Delayed Reactions – Heavy Rain Demo
Please note: this is a review of the Demo only.
A few days ago, I downloaded the demo for Heavy Rain. I have just now placed my pre-order at Best Buy for Heavy Rain. This should give you an idea of how well I liked it. Heavy Rain is a treatise in interactive storytelling the likes I have never seen before. My avatar’s fate hinges on every split second reaction, decision, and (ultimately) blunder I make…and I love it. The game provides a very unique way of taking my input not as blatant button presses, but as a subconscious decisions. In some cases, I was unaware of the decision I’d made until it was already done.
It seems that every door in this hallway holds a secret. Behind some, I can hear the sound of people screwing, people coughing. I approached the door to a woman’s apartment, a woman whose child had been murdered by the serial killer I am investigating. I have to be careful about what I do or say to make sure she feels trusting enough to give me the information I need. Any wrong move and this emotionally distraught woman will close me off. She opens the door just a crack, distrustful. She looks at me and tells me to get an “appointment”, then closes door.
Before I know it, a subtle prompt appears, a prompt I was pressing — knowing full well in my head what would happen if I triggered it. Still, an impulse took over, one that transcended the controller in my hand, coming from a real place in my mind. My hand shoots out and forcefully stops her from closing the door. I felt a quick, almost unconscious sense of regret over what I’d done. I was acting quickly, hastily where subtlety and delicacy were required. I held my breath a little ,hoping she didn’t see this as an act of hostility (and she easily could have). She seemed startled by my quick action, but my voice seemed to ring true and safe to her. Thankfully, she let me in.
Every decision I made from here on out felt the same way, like planting the seeds that would precipitate all things to come: the friends and enemies I make, the clues I catch or miss. The short time I had with the game gave me real emotion, real empathy and concern. There is an artistry to the player’s interaction that I cannot wait to really sink my teeth into. This is a game that nearly opens the door for a new genre and I want to be there to celebrate it. February 23rd, here I come.