The game is a genre starter. You could say a mystery game. You could say it was a role-playing game. You could say it was an action game. At heart, it would be an “interactive “Choose Your Own Adventure” visual novel” game. There are many games that claim that “every choice affects the game”. But in truth, these games have choices that either make very little difference to how the game plays out or just one major choice that just affects the ending of the game. Even the predecessor to this game, Indigo Prophecy , was basically just that. Most games that have this have this bullet-point on their boxes have nothing on Heavy Rain. I went into the game with high expectations, and I was not disappointed
I know for a fact that many of the seemingly miniscule things that the you do in this game have just about as much of an effect as the major choices in the game. I wish I could go into detail, but that’s something for you to experience yourself. And if you want proof, ask a friend to play at the same time you are, and ask each other about your separate experiences with the game. I swear that the game will play out almost completely different for each of you.
I walk into a room unnecessarily while investigating this house, and get clocked in the head and end up trapped in a basement. Unlike my friend, who went in, got what she needed, and got out. My OTHER friend accidentally got drunk and ended up having his character experience a premature death.
And that was only a glimpse of the possible outcomes of ONE level. It could end up being very short and simple, or it could end up being very drawn out and risky. It all depends on what kind of player YOU are.
Yes, the game does lead up to a certain final event, but the way the event plays out takes into an account almost EVERYTHING that has occurred through the whole game. Certain characters might not be there and certain characters will either succeed or fail(and they can) in their missions.
Many points of the game are super-intense. Every event of the game occurs in real-time most have a lot of player involvement, meaning that you are given many choices, even during the cut scenes, that you need to make, and you aren’t given an infinite amount of time to make those choices. There are many quick-time events that usually give you very little time to react, keeping you tense every second of the game. Also add the fact that your character has many chances to die during the game. That’s right. Each character you control can DIE at almost ANY point in the game.
My experience with the controls came to me like second nature, but for some others, it may take some time getting used to. If you aren’t a fan of Silent Hill/Resident Evil tank controls, you might have a bad time while playing. Other complaints that I heard other people voice revolved around some scenes that require you to hold down a combination of many of the buttons on the controller to do actions. With some of the situations, it seems very fitting. The character is doing something that requires extra precision, and these controls is the game’s way of having you experience the same pressure.
And of course, the major point of the game, the story, is fantastic. You could either really care, or really hate some of the characters. It’s so fantastic that I won’t tell you anything about it other than the game has some awesome twists…
Now, buy or rent? Well, the game is definitely worth a play through. You HAVE to complete this game ONCE. But after that, you learn that the game is definitely surrounds a few number of major plot points, but once you’ve experienced that, the thrill really disappears. You really only play certain points of the game just to see how they can play out differently. The game is a must play, but not really a replayable game. A definite rent. A fantastic game, but I don’t know if you should spend your hard earned money buying and keeping the game.
You might see that this review is shorter than most of my others, but that's because I accepted the idea that reviews are impressions and opinions. Unlike my other reviews, were I explain unnecessary mechanics like controls, or go into things like graphics if they don't need to be brought up, I just say what needs to be said: What I thought of the game. If the graphics stood out that much, I would've mentioned them, but they really aren't anything special. If they were outstanding or terrible, than that's when I would mention them.