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 Heavy Rain Hands On

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PostSubject: Heavy Rain Hands On   Sun Jan 17, 2010 4:02 pm

The focus of the game is on character interaction and behavioral choices rather than on all-out action. How you act towards others and the choices you make can dramatically affect the outcome of the game. It's even possible that one of the playable characters will die and you'll continue the story without that character. We encountered many different characters in Heavy Rain, though only four of them are playable. The main characters are the backbone of the game's story, and all of them will meet or interact at intersecting points. The story is adult-themed, dealing with murder, kidnapping, and even rape. It's told via cinematic visuals, which make it feel as though you are at the heart of a dramatic movie. Camera angles are carefully chosen to reflect the mood of a scene, with out-of-focus shots and wide-angle pans sprinkled liberally throughout. Most of the scenes look like they were filmed with a handheld camera, giving the game a gritty crime-thriller feel. There are also moments when the screen splits into several portions, showing multiple views of characters.

The control scheme is unique to the game and mostly involves a series of simple button presses and quick-time events. These are overlaid as white graphical instructions indicating which button or analogue stick movement is required to perform an action. For example, opening a door requires moving the analogue stick up and then to the right, as if you were using a door handle. The speed at which you make some movements can directly affect how a scene plays out and how characters react to you. If you quickly move the analogue stick to shut a door, it will slam, giving the impression of anger. Thoughts also play an important part, and by holding down L2 you can see them swirling around your character's head, with an icon to indicate which button to push to activate them. They can give clues as to what you should be doing or insight into the game's story.

We were lucky enough to play through the first 11 scenes in the latest preview build of the game. Please note that because of the story-driven nature of the game, the following contains spoilers.

Heavy Rain kicks off with a prologue-cum-tutorial, where you take on the role of Ethan Mars, an architect with a wife, two children, and a house that seems to have been designed entirely by Ikea. The opening scene sees Ethan sprawled out on the bed, with the screen splitting into six sections, showing various angles of the sleeping protagonist in the sun-drenched room. You are also introduced to the main musical theme that runs throughout the game--a piano-led piece that holds plenty of sadness within its chords. After getting Ethan up, showered, and dressed, we walk downstairs; one thought tells us we should probably get on with some work, though another thought wants us to hang out in the garden. Ethan either indulges in some architectural drawing or simply lies down in the garden until his wife arrives home.

Moments like this help to build a connection with the game's characters.

Upon Mrs. Mars' arrival, we find out that it is our son Jason's 10th birthday, and she's preparing for his birthday party. We help bring in the shopping and lay the table, and we even give Mrs. Mars a passionate kiss. We also play games with the kids out in the garden, spinning them around, carrying them on our shoulders, and even engaging in toy swordfights with them. Though these actions are seemingly mundane, they help to build up an emotional attachment to the characters.

The next scene sees us in a busy shopping mall, where we are looking after Jason. He nags us to buy him a balloon, and we inevitably give in. This leads to the first heart-wrenching scene in the game, because while we're paying for the balloon, Jason wanders off into the crowd. With the camera focused on Ethan, you see Jason slowly wander off into the periphery with his red balloon slowly fading away. As we start to look for him, the music picks up, getting more dramatic as the scene plays out.

We push Ethan through the crowds, just looking for any sign of the red balloon as we shout out Jason's name repeatedly. The crowd gets thicker, and it gets more difficult to push through. We suddenly find ourselves on the edge of our seats, anxious that we may not find him. Eventually, we find Jason outside the mall, on the opposite side of the road. As Ethan calls out to him, a car approaches, and Jason runs into the road. Ethan leaps out to try to save him from the oncoming car, but they both get hit, and his wife screams out in agony as she sees them both get hurt. The red balloon slowly rises into the sky and the scene finishes.

Chasing Jason through the crowded mall is one of the most heart-racing scenes in the game.

The tone of the game then changes dramatically as the intro credits roll, with developer and voice actors' names interspersed across the now rain-soaked city. A series of wet faces are shown, showcasing the immense amount of detail that has gone into the facial animations. When it's over, we take control of Ethan once again, this time looking like a broken man--unshaven, living in a dingy house, and with a look of immense pain and unhappiness on his face. We find ourselves trying to rebuild Ethan's relationship with his remaining son, Shaun, more of which you can read about in our previous preview.

We then take control of Detective Shelby, a private investigator researching the Origami Killer. His car pulls up next to a run-down inner-city motel, where he's aiming to question Lauren Winter, a prostitute who has lost her son to the murderer. Though she is reluctant to talk about her son's murder, we are presented with various conversational options with which to convince her. We can sympathise with her, send her on a guilt trip by mentioning other children who have disappeared, or simply try to force the information out of her. We choose to send her on a guilt trip. She eventually gives in, and we are able to choose from a set of questions to ask. However, we aren't able to ask her everything, as questions must be chosen quickly during conversations.

Lauren Winter is one of the many characters who have lost a child to the Origami Killer.

At the end of the questioning, Lauren asks Shelby to leave. Upon entering the hallway outside her room, Detective Shelby suffers an asthma attack. We have to quickly pull an inhaler out of our pocket. The quick-time button icons are blurry, disappearing in and out of view, indicating the distress that Shelby is in. After recovering, we hear screams from Lauren's room and break the door in to find her being beaten up by an old client. This brings us to the first fight scene in the game. Combat is also handled by quick-time events, and the speed at which commands have to be entered gives us a sense of fear and urgency as we fight off our attacker. Missing a button press gives our opponent the upper hand, allowing him to land a few punches. The camera cuts rapidly during the fight, much like a scene from a classic action film. We are thrown around the motel room and are smashed into glass, and we have to use household objects as weapons. We eventually dispatch our assailant, after which Lauren thanks us and we leave the building.

Itchy trigger finger time
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PostSubject: Re: Heavy Rain Hands On   Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:01 am

How did you get it? :O
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PostSubject: Re: Heavy Rain Hands On   Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:14 am

gunna be a very good game.
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