One A Day, Day 41: Storm Passed

I just finished Heavy Rain. I’m intending on writing a more lengthy piece about it for BitMob over the next couple of days, but for now I’d just like to share some bullet-point thoughts with you all, hopefully without spoilers. In no particular order…

  • Agent Norman Jayden is the only character in the game who doesn’t pronounce the name “Norman” correctly.
  • Those facial animations are incredible. There’s a number of scenes where characters show “genuine” emotion.
  • I dig the fact that the interface conveys emotions. If a character is scared or nervous about something, the interaction icon for it wobbles about to varying degrees. Same for the “thoughts” you can pull up by pressing L2.
  • Say what you like about QTEs, Heavy Rain’s are some of the best around. Several of them actually left me with sweaty palms.
  • The integration of Sixaxis motion controls in the QTEs is a nice touch. Thumping someone around the head by actually slamming your controller into their face is immensely satisfying.
  • I didn’t think the voice acting (a common criticism) was that bad. The characters sounded like real people, which is something video game actors often forget. The simple fact that the characters puff, pant, wheeze, grunt and moan convincingly as well as just talking helps with this.
  • The camerawork is very realistic. I don’t think there were any parts where the camera stays completely “still”. It always has a slight “hand-held wobble” to it.
  • The game is genuinely emotionally engaging throughout. I can’t put my finger on why, but I know that once I started playing, I didn’t want to stop. As a result, I’ve finished it two days after acquiring it. With no regrets.
  • Finally we’ve got a game who can make CG characters cry reasonably convincingly…
  • …but still not kiss very well.
  • This is the first game I’ve seen where characters can actually put on and remove clothes without having to cut away to avoid animating cloth.
  • I’m now intrigued to try another playthrough, knowing what I know now. It likely won’t have the same emotional impact, but I’m interested to see if there were any… ahh… “clues” throughout.

Right. Enough, otherwise I’ll get into spoiler territory. Off to bed!

4 thoughts on “One A Day, Day 41: Storm Passed

  1. Jp

    I wonder if you’re more permissive of the voice acting because you’re from Europe. Other than being periodically wooden, the attempts at American accents were laughable.

    Reply
    1. angryjedi Post author

      Hmm, that hadn’t occurred to me. You could be right.

      Now you know how we feel about Hollywood British accents :)

      Reply
  2. JD

    The voice acting didn’t bother me either, and it surprised me how worked up about it some people got. There weren’t any moments that I recall that popped me out of the experience. The US is such a mélange of weird accents and mashups I don’t think anything sounds too strange any more. At least it wasn’t like the Americanized Europeans on Family Guy “yeah I totally drank 2 liters of beer and then walked a kilometer”

    Reply
    1. angryjedi Post author

      Yeah. I think it was pretty competent all round, and genuinely one of the most emotionally engaging games I’ve played recently. I saw Garnett putting it forward as his “game of the year” contender for this very reason.

      I’ve certainly seen worse movies, too. :)

      Reply

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