Why Heavy Rain Needs To Succeed As A Genre

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When Heavy Rain’s gameplay tech demo was first shown two years ago, I wasn’t impressed. The game looked like a bunch of quicktime events in scripted way. Either you press this button and Option A happens or you don’t and Option B happens. Since then with all the media that has come out and information that has been released to the public, I can admit that I was very wrong. You control your character (in terms of walking),  you have multiple choices in what you can do, and your character can die but the story goes on.

After seeing all these new trailers, all I can say is “Thank God!”. This is the type of game genre that I have been waiting for when it comes to gaming. I know to many gamers that story and choices don’t mean as much as gameplay and graphics, but to me story either makes a game AAA or just another good game. There are two problems, in my opinion, with story in games. The first is the long stretches of gameplay where there is no story, and second that many games don’t capture those ‘wow’ moments when you are still in control of your character. What I mean, is that many times when something amazing happens in a game 7 out of 10 times that is shown through a cut scene. While those cut scenes are fine in most games, what can really push games is being able to fully interact and make those wow moments yourself with your chocies.

I love video games, obviously, but sometimes I wonder if I actually like video game trailers more than the actual game itself. A perfect example of this is the upcoming title, Red Dead: Redemption. Yeah, the gameplay in this upcoming open world game looks fantastic when it comes to classic gaming standards, but go back and watch the cinematic trailers. The cinematic trailer a few weeks ago, reminds me of something like a ‘Good, The Bad, and The Ugly’ (One of the greatest movies ever). While the game looks to be great as well, I’m not sure if the game will ever capture the emotion and badassness of those trailers.  Now what if someone made a game like Redemption with gameplay we’ve seen in Heavy Rain….

This is where ‘Heavy Rain’ comes in and why I hope this game on it’s own spawns off a new genre of gaming. Heavy Rain is cinematic gameplay at it’s finest from what we’ve seen. They took what has made BioWare games so great (choice) and taken it to the next level. Have you ever seen a movie and you wanted to see how this situation would have played out if Character A did something different, or if in games you could control some famous moments in gaming? The great thing for me, and I think many gamers like me, is that Heavy Rain can be set in any world and at any timeline.

The game allows for interactive moments at all times (you are never taken out of the game) and  no unnecessary filler since every moment affects the person and the story. How many times have you played a game and just been prompted to destory an onslaught of enemies for about an hour before you progress story wise? This happens way too much today. Or how about you need to get from Point A to Point B to talk to someone. Well, that takes about 10 mins of you just running across the map (coughFarCry2cough) doing nothing productive.

I still love games like Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, God of War, etc. but there is only so much shooting and killing for no interesting reason I can take. The focus of those games are the gameplay. While it’s great to kill 500 enemies with a couple button presses, I think it would also be cool to interact with a deep story and character progression that affects real life. I don’t think the ‘Heavy Rain’ genre needs to go into games like God of War or Final Fantasy, but rather base them off things like the wild west, The Departed, or even a Godfather type game.

Share your opinions, if you see what I mean and if you think that more game developers should look into Heavy Rain as a genre  instead of just one game that Quantic Dreams is developing. I think it would really push the genre forward if we have the side of gaming that is action-fun, and the other side that is engaging and moving. We’d be one step closer to something like the movie industry if we supported this product and gameplay style.

(Preface: Yes, another one. I just wanted to say that I’ve never played Indigo Prophecy so I’m not sure how the gameplay differs or is the same as Heavy Rain.)

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