Tips for playing Heavy Rain

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You probably know him better as Stop from The Stoppable Force, but occasionally, Phil plays other games, too (and writes about them!). After all, you can’t play with just one.

No doubt at least a few of you are considering picking up the latest game from Quantic Dream, Heavy Rain. Heck, I can think of at least three of us here at Polygamerous who’ll probably be getting it. Unfortunately, a lot of people are probably going to end up disappointed with their experience, because unless you know what you’re getting into, you’re not going to have a satisfying gaming experience playing Heavy Rain.

Luckily, I’m here to help you with that with two tips that should improve your experience.heavy_rain

Tip 1: Manage Your Expectations

Did you play Fahrenheit (aka Indigo Prophecy)? If so, you might know what you’re in for with Heavy Rain. If not, I’ll break it down for you: David Cage and Quantic Dream don’t make traditional games. If you like playing a game solely for the story, this is the production company for you. Quantic Dream games place a lot of value on the plot, the setting, and the characters – not always so much on the gameplay. Some segments of Fahrenheit were basically glorified games of Simon, while others were quick-time events of the “Press X to Not Die” type.

Heavy Rain appears to have fixed this a bit, with its gameplay seeming to fit better with David Cage’s intention of having motions on a controller mimic the actual actions on-screen. However, the reason this is such a big step is because this really isn’t just a standard game. From day 1, Heavy Rain has been promoted as a “Hollywood-level film noir experience.” Notice the key word there: experience. You’re going to be making decisions and using a controller like you’re in a game, but what Quantic Dream really wants to do is draw you into the world of Heavy Rain. Connect with the characters. Really get into it.

The problem, which you might have read in other reviews, is that Heavy Rain starts out really, really slowly. I mean really slowly. Brushing-your-teeth, taking-your-kid-to-the-mall slowly. Don’t give up! This is all part of the experience of drawing you into the world that QD has created to set their story in, and helps you connect to Ethan Mars, Scott Shelby, and the rest of the cast. Which leads me to step 2…

Tip 2: Don’t Spoil Yourself

I think Ars Technica’s Ben Kuchera put it best: “It may also be a good idea to become something of an Internet monk until you buy and finish the game.” A lot of sites have been throwing spoilers around willy-nilly with regards to Heavy Rain (Ars has one of the spoiler-free reviews) and you can end up ruining the experience for yourself if you’re not careful. Stay away from Heavy Rain spoilers. Every movie’s better if you don’t know what’s going to happen in advance.

Further Reading

The above linked AT article on playing Heavy Rain has more good ideas, including picking an appropriate difficulty level – that way you guarantee that the story you’re seeing is based on your decisions and not the PS3 “going easy on you” or keeping you from ever succeeding – and not reloading because you make a decision you don’t like the outcome of. I highly recommend reading it.

So who out there is going to be picking up Heavy Rain? Let us know what you think of it (but, please, spoiler-free)!

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About PhilU

Phil, better known as Stop from The Stoppable Force, has been blogging since 1999 and gaming for even longer than that. He is avidly polygamerous, splitting his time between a PC, PS3, PSP, and DSi, with a Dreamcast and an SNES hooked up and ready to go. (Resquiescat in pace, Xbox 360.) He is a fan of MMOs, JRPGs, action-adventure games, and is terrible at first-person shooters. Phil will talk your ear off about the Shin Megami Tensei series if you let him. Phil will be your friend on the PSN if you like – his PSN username is PhilCharisma.