At number 1 we have Quantic Dream’s interactive drama, psychological action thriller game Heavy Rain; a game that is truly innovative, David Cage and the Quantic Dream team created an experience unlike anything seen before!
Hello everyone and welcome to Top 25 Must-Plays, the place where you can read about video games, well-known and well-hidden!
All of these choices from number 25 to 1 have well-shaped characters, immersive story lines or something unique that really sets them apart from everything else. Each weekday a new game will be revealed until we reach #1.
Play video games for an immersive experience? Then hopefully you will enjoy these recommendations!
Quantic Dream’s 2010 interactive drama, psychological action/thriller game, exclusively for the Playstation 3 – Heavy Rain.
Check out the trailer!
How far would you go to save someone you love?
The Origami Killer has left a city terrorized.
The police are running out of leads.
And now a new victim has disappeared…
The tension-soaked hunt for Shaun Mars will lead four unconnected people into a dangerous battle of wits, where each will be confronted by the same question: how far are you prepared to go for love?
Play all four lead roles in this gripping psychological thriller where every action you take has consequences. Your decisions affect how the plot unfolds. Who will live? Who will die? How this story ends is entirely up to you. Your smallest decisions can change everything.
Some people will read this and wonder why on Earth Heavy Rain is number one in this list; met with much adoration, this title was also met with a lot of criticism, some think that it shouldn’t even be classed as a video game. Is it the most immersive game ever created? Or an interactive movie? You must play it first to decide, which is ultimately why Heavy Rain is number one in this count-down.
The gameplay is split into two types: real-time movement and Quicktime interaction.
Players can move around the environment by holding down the R2 button whilst using the left analog sick for directional “steering”. Whilst exploring your surroundings, it is also possible to tune into the playable characters’ thoughts, interact with the environment such as picking up a book or looking through a window, and sometimes the camera will change into “split screen mode”. It is also during real-time movement that players can use ARI (when playing Norman Jayden). The “added reality interface” allows players to snoop around for clues and DNA evidence at a crime scene that you can access and examine at your leisure. The movement of Heavy Rain plays like most other games with a few interesting features mixed in.
But the interaction of Heavy Rain is in a league all of its own.
To interact with an object or complete a motion, the player is prompted by a specific action on-screen. Some of these include shaking the controller, performing an indicated movement with the right analog stick, or pressing specific buttons when they appear. In an action sequence however, the scenario plays out like a film, whilst the player must complete the prompted actions to succeed/progress. Don’t get these actions right and things go terribly wrong.
To many, this felt as though it pulled the player out from behind the wheel and dumped them in the passenger’s seat. These “glorified quick time events” didn’t sit well will some. I personally thought it was a fresh, enjoyable and challenging addition. Don’t get an action right and it may result in your death or a completely different outcome; if anything you are in complete control of the game.
That being said, there are many instances in the game where your actions can affect later levels or change the outcome entirely. Watching others play through the game, I noticed that many scenes from my own experience were missing and there were some scenarios I had never seen before!
The available choices in-game may not be infinite, but Heavy Rain has the most advanced “cause and effect” gameplay mechanic to date.
The fact that your characters can die also takes the tense gameplay to new heights! There are four roles in all to play, but if they all die before the game ends, you will never save Shaun Mars or find out who the killer is. It’s a notion that you can’t forget as you play through each life-or-death scenario. For example, in one scene you must drive against traffic and reach your destination within five minutes; as you are speeding down the highway, now slick with rain, narrowly screeching past trucks and police vehicles, you are thinking to yourself ‘I could die here.’ This very simple mechanic turns challenging levels into nail-bitingly horrifying ones. Because of this, players can truly immerse themselves in the gameplay.
And the story has all the intelligence and style of a well-made noir thriller.
At every twist and turn you are left wondering just who the killer might be and every character, though held back by their own fears and flaws, are likable. Madison Paige, Ethan Mars, Scott Shelby, Norman Jayden, even the supporting cast, have a realistic quality to them. They aren’t conventionally attractive or unattractive and have their own distinct personalities and habits. And the beautiful graphics just add to the realism if it all.
The score is also a wonderful addition to the one-of-a-kind gameplay experience. It has a dangerous, noir-style mood. There are heart-wrenching melodies and pulse-pounding tracks that play in the most tense of situations and every piece helps to build on the foundations of the game.
Not a single element in Heavy Rain is wasted. Like the concept or not, the narrative, score, gameplay and visuals stay true to the overall idea and it dares to be different!
A game that is truly innovative, David Cage and the Quantic Dream team created an experience unlike anything seen before. Love it or hate it, you must play this revolutionary title to decide!
Top 25 Index:
- #25: Rule of Rose
- #24: Dreamfall: The Longest Journey
- #23: Mirror’s Edge
- #22: Syberia
- #21: American McGee’s Alice
- #20: Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy
- #19: Assassin’s Creed
- #18: Beyond Good and Evil
- #17: Alan Wake
- #16: Kingdom Hearts
- #15: Forbidden Siren 2
- #14: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
- #13: Hitman: Blood Money
- #12: Rayman 2: The Great Escape
- #11: Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly aka Project Zero 2
- #10: Halo: Combat Evolved
- #9: Tomb Raider
- #8: ICO & Shadow of the Colossus
- #7: Resident Evil 4
- #6: Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
- #5: Metal Gear Solid
- #4: Doom 3
- #3: Silent Hill 2
- #2: Final Fantasy VII
- #1: Heavy Rain
Check out my full Heavy Rain review (and first video!)