Heavy Rain

I finished Heavy Rain last week (I had started it a few months ago, but wasn’t able to come back to it until a couple of weeks ago). Overall, I really liked it. What follows is fairly spoiler-free.

I only had a few complaints. First, I got the Really Happy Ending for Ethan, Madison and Shaun. That was fine, but Madison’s dialogue felt very contrived and unnatural. It almost ruined an otherwise great voice experience throughout the game.

Second, the quicktime events weren’t actually so bad, but a couple of times I meant to do one thing, and it turned out that I did another. For example, I intended to help untie another character, but the action I chose was to deliberately not help her. I reloaded the game because that didn’t feel right. It’s one thing to try to do something and fail, but it’s something else to accidentally do the entirely opposite thing that you intend. None of this is that big of a deal, but it does really pull you out of the story.

I enjoyed it overall. The main plot is very disturbing, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s disturbing in kind of the way that Seven, for example, is. Anyone would find it troubling, but being a dad really did make it tough to stomach at times. Apparently the goal of the developers was to evoke emotional reactions. They succeeded, though I’d stipulate that showing children in mortal danger is kind of an easy (perhaps even cheap) way to do it.

The reveal of the killer’s identity took me completely by surprise—they did an excellent job of misdirecting the player (or me, at least) while still putting significant clues directly in front of them.