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Heavy Rain Previews Show Promise 84

Posted by Soulskill
from the blue-skies dept.
As the February release date for Quantic Dream's Heavy Rain nears, several publications have gotten a chance for some hands-on time with the game and seem to be intrigued by what they saw. Quoting the Opposable Thumbs blog: "The game grabs you during the quiet moments where nothing 'happens.' When you look at a picture your child drew. When you're questioning someone about a crime. When you're trying to figure out how to react to a violent situation. The preview we were sent put me in different situations as I played a small handful of characters, and each one provided a few tiny moments that were surprising in terms of storytelling or subtlety." Eurogamer's previewer had a similar reaction: "To my great delight as well — Heavy Rain isn't a mature game because it has unhappy families and moody lighting, it's a mature game because it anticipates an adult response from the player and is prepared to receive it."
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Heavy Rain Previews Show Promise

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  • Can't wait (Score:2, Funny)

    by Xaduurv (1685700)
    I can't wait for the Nintendo DS Lite version of the game, "Light Rain"
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Ihmhi (1206036)

      I hear they're also making a mobile version exclusive to the LG Chocolate.

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The Wii version is already in the works - Heavy Rain Beach Resort Conga Party.
      • The Wii version is already in the works - Heavy Rain Beach Resort Conga Party.

        Yeah, it will make use of the new Wii Motion Plus to give players a never-before experienced feeling of immersion.

        When you're cooking dinner, you'll get 1:1 interaction with sharp implements. Don't slice-off your hands with your virtual Ginzu!

        When you're using the restroom, you'll get 1:1 interaction with virtual genetailia! If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie, wipe the seatie.

        When your character dies, you'll get 1:1 i

      • The Wii version is already in the works - Heavy Rain Heroes.

        There fixed it for you

        Wait that would be if it was a Maxis game.

  • Interesting (Score:5, Interesting)

    by enderjsv (1128541) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @03:05AM (#30470558)
    From what I've seen of the game so far, I think I can honestly say without hyperbole that this game is the biggest and possibly most important experiment in the past 15 years of gaming. It really takes the whole idea of what is considered to be a game and breaks the mold. It actually reminds me a bit of Indigo Prophecy, but ten times more deviated from standard gameplay practices. I'm excited to see if it will work and how it will be received.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by protodevilin (1304731)
      My problem with Indigo Prophecy was that, while I expected the game to immerse me into an intriguing mystery-thriller plotline (which it did for the first half), I did not expect it to suddenly devolve into a silly SciFi Channel circus about space aliens and Mayan Kung-Fu ghost people. I was totally engrossed and throroughly impressed with Indigo Prophecy, and then quite abruptly my 'wow's became 'WTF's. I hope Heavy Rain doesn't make the same mistake.
    • Did you ever play Eternal Darkness? It does a lot to shake the idea of what is allowed in a gaming experience. Similar to X-Men on the Genesis, where you had to reset the system to actually get the ending.
    • by ruemere (1148095)

      Omikron: the Nomad Soul. Also by Quantic Dreams. ALso very commendable for experimental approach.

      Regards,
      Ruemere

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Kagura (843695)

      From what I've seen of the game so far, I think I can honestly say without hyperbole that this game is the biggest and possibly most important experiment in the past 15 years of gaming. It really takes the whole idea of what is considered to be a game and breaks the mold. It actually reminds me a bit of Indigo Prophecy, but ten times more deviated from standard gameplay practices. I'm excited to see if it will work and how it will be received.

      Remember Spore before it came out? That's all I'll say until I actually have this game in my hands. I have learned my lesson about expecting too much.

    • Re:Interesting (Score:5, Interesting)

      by eulernet (1132389) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @06:02AM (#30471652)

      Don't expect too much !

      Hint: I have been one of the programmers behind Omikron the Nomad Soul, their previous success.

      The biggest problem with Omikron is that we spend a lot of time adjusting the gameplay on the first level, at the expense of the following levels.
      Making the game appealing takes a lot of time, and when the game is too large (and not clearly defined), it takes an exponential amount of time.

      Another big problem is that Omikron tried to merge several types of games: adventure, action and fight.
      Instead of creating one good adventure game, we created 3 below-average games.
      And these games mix as easily as water and oil.

      I lost all my ties with Quantic Dreams, but I'm pretty sure they still have these problems, with a boss who wants to create too ambitious games, and a team confronted to an unclear direction.
      Quantic Dreams also lost a lot of their coders at the end of the first game, due to stress, bad scheduling, and in general a terrible lack of organization.

      An anecdote:
      the boss wanted that the player might pilot the cars in the city, so we spent 3 weeks of coding to allow that, plus a lot rework of the 3D graphics, since the roads needed to be tagged. Did you know that you could pilot the car manually ?

      • by Hellpop (451893)

        That was my problem with Brutal Legend. After playing the demo, I decided against picking it up because it can't decide what it wants to be when it grows up. Driving game, brawling game, RTS. Different controls for each type, different types of health for all types. Way more than I want to keep track of. I'll stick with something simple, like Oblivion...

      • by ruemere (1148095)

        I'd like to say that I really loved Omikron. Yes, there were various design issues with further levels, but getting concerts, following plot and generally walking around made up for that.

        Regards,
        Ruemere

    • How "twitchy" is it? My girlfriend is a big fan of old-school adventure gaming, and her biggest complaint about indigo prophesy was the added twitch element?

      If this one doesn't have it, it might be something she'd like (and is due out right around Valentine's Day)

    • this game is the biggest and possibly most important experiment in the past 15 years of gaming

      If the future of gaming is quick-time events, we are all F'ed in the A.

      For instance, look at how fighting works [youtube.com] (starting at 9:30 in video).

      I am all about compelling stories in video games, but there needs to actually be a video game in it.

      • If the future of gaming is quick-time events, we are all F'ed in the A.
         

        Actually it's B'ed in the A. Then X, Y, Y again, and I'm not sure if its B or A next, but everytime it screws me up and I have to start over again.

        • by sammy baby (14909)

          HADUOKEN!

          There's a perverse part of me that wants to see classic fighter game (think Devil May Cry) combos adapted for this one. "Architect T-Square Decapitation" has promise.

    • by jgtg32a (1173373)

      most important experiment?
      Am I missing something, Heavy Rain looks like an adventure game just without the puzzles that are solved with WTF logic

      • by grumbel (592662)

        The whole control scheme is completly different then your average adventure game. It also happens to be rather different then your average third person game or FPS. And most importantly the whole flow of the game is quite different, its not about hording items, illogical puzzles and cardboard cutout characters, but about presenting a realistic and believable experience, which includes plenty of mundane day-to-day tasks.

        Its of course not all 100% fresh ideas, Fahrenheit/IndigoProphecy did a lot of that a few

    • by kalirion (728907)

      Have you tried The Path [mobygames.com]?

  • mature, adult (Score:3, Interesting)

    by md65536 (670240) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @03:21AM (#30470674)

    I hope it stays that way, in North America too. I played Indigo Prophecy, the American version of QD's Fahrenheit. For the American version, they took out "adult" things like sex.

    There is a shower scene still in Indigo Prophecy, but the character is showering in her underwear! What an odd confusion of sex and nudity, where it's okay to walk in on someone showering, as long as they're doing it with clothes on! IMHO not a very "mature" way of handling nudity.

    (inb4 European vs. American acceptance of nudity)

  • I'm rather puzzled by this "game". It's really unique, the screen shots look gorgeous, I find it really interesting and I want to play it. However I feel as if I'm not going to find it fun, it seems just too heavy and mature.

    Maybe it's just a sign of my immaturity. The original half-life is a good example of fun in terms of character interaction. I smack a fellow scientist in the face with a crow bar and he just stands wit his best retort, "what are you doing?" and maybe get the smarts to run away after I s

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 17, 2009 @03:39AM (#30470766)

      Perhaps you should consider the word "game" more like you consider the word "film." There really isn't anything in the definition of a game that says it must be fun. I mean, chess is a game and it is not exactly the kind of fun that you probably associate with fps video games.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        And e.g. many Bergman or von Trier movies are not exactly "fun" either. But they are still fascinating, intriguing and quite often challenging.
        Err, and they don't sell well.

        • by fbjon (692006)
          Indeed! A fascinating, intriguing game wouldn't necessarily sell well either, but for some reason this is still the main metric for "accomplishment" in the games business.
    • by bronney (638318)

      Just wait for the pr0n patch :)

    • Anecdote from the Ars article: The reviewer played a section of the game where he played with his kid, talked with his wife, and helped clean the house. Later on, his real life wife pointed out that he could have played with his real life kid, talked with his real life wife, and helped clean his real life house, and his life would probably be better for it (as his kid would be happier, his wife would be happier, and his house would be tidy).

      This isn't a game; It's a Life Sim. A much better one than 2nd "Pe
  • by OverZealous.com (721745) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @03:56AM (#30470824) Homepage

    When I read the (mostly vague) descriptions of the game in the article, all I could think of was that the author summed up the game early on:

    You'll be doing many mundane things: turning lights on and off, cooking dinner, taking a shower. In fact, the first hour of the game seems to exist only to show you how normal your life as an architect and a father is. In that time I did some work, played with my kids, and helped my wife around the house.

    After watching me playing the game, my real-life wife made pointed out that I could have actually done some work, helped her around the house, and then played with my kids in the time I had just spent with Heavy Rain. I didn't have a good counter-argument.

    (Emphasis Mine)

    I'm aware that there is more to the game than this, but I think what makes a video game interesting is the way it abstracts you from the real world. How is this game going to abstract mundane details of everyday life in a way that isn't just boring? It's too bad the author didn't expand on any more details.

    There really isn't anything in this review that makes me think the game shows promise, despite the Slashvertisment's summary.

    • by Rogerborg (306625) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @04:05AM (#30470868) Homepage
      Remind me: how many millions of people play The Sims [gamepolitics.com]?
    • by DreamsAreOkToo (1414963) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @04:30AM (#30471032)

      Now we need to make robots that are hooked up to these games. That way, when you play Heavy Rain, the robot can play with your kid and do some work. Heck, you can mix it up some by going on xbox live and playing with someone else's kid! Think of the possibilities!

      • by rdnetto (955205)

        Heck, you can mix it up some by going on xbox live and playing with someone else's kid!

        I'm pretty sure you just made it onto the FBI watch list (or equivalent).

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by a0schweitzer (1702404)
      I think games like this serve to further gaming as an art form, which is something that isn't done nearly enough. Sadly, the common perception of games is that they are for children, and that adults who play them are silly and unwilling to grow up. Sure, casual games are changing this, but only becasue their casual nature makes them easier for 'adults' to accept and enjoy. Making games serious will allow gaming to advance as an artistic medium. The mundane details, as you put it, allow for introspection, a
      • by OverZealous.com (721745) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @05:00AM (#30471230) Homepage

        I'm not trying to pick a fight, but I disagree (a little).

        I recently was replaying Shadow of the Colossus. To me, there is a game that exemplifies art. It was beautiful to watch, immersive, playing it was unlike anything I had played before, and the story was deep and dramatic. (It even ended on a sad note for those who believe that anything that makes you happy can't be art.)

        Forcing someone to play through an hour of boring, everyday tasks is less than art. It's not even very creative (in my opinion). How many movies and books and other things have been made that focus on everyday things?

        Or, for that matter, how many games already been made where the user gets to choose between decisions (Black-and-White, Fate [I think], that one with the biological superhero)? Every time, while the game is interesting, the decision making process is hampered by the vary fact that a game is limited to what the designers have already though up. Currently, decision-based games are more like choose-your-own-adventure books. The decisions are more thrown in to add "replay value" than to truly give the user choices. (Save the baby, or let it die? Play it twice, to see the different cut-scenes! Yay, more hours of gameplay...)

        The gaming medium as art has to be more than just taking a movie or book and slapping lame controls on it. That's like doing a crayon drawing in oils, and calling it art. It needs to incorporate what makes games different than the other mediums.

        • Forcing people to do everyday tasks in a computer game may not be original but that doesn't mean that it can't be artistic. That's a bit like saying that Sunflowers doesn't count as art because people had painted pictures of flowers before.
        • by Afty0r (263037)

          How many movies and books and other things have been made that focus on everyday things?

          Most movies put you through on "introductory" sequence which can last 10, 20, 30 minutes or more and is often boring and mundane buts acts as an introduction to the characters and is necessary to set the scene...

          Having a 9mm in someones' hand during the opening credits can make for an action-packed film, but rarely makes one empathise with a character.

          One of the best films of the year, 500 Days Of Summer was about JUST e

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by lymond01 (314120)

          In a way, a game should let you escape, immediately, outside the bounds of your mundane world. This is why people play Counterstrike, Left4Dead, Wolverine, etc. You leave the mowing of the lawns for the emptying of the clip as soon as the game is done loading. But there's a way to tell a story -- the build-up, the foreshadowing, and mostly, in terms of fantasy (fantasty/scifi/horror), to note the way things should have been had something not significantly changed. It sounds like Hard Rain is going to be

        • by grumbel (592662)

          Or, for that matter, how many games already been made where the user gets to choose between decisions

          I don't know how it will be in Heavy Rain, but what made Fahrenheit/IndigoProphicy great was that the decisions didn't really matter. It was not the BioWare-way of doing where you have idiotic black/white choices of "feed baby" or "eat baby", but simply different things you could do. Which gave the game a great feel of interactivity, without allowing you to break the story in any out-of-character manner. That way of doing things also removed basically all the illogical adventure-type puzzles from the game,

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If your day revolves around rescuing hookers, investigating serial killers and seducing creepy guys in nightclubs, that's really fine with me.
      Mine doesn't, so the game seems interesting enough to me.

      Adding mundane things can improve a game if the object is not the mundane actions, but a deeper immersion in a story.
      Any good story I know contains lots of mundane parts that are not necessary for the story, but are still essential to make it work.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I imagine the fun part of the game comes in once you play through the normal, mundane hour and shit goes very wrong and you start doing detective work. The first hour is to establish your life, as the article says. Then your life goes sideways.

    • by eoin_tbo (1485851)

      Was it actually ah hour of doing mundane tasks or did it seem like an hour?

      Movies do this scene-setting, baseline normality at the start as well but they usually only last 10-20 mins. Anything beyond that and they can seem to drag. I would have thought that at an hour you'd have most people dying to do something interesting. You need to be a paid reviewer or very bored to push through that kind of barrier without turning off the pc.

      For most gamers the novelty of "ooh look I can do everyday things on a

    • Most games sacrifice story telling in favor of action. And that's generally a good approach.

      Iif you're going to make a game that is fundamentally about the story, then you need a fully realized first act. The first act in most games consists of as little as a blurb in the manual, or, at best, a two minute (skippable) cut-scene. Assuming that this game (story) runs over ten hours, spending an hour establishing the characters doesn't seem at all excessive to me.

      -Peter

    • by grumbel (592662)

      I'm aware that there is more to the game than this, but I think what makes a video game interesting is the way it abstracts you from the real world.

      The problem is that games these days aren't much good at showing you something fresh anymore, as there are way to many gaming cliches that have stacked up over the years and way to many games are just clones of previous years games.

      So fighting space aliens might sound exciting to somebody who never played a game, but as a gamer thats pretty much what I have been doing for the last 20 years and its really not that interesting anymore. On the other side having a game that lets you drink orange juice in a real

  • This - exactly like its 'prequel' Indigo Profecy - looks gorgeous, has lots of cool ideas but in the end is one big QTE fest.

    I wonder why they kept movement with the joystick instead of putting a QTE for each step forward:P
  • Same people that brought you Indigo Prophecy. Good idea, and the first half the game was great, then you got to the second half of the game that went snooker loopy [escapistmagazine.com]. So I'll reserve judgement till I get a chance to play the whole thing.

    • by Bieeanda (961632)
      They've done the same thing with previous titles, like Omikron: the Nomad Soul. Basically they give you a demo that looks like it has an incredible amount of detail and flexibility, then put you on a poorly scripted rail shortly after the first area.
  • Boring (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Rumagent (86695)

    This game represents everything I hate about modern games. Apparently we want better lighting, better animations more life-like graphics. This striving for hyper-realism is driving me nuts.

    The computer allows us to make everything, and yet we insist on creating worlds that are essentially no different from the one we live in. Where is the weird, the fantastic, the horrible and the wonderful? Why do we settle, when we can have anything? When do we start creating art?

    • by slim (1652)

      Where is the weird, the fantastic, the horrible and the wonderful?

      Bayonetta? Brutal Legend? Katamari? Bit.Trip.Beat?

      Why do we settle, when we can have anything? When do we start creating art?

      There's room for both. Some people like Miley Cyrus, some people like Radiohead. Likewise in games. Some people like the hyper-realism of Forza Motorsport; some people like the artistic graphics of Viewtiful Joe

    • by Jonathan (5011)

      The computer allows us to make everything, and yet we insist on creating worlds that are essentially no different from the one we live in. Where is the weird, the fantastic, the horrible and the wonderful? Why do we settle, when we can have anything? When do we start creating art?

      Normally, "art" *is* about creating worlds that are essentially no different from the one we live in. Mass market movies and genre novels are all about aliens, explosions, and dashing adventurers. Art movies and literary fiction ar

    • by grumbel (592662)

      Where is the weird, the fantastic, the horrible and the wonderful?

      There are a lot more games that present the weird and fantastic (just look at every second indie game) then there are games that present realistic everyday life. By far most games of course are still about presenting the life of an military action hero, so Heavy Rain is definitively a big change of pace.

  • I loved Eddie Murphy's voice over work in that game.

  • Apparently the industry doesn't learn from past mistakes. I thought it was pretty clear that we didn't want this when Shenmue was released, and then again when Shenmue II was released. I suppose the logic this time is "Oh, but the graphics are like 100x's better, people will buy it. And, to a degree, I suppose they're right. It'll sell...at least enough to make the money back. To the same people who liked Shenmue and possibly games like Myst. It'll also sell to people who always buy whatever game curr

    • by Hatta (162192)

      The industry is learning. They're learning that there's room for more than yet another JRPG or FPS. Yeah, I'm not big on the QTE mechanic, and wish that adventure games would go back to point and click. But this is better than nothing. I'd still love to see a Shenmue III BTW.

  • You gonna be a star!

    • by skeeto (1138903)

      Got you, suckaz!

      Good! I'm glad someone posted what immediately came to my mind. Thank you!

Statistics are no substitute for judgement. -- Henry Clay

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