Heavy Rain is an intense third-person cinematic thriller where you play as four unique main characters, each with their own intertwining story-line. Full of interactivity and tough player choices, Heavy Rain tells a bleak and depressing tale of an untamed serial murderer known as the Origami Killer. As you explore your surroundings and try to make connections between clues and evidence, you'll slowly uncover the true identity of the Origami Killer. However, things are not as simple as they seem, as one wrong decision might result in death. In Heavy Rain, the story continues whether or not a character survives, so you'll need to do your best to stay alive. Thanks to its engaging mystery, great characters, and abundance of branching paths, Heavy Rain ends up being one of the best serial killer stories ever made.
Main Game Features
- Four distinct playable characters
- Both motion controls and traditional controls
- Multiple endings
Heavy Rain follows four main characters: a single father named Ethan, an FBI agent named Norman, a journalist named Madison, and a private eye named Scott. At the beginning of the game, Ethan's son Jason is hit by a car during a family trip to the mall, sending him into a spiraling depression. As Ethan spends time with his other son Shaun, he begins to experience blackouts. When Shaun disappears while playing at the playground, Ethan fears that a child-murderer known as the Origami Killer may be responsible. Refusing to let his son die at the hands of a cold-blooded killer, Ethan sets out to discover the truth behind Shaun's disappearance.
While Ethan mostly acts as the “main” character in Heavy Rain, you'll spend a significant amount of time playing as the other three listed characters. The other characters are also investigating the Origami Killer case, using different methods and tactics. As the story progresses, the character and sub-plots eventually align, painting a larger picture with bigger secrets. Depending on what choices you make during your playthrough, there are over a dozen available endings to discover. If you want to figure out the true identity of the Origami Killer and achieve complete closure, it'll take a few playthroughs.
Due to the immense focus on the narrative and dialogue, Heavy Rain often plays more like an interactive movie than an adventure game. Certain sections of the game allow you to freely walk around in a third-person perspective, interacting with your environment and doing some light puzzle solving. For example, one section sees you investigating a crime scene and collecting evidence as Norman, while another has you spending the day at home and completing chores as Ethan.
During cutscenes and non-free roam sections, you'll have to successfully complete various quick-time-events to avoid danger. Although you can fail these QTEs on occasion, you'll want to be as accurate as possible, because one mistake can potentially kill off your character. If your choices end up killing one of the main characters, there is no “Game Over”. The story simply branches in another direction and continues. While other games offer multiple endings and important player choices, there are few games where permanent death can have such a large impact on the story.
There are plenty of highly cinematic adventure games available, including Uncharted, The Last of Us, and more. That said, few games reach the level of drama and excitement that Heavy Rain does. It's a story that's admittedly dark and depressing, but the mystery it offers is far too enticing to pass up. There are a few moments that fail to live up to expectation, but generally speaking, it's a thrilling ride from start to finish. Despite the overuse of quick-time-events, Heavy Rain is one of the most engaging mystery games in recent memory.
- Player decisions make a big impact
- Gripping narrative
- Surprising twists and turns
- Perma-death can be frustrating
- Not every ending is satisfying
- Some awkward voice acting
Download Heavy Rain
In the style of Quantic's surprise hit Indigo Prophecy (PS2/XB), the story--not some slick fighting mechanic or online multiplayer mode--receives top billing here. But you won't get some weird Matrixy plot twist like in the developer's last adventure game; Heavy Rain promises to be completely grounded in reality with a very emotional cast. But can the game get us grabbing for a Kleenex, too?