[video games] Heavy Rain

edited February 2010 in Stuff to Watch

So I don't know why story gamers should care about Heavy Rain

For reference, here is a positive take on the game and here is the first 9 minutes of the game.

The previous game by David Cage, the 'Director' of Heavy Rain, was Indigo Prophecy. Notable for having an excellent first five minutes and an abysmal the rest of the game, everything everyone was calling Unique was already done with more style and competence years ago in the Last Express. Indigo Prophecy was guilty of some pretty terrible illusion of choice. Every presentation of a choice you make only provided the merest of aesthetic differences in the story (As opposed to the amazing power you exerted on the story in another older game, Deus Ex). Indigo Prophecy was littered with game overs that simply didn't make sense. Why did I get a game over because I didn't feel like playing Simon Says while the protagonist practiced his guitar in the background? It added nothing to the story, was never reincorporated, and was really just pointless filler. I'm surprised this never broke anyone else's illusion. Of course the only real choice you got to 'make' was right during the final boss fight against I believe it was a sentient AI from the future trying to steal Aztec Magic. If you lost right in the beginning, you got Ending A. If you lost about halfway through, you got Ending B. If you won, you got Ending C. That is the only choice that affected the supposedly open story of Indigo Prophecy. So enough on why his previous game was stupid.

Did you watch the first nine minutes of Heavy Rain? I'll wait for you. Okay, so what did you see. Did you see all semblance of real interactivity stripped out for banal token interactions? Let's go over some of the obvious ones. Game stops if you stop doing what the game wants you to do, and tells you what you should be doing. Brushing your teeth and getting out of bed are interactive to some degree. Driving around an RC car, something that can be given direct control, is a cutscene you initiate by pressing X. Suppose you don't want to 'do some work' as the voice over tells you, maybe you want to go out the front door and check the mail. Too bad, you can't because trying to open the front door starts another cutscene of our hero opening and closing the door. That is not interactive story telling, that is watching a badly edited, badly acted movie while prompted to press buttons for irrelevant tasks.

Here are Jordan Mechner's (of the original Prince of Persia and the Last Express fame) rules for story-based game design, from over 10 years ago. They are a little bit dated but altogether quite good for the purpose of video games.

  1. The story is what the player does, not what he watches.

2. List the actions the player actually performs in the game and take a cold hard look at it. Does it sound like fun? (Resist the temptation to embellish. If a cinematic shows the player’s character sneak into a compound, clobber a guard and put on his uniform, the player’s action is “Watch cinematic.” Letting the player click to clobber the guard isn’t much better.)
3. The only significant actions are those that affect the player’s ability to perform future actions. Everything else is bells and whistles.
4. Design a clear and simple interface. The primary task of the interface is to present the player with a choice of the available actions at each moment and to provide instant feedback when the player makes a choice.
5. The player needs a goal at all times, even if it’s a mistaken one. If there’s nothing specific he wishes to accomplish, he will soon get bored, even if the game is rich with graphics and sound.
6. The more the player feels that the events of the game are being caused by his own actions, the better — even when this is an illusion.
7. Analyze the events of the story in terms of their effect on the player’s goals. For each event, ask: Does this move the player closer to or further away from a goal, or give him a new goal? If not, it’s irrelevant to the game.
8. The longer the player plays without a break, the more his sense of the reality of the world is built up. Any time he dies or has to restart from a saved game, the spell is broken.
9. Alternative paths, recoverable errors, multiple solutions to the same problem, missed opportunities that can be made up later, are all good.
10. Don’t introduce gratuitous obstacles just to create a puzzle.
11. As the player moves through the game, he should have the feeling that he is passing up potentially interesting avenues of exploration. The ideal outcome is for him to win the game having done 95% of what there is to do, but feeling that there might be another 50% he missed.

What rules does Indigo Prophecy break? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6(arguable, many people were fooled), 7, 8, 9, 10(let's practice guitar!), 11(also arguable)

What rules does Heavy Rain break in the first nine minutes? 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10(Brush your teeth by waggling your controller! Interactivity!)

So what's the hubbub. Do you think there's a secret ending where the protagonist moves from the bedroom to the bathroom and refuses to eat for a week straight? That might imply there is an actual choice in pressing X to piss or waving your controller to brush your teeth.

Comments

  • That game sure seems pretty lame by my stuck-in-the-'90s lights. Are you sure you really want to play this?
  • The purpose of this thread: I want to hear from the 3/4 people in Stuff to Watch that were excited about this game.

    I saw some clips from later in the game, it is kind of like watching a train wreck that will be a huge success with mildly pretentious middle brow gamers anyway.

    They design a female character with nonstandard sexuality and then put her into as many shower scenes and compromising situations as possible. As soon as you waggle your controller to towel her off in the bathroom, you can leave the bathroom and be attacked by one, no two, no three, no four masked murderers in the apartment. Maybe more than four masked murderers chase the girl around the apartment? Presumably if you do not press the context sensitive buttons that appear quickly and are timed (the linked article clarifies that they are not in fact quick-time events) she will die.

    Sometimes I want to experience something extremely bad.

  • That was almost as thrilling as when the party wants to roleplay in the tavern.
  • I try not to pay too much attention to games before their release (or escape, as the case may be); it's just too much effort for too little reward.

    That said, I've already pretty much written off Heavy Rain as a game that I might pay as much as two dollars for...but probably wouldn't if there was anything else for me to do with those two bucks. I'm just not convinced that they've learned from the mistakes they made in Indigo Prophecy, and the videos I just watched on YouTube (the intro and the "applying makeup and tearing your skirt" bathroom scene narrated by the game designer) suggest that they really, really haven't.

    I also strongly disagree with the Ars Technica guy about how breaking all these mundane activities down into smaller steps make you feel like you're in a real place. Heavy Rain is, to all appearances, a mediocre cutscene-laden adventure game. Giving me something to do with my fingers during those cutscenes is not the same thing as giving me gameplay. Gameplay in an adventure game happens inside my brain: if I am thinking about what I should do, solving a puzzle, deciding what to try next, that's where the meat is. I'm not seeing that in these clips, I'm just seeing what can most charitably be described as "padding." It's a cute idea to make all those mundane things interactive instead of just being static backgrounds that your on-screen character walks past, but what purpose is it really serving?

    Maybe there's a really great, really flexible story there, like the hype claims. Maybe it's a really mature, interesting, entertaining tale that can go in dozens of different directions, according to whatever choices you make during play. (And if that's the case, then maybe they did learn something from their mistakes after all!) But the QTE nonsense just plain doesn't look fun to do, and if it isn't fun to do it will inevitably drag that mature, interesting, entertaining tale down.
  • I get why this (and Indigo Prophesy) generate so much interest: In a field dominated by this simple breakdown: - "In this game, do you shoot laser guns, magical fireballs, or real guns at millions and millions of enemies?" - something that vows to (in the beginning anyway) keep things "realistic" and "grounded in the real world" (as much as an episode of Law and Order, anyway) while still using state-of-the-art graphics is simply fucking refreshing.

    Even the guitar moments and "press buttons to not get anxiety while trapped in a small space" sequences, including game-overs, back up that "real world-ish" feel that the game is going for. It's only when aztec cult computer AI ninja zombies show up that the game tea-bags you. "Oh, you thought the mystery would end in a /normal real-world conspiracy?/ LOL - We're French! Now get your fingers ready for a Kung Fu Fight with Aztec Ninja Wizard using only quicktime button-mashing!"

    image
    i wish i was kidding

    To some degree, that's why the Ryuu ga Gotoku/"Yakuza" franchise has been so popular in Japan. The first two were simply excellently written (as they were written by a famous crime novelist). Yakuza 3 isn't as strong of a story IMO, it kinda rests on the edge of "Oh C'mon, Reaaaallly?" at times (see: "Long Lost Twin Brother" of a friend), but still it's got hot graphics, voice acting and production and it's set in a modern world that might be a little darker and seedier, but still "realistic" to some degree. If you've got a PS3, I'd say give it a rent and see what you think when it comes out in English next month. Personally, my fave of the franchise is Yakuza 2 for the PS2, its story is pretty awesome.

    I'll give Heavy Rain a shot. And by that I mean, I'll buy it when it comes down to $30, I'll play it through, then sell it on eBay for $25-28 to cover my loss.

    To bring it back to the world of RPGs (not that it needs to to keep the thread here or anything; just cause I see parallels), I see the drive to want to use tabletop to do some "real world roleplaying" as part of the success that drove people to really enjoy PTA. Sure, PTA emulates reality through a TV screen, and sure there's nothing stopping you from playing Buffy The Vampire Slayer Joins Starfleet, but a lot of the games I played in were basically along the lines of The Wire: No magic, no lasers, no Hong Kong gunfights. All those are fun, but sometimes it's nice to take a fucking break and get back to real character drama.

    Indigo Prophesy (Farenheit) led the promise of that, but them the Producer used his fanmail and social pushiness to fuck the game up. "Damn, talk talk talk blah blah blah. How about this: You're being attacked by Electric Computer Insects!"

    -Andy
  • Veles,

    That list you quoted is awesome.

    As for wanting to play Heavy Rain, my interest was in part sparked by the Ars Technica article.

    The writer of the Ars Technica thought that "story" and "consequences" were something that people who play video games don't want. But, of course, as you demonstrated in your post above, there doesn't seem to be much of story or consequences in Heavy Rain. So, a) whatever Ben Kuchera was going on about has nothing to do with Heavy Rain; and b) the thing I would love to play doesn't seem to be in Heavy Rain. Why Kuchera thinks the game is good I no longer have any idea.

    In short, Heavy Rain seems to be built off the same crappy assumptions that many folks pulled about "story" from RPGs back in the 80s and 90s. There's this dude that manipulates the player through the "right" story.

    Yesterday I was thinking, "Gamers who figured out what story is go on to be screenwriters. Gamers who get stuck in the trap of crappy manipulation go on to be game developers."

    I know that there's going to be cool, actual story and consequences coming down the road in video games some day. Looks like Heavy Rain isn't it.
  • I'm excited about heavy rain, but not because I think it's going to be like a bioware rpg. Basically, what I saw as the genius of indigo prophecy was that by giving you mini-games to do during what was essentially an interactive movie, they greatly increased the degree to which I identified with the main characters. When the protagonist felt tense, I was DOING something that was tense. It made the story very engaging. Heavy Rain just promises to be Indigo Prophecy without the idiotic second half, and that's enough to get me interested.
  • Andy, right on, Yakuza 1 and 2 are great.

    Chris, you might be interested in 'Way of the Samurai' for the Playstation 2.

    quoted from wikipedia

    Although the story in Way of the Samurai follows the basic framework provided above, the actual events that the player participates in depend greatly on the decisions made while playing. Immediately upon entering Rokkotsu Pass, the player is confronted by a group of samurai attempting to kidnap a young girl. The player has the choice of helping the girl, joining the abductors, or ignoring the situation altogether. Each of these decisions will lead the player down a different path, resulting in a vastly different view of the main plot points.

    The player's decisions will also have a direct result on Kenji's allegiance within the storyline. The player may choose to join either the Kurou family or the Akadama clan, to support and protect the innocent villagers, or to take no side and observe the events as an outsider with minimal direct involvement. The player may also choose to help one faction and then switch allegiance later in the game.
    As a result of these branching storylines, Way of the Samurai has seven different endings; the particular ending obtained by the player is based on which faction, if any, Kenji has allied himself with and the actions taken during the course of the game.

    It actually kind of delivers on the promise of a game with real choices and consequences. It is yojimbo the video game.

  • Sounds good!

    For the record, FALLOUT 3 was pure heaven for me. But a heaven that was just a stepping stone to the real heaven to come.

    Right now I've only got an Xbox. But after playing Flower at a friend's house the other day, I'm thinking I might be expanding to a second console.
  • I've got enough thoughts for several pages in my head, so I'll see if I can be more concise than that.

    First, about Heavy Rain not having consequences: the fact that major characters can die in the middle of the game, and the game goes on (contrary to Indigo Prophecy ("IP")), seems like lasting consequences to me.

    Second, I agree that if you're going to have a "true" player-driven story video game, you need a totally different approach. I've laid one out before.

    Now to the main part. I disagree with pretty much every single one of Mechner's points--and, really, Prince of Persia ("PoP") didn't fulfill most of them. Like No. 8. Do you know how many times I've died playing the original PoP? Many, many times. And I'm not a bad player. (In fact, I have yet to fail at a single QT event in Indigo Prophecy.) Also: alternate options or pathways? Not in PoP that I remember.

    There's an interesting parallel there between what you and Mechner are saying, and what Hardcore Macho Nar Play has been saying: all the conflicts, all the time, and only tough choices and hard consequences matter. Again, I really disagree with that one. (Note that disagreement here is a matter of taste: I mean, "I don't feel that way about the way I enjoy story in games.") I get meaningful scenes in games all the time, even when my choices or actions don't impact the end result. For example, the decision in IP to save--or not--the drowning kid while a policeman is near who might, in your attempt, spot and arrest you for murder. The first time I played, I walked away. That didn't matter for the outcome of the game. But it was meaningful to me. It meant something in the larger story. It said something about my character, and it colored the narrative. The second time I played, I rescued the boy. That changed the tone of the story in a way that I could feel, even though it didn't change anything else.

    Let me get philosophical for a moment here. In a few million years, our sun is going to explode. After that, whatever humanity ever did will be gone. The state of the universe will be the same whether we existed on this planet or not, whether we made good or bad choices. Nothing has permanent consequences in our universe. So saying that what we as people do only has meaning due to lasting consequences doesn't make sense to me. Instead, I find meaning in choices as they happen. It matters now, in the moment. It matters that I chose to shared my muffins with that homeless guy outside of Go Play NW's venue. It matters that I broke up with my first girlfriend in a way she really didn't deserve. Even as those choices have no permanently lasting consequences or affect how my life story ends. Consider this a deontology-vs-teleology thing, if you want, but I think choices matter much more than consequences.

    In Dragon Age: Origins, there's a moment where a merchant is abusing his position to raise prices in a war zone, while people around him starve. My character could either help him, force him to lower prices, or kill him and take his stuff. That decision (aside from having a bit more stuff, potentially) doesn't make a difference to what ending of the game you get or what happens later in the game. But boy, did I agonize over that one. My character, a lady from a noble family and kind of a snob, sided with the merchant (law and order must remain even in war times). It's not what I personally would have done. That mattered to me. It was part of my story.

    So that's the thing about choices. But it's not all about choices. Story is about poignant moments as well, moments that touch us. Here's what Ars Technica wrote about a scene in Heavy Rain:
    Heavy Rain deals with parenthood, and the tragedies that keep parents up at night. In one heartbreaking scene, you sit next to your son and hope he says something to you. A schedule for his visit is pasted on the wall. Look at this scene in a certain way, and nothing happens. From another perspective, this is one of the most mature moments in modern gaming.
    As a parent, I think this and other scenes will resonate with me. They will matter to me. It may not be a "game" in that moment as a "movie scene", but the medium still draws you (or at least me) in more, and it's definitely part of the story.

    This kind of stuff--character moments without conflicts or drastic change or consequences--is much underappreciated in roleplaying. Games like Ribbon Drive thrive on them, however, as I've written about before. And I don't think Mechner's points speak to these at all.
  • edited February 2010

    This'll be a short response to what I can respond to immediately while I think about the rest of your post. In regards to Prince of Persia, it was created almost 20 years ago, long before these rules were written. Even so, it follows a remarkable amount of these rules.

    Also: alternate options or pathways? Not in PoP that I remember.

    Prince of Persia contained an exceptional amount of alternate paths and options. They of course require a degree of exploration not commonly seen in today's games, but they are there from the very first room.

    You'd be surprised how many poignant scenes are present in Mechner's the Last Express; I am actually curious where you got the notion that any of these rules prohibit poignancy.

    In one heartbreaking scene, you sit next to your son and hope he says something to you. A schedule for his visit is pasted on the wall.

    This has a clearly expressed goal.

    EDIT: With regards to Indigo Prophecy, I found that scene incredibly ham-handed because it came immediately after a scene where I could not remember what the main character looked like and the police profiled it entirely wrong. I was not really in the role of my character because the writing was so shoddy, so I felt no compulsion to save the drowning kid or otherwise. Despite laying low and being completely unrecognized by the police, I was still arrested later. And then the giant invisible cockroaches started chasing my character and that was the first time I turned the game off in disgust. Every act of actual narrative interest IP committed was quickly undone by something unbelievably childish and stupid. Practicing imaginary guitar by playing simon says did not have any emotional or narrative impetus for me. Why can't my character just be a bad guitarist? Why does he have to be this mary sue matrix superhero that can also 'rock out' on the 'guitar' in his improbably large New York Studio Apartment?

    Yes, this is a game which provided me with a choice of whether to save a random drowning kid. It shouted at me from the rooftops, look a choice that would change the story. It didn't change the story, and the choice rang hollow. Deus Ex provided me with the choice of whether to stay and save my brother or run away(This is a spoiler, most people that have played the game never know that this is even possible) but it doesn't shove this choice in your face, it doesn't invoke a quick time event and it is a much more powerful event when (If) you succeed. It DOES change the story, quite significantly AND it determines the kind of character I am playing in a way that a binary throw away choice "Would you save a kid if you had matrix superpowers and no risk of getting caught by the police, or wouldn't you?" utterly fails.

  • Hmm... Looks like an interesting, well presented story with a fun level of interactivity. I'm looking forward to it.
  • edited February 2010
    Why not just do it FMV? At least it'll look good. You could do Heavy Rain as a blue-ray DVD game.

    I weep for the state of the art.

    Now THIS, my friends, is something. Made in six days.
  • Posted By: Christian Griffen
    Let me get philosophical for a moment here. In a few million years, our sun is going to explode. After that, whatever humanity ever did will be gone. The state of the universe will be the same whether we existed on this planet or not, whether we made good or bad choices. Nothing has permanent consequences in our universe. So saying that what we as people do only has meaning due to lasting consequences doesn't make sense to me. Instead, I find meaning in choices as they happen. It matters now, in the moment. It matters that I chose to shared my muffins with that homeless guy outside of Go Play NW's venue. It matters that I broke up with my first girlfriend in a way she really didn't deserve. Even as those choices have no permanently lasting consequences or affect how my life story ends. Consider this a deontology-vs-teleology thing, if you want, but I think choices matter much more than consequences.
    Speak for yourself. My progeny will have jumped ship and gone on to conquer the galaxy long, long, long before the sun goes out. Obviously your problem is that you're not taking a long enough view on game critique, which leads you to godless relativism.

    As for choices in games, seems to me like you're simply talking of different kinds of choices. Choices as a tool of immersion is a different thing than choices as a tool of game-play: the former works on the theory that making a choice forces a player into an in-character perspective, enforcing immersion. The latter proposition is that games are interactive frameworks, and thus need players to have impactful choices that not only influence the end-state of the game, but allow the player to see the influence he is having. These two things are so different that I don't even try to critique all things called "games" against the same standards. If a "game" is actually an immersive "interactive movie" (a thoroughly debased term, that, as it devalues the idea of interactivity by definition) like many video games nowadays are, then calling it out for not having significant choices is foolish; the important thing is whether the choices the game proffers are successful in supporting an immersion, not whether they matter the way they would in a real game.
  • edited February 2010
    Jared.
    Thanks for the link.
    That was sweet, sweet.
    (Not in an "adorable" awwww kind of way. I mean, "Sweet," as in "Look at the sweet ass on that girl" kind of way.
  • And really, whether or not Heavy Rain manages to provide meaningful and/or immersive choices, one thing that seems unlikely from the promo materials out so far is that it will provide interesting and/or entertaining gameplay. They make a really, really big deal out of how you use the controls to do all of these little things, but the question of "Is it rewarding to do these things?" seems to be very carefully not mentioned.

    That's really the bottom line there. There are all kinds of ways that people can experience great stories, but whatever way you choose should fit your medium. If you're writing a book, it should be readable and the best reading experience it can be. If you're making a song, it should be listenable and the best listening experience it can be. And if it's a game, then by god, it should be playable, and be the best gaming experience it can be. That's a vital element of what you're promising when you make a video game, and if you don't deliver it, you have just made a bad game.

    Maybe I'm wrong, and shaking the controller to brush your teeth is fucking awesome. It seems unlikely, though, and if their pre-release hype machine wants to sell me this game, they've really got to step forward and convince me that they're not going to bury this wonderfully immersive story they're talking about beneath a giant steaming pile of crappy gameplay.
  • How do you like the idea that what we're seeing here is more of an interactive movie, AfT? I mean, I've chosen this stance myself largely because I feel the same way you do - I abhor non-game games that become more common every day, and the creeping triumph of superficial gloss over what once seemed like the next great form of art, and a completely unique one at that, the video game. Regardless of my feelings on the matter, however, I can't really say that something like this is necessarily a bad game - if it's doing exactly what the creator wants it to do, and that thing happens to be something I'm not interested in - why should I start claiming some objective badness for the work just because it's called "game", like I had some ownership over the word? Rather, this thing should be evaluated on its own merits, and if it's actually a great piece of art in this new genre of immersive game / interactive movie, then more glory to it as such.
  • Posted By: Accounting for TasteThey make a really, really big deal out of how you use the controls to do all of these little things, but the question of "Is it rewarding to do these things?" seems to be very carefully not mentioned.
    Just like in the promo materials for every other game released in recent memory. The implicit promise is that it is rewarding to do these things. Just like the implicit promise in the new Street Fighter game is that it's rewarding to mash six abstract buttons in order to make your cartoon avatar jerk and spasm in ways that kind of resemble fighting. You won't find a disclaimer at the end of the Street Fighter trailer that reads "by the way, this is meant to be rewarding".
    Posted By: Accounting for TasteThat's really the bottom line there. There are all kinds of ways that people can experience great stories, but whatever way you choose should fit your medium. If you're writing a book, it should be readable and the best reading experience it can be. If you're making a song, it should be listenable and the best listening experience it can be. And if it's a game, then by god, it should be playable, and be the best gaming experience it can be. That's a vital element of what you're promising when you make a video game, and if you don't deliver it, you have just made abad game.
    Your assuming that just because the game isn't built the way that you would prefer it to be built that it won't be a rewarding and worthwhile experience. That's what your doing. Your ignoring that there's no correct way to build a game and play experience. From everything I've seen and read about the game (including everything I've read here) the game is very playable, and looks to be a very interesting experience. is it "the best gaming experience it can be"? I have no idea, and won't till I play it. But it won't be a bad game just because it fails to cater to your personal preferences (although it may well do nothing for you for just that reason).
  • Okay, dude, seriously: I think I've thrown more than enough qualifiers into everything I've written in this thread to make it clear that I'm only judging Heavy Rain by its promotional materials, and I would hope that anyone who is paying even a little bit of attention would be able to tell how I feel about pre-release hype.

    So before anyone else decides to pick up their sword and shield and defend Heavy Rain's honor, let me say it again: I have not played this game, and therefore whatever insult (real or imagined) I can inflict upon it is totally inconsequential. All I can say, all I've ever said, is that based on what they've shown of it, it does not seem to be a game whose basic mechanics would be fun.

    They're pitching it as an adventure game, apparently, but the videos on display so far seem to have precious little of what I would call an adventure game; it looks more like an interactive movie, as Eero says. And if that's what it actually is, then sure, let's not judge it by the same standards we'd judge an adventure game by; but again, I'm going to say that it should be a good interactive movie, as good as it can be, and I would particularly want its interactive component to be something that is entertaining and rewarding in some way, so that it doesn't feel like useless padding. What they've shown of the interactive stuff so far hasn't looked all that entertaining (but has looked a lot like useless padding), and I freely admit to being irked by that.

    So there it is: I admit to wanting the game to be good and fun and entertaining, and that I am not pleased when what I see so far doesn't convince me that it will be. It doesn't even look that innovative, except in how far it dives into the quick-time event mechanic and how many background objects you can interact with. Furthermore, I admit to wanting entertainment products to be good, to wanting to enjoy them, and I even confess to having particular feelings on the subject of what makes something good or not. I know, I'm an awful person. Call the internet police -- I'll go quietly, I promise!

    Or, y'know, we can both just chill out, wait for it to be released, and see which one of us guessed right about how good it would be. :P
  • Posted By: Accounting for TasteSo before anyone else decides to pick up their sword and shield and defendHeavy Rain's honor
    That's kind of what Tulpa asked for at the end of the OP :)

    But yeah, at this point we're probably stuck with "We'll have to see how it turns out." I was just pointing out that the whole "you always have to have a goal" and "watching a video isn't part of the story" and "only if it changes the whole story in a meaningful way with consequences later is it important" bit doesn't always apply to the way I experience stories in video games.
  • edited February 2010
    Posted By: TulpaDeus Ex provided me with the choice of whether to stay and save my brother or run away(This is a spoiler, most people that have played the game never know that this is even possible) but it doesn't shove this choice in your face, it doesn't invoke a quick time event and it is a much more powerful event when (If) you succeed. It DOES change the story, quite significantly AND it determines the kind of character I am playing in a way that a binary throw away choice "Would you save a kid if you had matrix superpowers and no risk of getting caught by the police, or wouldn't you?" utterly fails.
    WTF!? You can save your brother!? I think I tried about a dozen times before I decided that it was impossible and gave up . . .

    Edit: Never mind, scratch that. It's been way too long since I played that game.
  • Promo materials and marketing are inherently deceptive and you should not believe anything they say on any subject, forever.
  • Posted By: FigureFourWTF!? You can save your brother!? I think I tried about a dozen times before I decided that it was impossible and gave up . . .
    The funniest part about this is that your brother is invincible during that entire sequence; a perfectly valid strategy for "saving" him turns out to be hiding in the closet and letting him slaughter every single son of a bitch who dares to lay eyes on him. As long as you never go out that window and don't get yourself killed, he'll be just fine.
  • If you haven't seen Sunglasses At Night, the Deus Ex "anti-walkthrough", you must.

    Excerpts:

    "None of the Augmented in the game can be considered truly normal. In the case of Paul Denton, the result is cowardice, paranoia and confusion about which side he's on. Page and Simons have an irresitable urge to take over the world, in true 'Pinky and the Brain' style. Anna and Hermann have a fetishistic dress sense and no morals. For JC, the effect is nothing short of a full-blown psychosis, as we shall soon see!"

    "You should see a terrorist through the door. Jump around to get him excited and pan his head in with the crowbar when he comes close."

    "If you have any doubts about using explosives aboard 747, dispel them. This airliner is the late 2040s revision made by General Products and is totally indestructable (even the tyres). The self-healing subsystems in the fabric of the airframe will automatically tidy up everything, even the burn-marks and juice when Anna gets blown to kibble."

    "Ready your weapon of choice, speak with Paul, and slam spacebar like a madman. The screen will go and stay white for a very long time as the effects of your omnipotence are felt by the fleshlings throughout the building."

    "Once you've succeeded, go back up the fire escape to pick up Lebedev. Climb up on to the top of the hotel and walk off into space to end it all. Do not use explosives or Lebedev will get broken. If you are not burdened with Lebedev, attach two or more explosives to a nearby wall and use a crowbar on them, for something that everyone should try at least once. Now you are in jail (even if your body was diced into red chunks by the explosives!). All your posessions have been taken.. except Lebedev!"

    "Now, as a final touch, take the basketball from Jock's apartment and throw it into Maggie's penthouse to give the police a clue to puzzle over. The Basketball Killer has struck!"
  • Here's why I'm excited about Heavy Rain:

    It looks like a story is being told in a fairly modern setting while trying to be realistic enough to be relatable. The graphic design of it looks to be classy looking and elegant. I can't stand looking at all the boxes and options and buttons on World of Warcraft, and this looks to be nicely clean.

    It looks like a game of small moments. That's awesome. I haven't really seen that in a video game.

    As far as the interactivity of it? I won't know until I play it, but I enjoy movies as well as games and if this veers more towards one than the other, that's fine. If it sucks, I'll let you know.
  • edited February 2010

    Quick Update: The Heavy Rain demo is out, you have the choice of either playing a short web-based alternate reality game or cheating to get the PS3 demo download code. Keep in mind that the download code is region specific; the first few comments point to the correct link for US people. I'd love to hear thoughts on it (As it is quite obvious I am a little bit bothered that the game is taken seriously at all.)

    As a side note, a person on another forum made a pretty apt comparison, David Cage is pretty much Gaming's Tommy Wiseau. This is pretty much where my main concern comes from. A game of quiet, moving moments with limited interactivity would be totally fine if I could trust David Cage to be a good storyteller. I just don't see it, he's got the ego and talent of any number of B-movie directors but trapped in the realm of videogames.

  • Posted By: TulpaA game of quiet, moving moments with limited interactivity would be totally fine if I could trust David Cage to be a good storyteller. I just don't see it, he's got the ego and talent of any number of B-movie directors but trapped in the realm of videogames.
    I think we're on the same page now :) My hopes are based on the optimism that they learned from the IP experience and feedback, but of course, chances are I'm wrong.

    Thanks for the links, I'll go check it out.
  • So, the demo is out, and early reviews are giving it pretty high marks: 90%+. Hmmm. Now my curiosity is definitely piqued.

    -Andy
  • edited February 2010
    The Heavy Rain sex scene is ghastly and hilarious.
  • I played the demo earlier today. I'm liking it a lot. It positively drips with atmosphere. And no, most of the things you do aren't "brushing your teeth" :)
  • edited February 2010
    Posted By: RemiThe Heavy Rain sex scene is ghastly and hilarious.
    Indeed. I guess David Cage still has some kind of bandage fetish, although at least this time the guy isn't an ice-cold reanimated corpse, a la Indigo Prophecy. (I hope not, anyway.)

    The demo left me...a little nonplussed. It's not terrible -- it seemed like an average-quality adventure-ish game with good atmosphere, and the controller mechanics are a bit obtrusive and not much fun (but still miles ahead of Indigo Prophecy's Simon-Says quicktime events). I'm going to have to wait for the word on the full game, I guess; the demo didn't blow it, but it didn't make the sale, either.
  • I do not currently own a playstation 3, can anyone tell me about how the demo breaks with the conventions of reality by including a character with magic sci fi detective glasses or something? I haven't heard much about that.

    The Heavy Rain sex scene is ghastly and hilarious.

    hold 3 buttons and twiddle the joystick to remove a bra. I wish this was meant as a dated joke but I remain uncertain.

    Have difficulty trusting review scores because Sony has been blacklisting sites for giving low scores (Keep in mind this is video games, a low score is 6-7.)

  • Posted By: Tulpacan anyone tell me about how the demo breaks with the conventions of reality by including a character with magic sci fi detective glasses or something?
    The FBI character gets to "search" for clues by sending out this circle of light, and when you find something, you get this list of data about blood type and so on. It's definitely a weird way to do it, and one I could have done without.
  • edited February 2010

    Ah so it's basically one of those awkward fashionable bullet point features? I can think of at least two other games in the last few years that had a sci fi style 'detective mode'. Batman and Condemned.

    EDIT: Shame something as well suited as the video game(being primarily visual) will never have any hardcore investigating, I could go for some awesomeness by analysis.

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