions. It results in an intensely cinematic, if extremely controlled, experience.