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on July 5, 2012
When I bought my PS3 in 2010, this was the first game I purchased by recommendation. Just about every game I've purchased has been traded in at some point with the exception of this one. The story is amazing. The concept was something I've never seen before. Without spoiling anything, the scene involving the mall, the kid, and the car had 10 different people in the room with me crying. The game is very intense. For those that say the game is very short, I say you only did one play through. There are 17 different endings. I've played close to 100 hours of Heavy Rain and I have seen all the different endings. Once choice changes the entire outcome of the game. I have yet to use Move with it but I can imagine the awesome difficulty increase it brings. If I have to make a recommendation on any game for PS3, this game signifies what Sony set the PS3 out to be: Mature, Stunning Visuals, Mind-blowing.
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on December 14, 2011
Available from Amazon.com for $29.99 be wary of first listing. Game is QTE heavy and cinematic. Check the reviews for the standard version. This game is no different (and same price) but it does have extras including the DLC.

Director's Cut includes:
Original game, Taxidermist DLC, Musical Score, Move support, 8 making of videos, 3 dynamic themes, 15 pieces of concept art, two bonus trailers (via playstation blog).
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on January 27, 2013
In 2011, I bought a PS3 solely to play Heavy Rain, and it was worth the purchase! I've never played a game that has imbued me with such palpable sadness. It tugged at my heartstrings. The soundtrack is nothing short of memorable and melancholic and coheres with the tear-jerking story. From the opening chapter, I was instantly invested in the characters. By the time the opening credits rolled, I have already drawn my first tear. Ethan Mars, the main character, is a broken man, and you can't help but feel his misery and grief.

The graphics are brilliant and the storyline is very captivating. It's like you're watching a movie and as far as movies go, this is one of the best psychological thrillers I've ever seen! There are lots of twists and turns and the ending came as a surprise. I'm surprised Hollywood hasn't turned it into a movie.

This is a standout, interactive game that is unique in its gameplay. The story is slow-paced at the beginning, but then it picks up speed, so don't be put off by its slowness. You rotate between playing four different characters and each decision you make; whether you fail your mission or don't, affects the outcome of the story. Unlike other games, you don't die or re-spawn, and that's what makes this game unique. Characters CAN die, but the story goes on and there's nothing you can do to change the events. I found myself second-guessing the decisions I made throughout the game. It's a game that requires contemplation and it's quite intense.

You receive a tutorial at the very beginning, while doing mundane tasks such as taking a shower, changing your clothes, etc, in order to familiarize yourself with the controls. This game relies heavily on Quick Time Event. You either love the QTE or hate it. I honestly didn't like it, because I have a tendency to confuse the buttons when I'm flustered. Nevertheless, it didn't subtract my overall enjoyment.

If you're action-oriented, then this game might not appeal to you because the game is very story-centered. But I recommend that you give this game a chance because it's absolutely brilliant! This is one of the BEST games I've ever played! It was a truly memorable experience and I wish there was a sequel!
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on May 6, 2013
I bought Heavy Rain after years of indecision - it dropped to a price that I thought was reasonable so I stumped up the cash and waited with eager anticipation. I received the game on Thursday, and I finished it on Saturday. That's not to say that I played it constantly - I would estimate that I played it for less than 15 hours, and maybe as few as 10. If I had paid full price I would have been extremely disappointed, and even at $20 I'm not sure that I got my moneys worth.

Yes, you'll hear arguments about there being 17 different endings, however, those endings are 17 cutscenes that are strung together at game completion, depending on who lived or died during the game, as well as a couple of other choices you may have made - meaning that in any giving completion you'll see something like 5 of the 'endings'. I don't think it's worth playing through again simply to see a slightly different ending - the game is very linear with almost no deviation from the set story, so the gameplay experience will remain the same through each playthrough.

Stylistically the game is stunning and incredibly atmospheric - possibly one of the most atmospheric games I've ever played. At times you kind of believe that you're watching a film noir, but don't sit back and marvel in the beauty, as you may have to press a button at the right time mid movie.

This leads me to my major grumble about the game - the linearity of it; the passive role that you, the player, take for much of the game and the lack of decisions that you have to make. The challenge is not a cerebral one - there is no puzzle solving whatsoever. It's more of a press the right button(s) at the right time or fail kind of challenge (it's called QTE) - and I often felt like a contortionist trying to get all the buttons pressed - in one scene I even had to use my tongue to get the final button press. Also, I sometimes had the hardest time making the characters walk where I wanted them to - they seemed to get an attack of the stupids and walk into walls or tables - this tended to happen as the camera angle switched, or the camera angle was such that it was hard to judge distances and object placement.

It was also a little pedestrian and pointless at times - to give you an example, one scene has you making scrambled eggs for your sidekick. It's the only thing you can do in the scene you basically have to walk to the kitchen, and perform the right controls to get the eggs out, get the pan, turn the gas on stir the eggs and flip them onto a plate. You can't skip this - you have to make the eggs before you can get to the meat of the scene, which is the next clue in finding the killer - except you're not involved in the actual puzzle of finding the killer, you just watch that part.

There are some decisions that you have to make in the game, but it seems that most conversation choices that you make have little impact on that game in general (I say most, because that are a few that impact the endings.) When I say linear I mean that at the end of any scene the same scene will always follow - there are no divergent paths in the game, unless one of the characters dies. If you play to the end, and all of your characters survived to that point, then you've pretty much seen every scene in the game.

Maybe to give you some context about the games I enjoy, I tend to like long games, with lots of side quests that are non-linear in nature. I should also explain what I mean by non-linear - I like to be able to make choices about where I go next and what I do, and what order I complete things in. I don't mind that I'm going through a linear story per-se, but I want to feel in control. I didn't get any of that in Heavy Rain.
I like the GTA series, Skyrim, FPS games, Lost Cause 2, Portal 2, Assassins Creed series and I play maybe 20 hours a week. I add this so you can maybe judge whether you'll like Heavy Rain, based on whether you and I like the same games.

I really wanted to love this game, but I just didn't. Very atmospheric, gritty and suspenseful but too much of a movie and not enough of a game for me - and far too short.
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on June 27, 2013
I think this one of the most interesting and enjoyable games I have played. I love games that are story heavy and immersive. If it wasn't for all of the QTEs breaking the flow of the game it would be 5 stars. Every time I start to get immersed I find myself forced into some awful controller juggling act or finger contortionism. A game should never take a player out of the fantasy. In the best games you forget you are holding a controller at all because the game is so intuitive and non intrusive it feels natural. The constant on screen pop ups are a huge distraction. Unless you are trophy hunting you can put the game on easy setting and minimize the interruptions to this dark and interesting story. As the game progresses you jump from one character to another discovering the plot from different perspectives. I like episodic games like this because you can treat it like a novel and jump in and out in small sessions. Overall, I can not recommend this simply because it takes an interesting idea and turns it into a monotonous QTE.
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on July 20, 2013
Heavy Rain met my expectations which were set by the favorable reviews here on Amazon. Coming from a player who spent enough time with this game to earn its platinum trophy, I am delighted to recommend Heavy Rain to potential buyers.
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on June 10, 2014
For my review, I'll paste an (edited) version of a couple IM chats I had while trying to get into this game.

The game is a bold experiment, I guess. But the ridiculousness of the controls undermines the grim story.

You're doomed to [small spoiler removed], because it takes you 90 seconds to figure out which pocket has a wallet in it, and you can't turn your head until you pay.

Now I'm onto the exciting scene where the architect and his son are being gloomy at a park.


I gave up on Heavy Rain. Too stupid.

The gameplay wasn't matching the story at all.
The mismatch of the grim serial killer story, and me trying to get the controls to do trivial tasks.

My kid was depressed, and I could do a seesaw or push him on the swing, etc. to cheer him up. After a smashing success on the seesaw, the game immediately returned to him moping on the bench.
Then, after two failed attempts to get the controller to push him on the swings, he got upset and said "I don't like this game." Ang the game again returned to him moping on the bench.

There were many scenes where no matter what actions I took, they ended up the same.

My friend suggested that this is somehow like "real life."
I said that "real life" is not about taking your kid to a park and then having a difficult time working the controls on the swing.

That kind of agility challenge should be reserved for trying to jump from one arm of a giant statue to the other, possbily while swinging on your whip.

In one scene, I was the FBI guy again, and for some reason I was being kept waiting by the local police chief, and then trying to kiss his ass once he finally gives me 30 seconds.

My "actions" in that scene are:
1. bouncing a ball while I'm kept waiting,
2. trying to keep up with him as he walks along, talking to me,
3. trying to tie his tie for him.

I did all the tie looping motions correct, but then didn't pull down on the controller correctly for the final movement. Somehow, that had the effect of undoing all the previous tying, and he grumbled and said he'd do it himself.

"I hope you're better at profiling than you are at tying ties!"

Hot, gripping serial killer action! Can you crack the case? But first: Can you push a kid on a swing? And tie a tie?

The gameplay might be right for the Sims, or some kind of tech demo.

It reminds me of a quote that Harry Shearer made about "The Day the Clown Cried," a totally misguided movie Jerry Lewis made about the Holocaust. Harry said:

It was like "if you flew down to Tijuana and suddenly saw a painting on black velvet of Auschwitz. You'd just think 'My God, wait a minute! It's not funny, and it's not good, and somebody's trying too hard in the wrong direction to convey this strongly-held feeling."

That's exactly what I felt about this game (which I do truly feel was a bold experiment):
Somebody's trying too hard in the wrong direction to convey this strongly-held feeling.
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on April 21, 2015
It's a good thing I picked up and played Heavy Rain after The Wolf Among Us and The Walking Dead. It makes those two games look sad by comparison.

These games fall into the category of "choose-your-own-adventure". The puzzles provided per-se aren't particularly challenging, so what I evaluate these games on is the deepness and richness of the content: how often are the decisions meaningful? How many different ways can the story end? Does the story provide emotional impact? Is the story coherent?

By those standards Heavy Rain is outstanding. In fact, if you own a PS3, just stop reading, find yourself a copy, and play!

Still with me? OK. Heavy Rain is a story about parenthood. It starts with Ethan Mars' interaction with his family, and a defining incident in which he fails to save his son from a traffic collision. Years later, we find him depressed and subject to occasional blackouts. During one of those blackouts, his second son disappears, kidnapped by the "origami killer", a serial killer who focuses on killing children. The rest of the game follows Ethan's attempt to rescue his son and uncover who the origami killer is.

There are 3 other playable characters: Madison Paige, a reporter, Scott Shelby, a private detective also investigating the case, and Jayden, the FBI agent assigned to the case. The viewpoint of the game shifts between these playable characters, and you see them cross-paths, or even watch one storyline uncover clues while another storyline is oblivious.

The script is exceedingly well written. The characters are believable, and their interaction choices don't leave me frustrated. Furthermore, when the reveal happens, not only was I surprised, when I thought back to all the clues previously provided I felt that the mystery was fair: I had enough clues to figure out who the killer was, but the misdirection and setup had distracted me enough that I didn't put them together. This is exceedingly hard to do, and Heavy Rain succeeds.

What's even more amazing is the game play. In The Walking Dead or The Wolf Among Us, if you fail at one of the "game" section, the game restarts at a checkpoint and then you play it over until you succeed. Heavy Rain throws away such conceits. If you fail at one point, your viewpoint character can die but the game carries on! The story changes, and you can get a different ending. I'm not a great game player, so by the time I finished the game two of my characters have died, and poor Ethan Mars was a mess of injuries. But the ending still satisfied me and didn't leave me feeling as though I was cheated of storyline that I should have observed but didn't.

What's more, the game did a fantastic job making me feel what the characters were going through. Because lives were at stake and because I could fail, the story was intense. At several points I winced as the killer put Ethan Mars through trials to see how far a father would go to save his son. Whenever I failed one of those trials, I felt devastated. Some of those scenes had me shaking while pushing buttons on the controller, events that never happened in other games.

When I bought the game, I thought I'd sell it when I'd finished. Now that I'm done, I realize that like a good movie, it's a game I wouldn't mind playing again, especially since you can get different endings. (If you want to shorten the time it takes to watch all the different endings, you should save frequently so you can try both success and failure scenarios --- I wasn't aware of this feature until it was too late) I liked this game enough that I'll probably hunt down Quantic Dream's other games in the future.

What are the nits in the game? The controls are a little painful: sometimes you have to hold down multiple buttons and then shake the controller in order to get certain things to happen. If your controller is broken in that the six-axis sensor is inconsistent this can drive you nuts. This game definitely depends on a low latency screen as well. My plasma screen even in game mode made this game harder because of the induced latency. Being a PS3 game, the graphics are fantastic for that era but of course cannot compare to the PS4. I'm looking forward to Quantic Dream's future games on the PS4. Finally, the adult situations and nudity means that this game is unsuitable for pre-teens.

But despite these faults, I'd say that this game is exhibit A in why a dedicated home console (especially Sony's) makes sense. You can't get games of this quality on any other platform, and it's clear that Quantic Dream's efforts are of a level of maturity, sophistication, and emotional impact that makes other efforts on competing platforms look like they're multiple decades behind. Highly recommended!
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on December 2, 2013
This game is overrated and should not be recommended to "gamers". Instead, it should be recommended to fans of mystery/crime/detective movies with extreme patience. Imagine watching an 8 hour detective movie. That's what this is, except it will move at an excruciatingly slow pace since you will control your characters movements and responses (and they can't run, they walk... slowly... very slowly). It's a cool idea, and could be cooler if your decisions made a significant difference to the story, but other than the last 30 minutes, hardly any buttons you press make a difference in the linearity of the game. I'd give it 2 stars, but +1 for ambition.
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on August 9, 2012
Heavy rain is unlike any game I've ever played and an experience i will remember for years to come. Is it perfect? No. Is it unique? Yes. Is it worth my time and money? Yes, especially at the current price point.

In Heavy Rain, you play the role of four characters who seemingly have nothing in common. Your actions decide the fate of each of them. Unlike Mass Effect, the reprecussions aren't based simply on dialogue choices, but also on the timing of button presses. Most of the button presses are simple enough at the beginning, but the difficulty does ramp up as the story progresses.

Another difference is that there are no manual saves, so if you mess up, you have to live with the outcome (or start from the beginning). This adds to the realism, but can be frustrating at times, especially when you make the same mistake on the second playthrough. One redeeming point though is that if you miss a button, you're not doomed to failure, you'll usually get another try or two before the mistake costs you (or rather your character).

I've seen many reviews saying the characters are what you make of them and this makes it difficult to play through a second time. I didn't find this to be the case. I knew I made some bad choices the first time through, so as many do with Mass Effect, I played through several times, trying to get the perfect outcome. Unlike ME, decisions aren't marked as "paragon" or "renegade". There is a lot more moral gray area.

Anyone interested in compelling stories, should give Heavy Rain a try. However, if all you're looking for is a multiplayer shooter, you should probably look elsewhere.
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