Preview: Heavy Rain


There are more than a few people who may remember Fahrenheit. This game was seen as something of a revolutionary title, a blending of interactive gaming and storytelling that afforded the player a greater degree of control over the tale. It was a great idea, but it certainly was not everyone’s cup of tea. The low degree of action, for one, made some people feel that playing the game was just too pedestrian.

But games can’t always be about extreme action and toting a whole armoury worth of guns around on your back, now can they? In fact, the pace that Fahrenheit introduced, as well as the overall feel and experience, was very refreshing.heavy_rain01

The developer behind Fahrenheit, Quantic Dream, has a new project on the cards. Originally announced at 2008’s Leipzig Game Convention, Heavy Rain follows a similar route to Fahrenheit, but expands on some of the key concepts that made the previous game unique.

Described as a “dark, emotional thriller where decisions can have dramatic consequences”, Heavy Rain will be an adult game with a complex plot. We’ve heard that before, but the developers are claiming that the player’s interaction with the game will have serious impact on the story. The player will become, in theory, more involved with the tale, rather than just being a spectator with the story unfolding around them. It’s more of an interactive movie than a game, by all accounts, with the story being told via that game itself, rather than through cut scenes.

This deep investment will make for an interesting experience, to say the least. The game promises to be quite charged, too, dealing with a number of subject matters that are decidedly adult in nature.

Heavy Rain will seek to engage players on a slightly different level. Intuitive controls and a lack of scoring and stats fit the profile of this kind of project well, creating even more realism, but may leave some players a little cold. While the developers describe the use of stats and menus and other “complex” ideas as “alienating”, the lack of those elements – which have almost become fundamentals of the gaming experience – may have just that effect on many gamers.

Still, it’s a grand idea, and an ambitious one at that. There are a great many things that could go wrong in the execution of this title, but if Fahrenheit is anything to go by, Quantic dream may just pull this one off. At very least it will be an interesting thing to see when it has been completed, and the combination of adventure and a distinctly film noir feel will be appealing. Here’s hoping that Heavy Rain will live up to its rather ambitious promises, because if it does, it will be a fantastic adventure title that delivers a unique experience.