Fatherhood is a topic that is most often avoided in video games because it is quite complex and does not leave much room for entertainment. However, the team of the French studio Quantic Dreams decided to take the challenge to work on this topic in a respectable way, through a serious story about a father struggling with the loss of a child. Twelve years ago, they launched Heavy Rain, an adventure that was then exclusive to the PlayStation 3.
Interestingly, this exclusivity for the Sony console was not initially planned. Heavy Rain was initially offered to Microsoft, but they refused to fund the project due to controversial topics such as child abduction. At Sony, they had a different opinion, and the Quantic Dream game was used to demonstrate what was achievable with the help of the PS3 console.
Heavy Rain was a graphically attractive game 12 years ago, despite its gloomy atmosphere. The film presentation was also contributed by professional actors who modeled the characters, and at the highest level was the music that the composer had to make in just two months.
The story of Heavy Raina followed four different characters whose paths were intertwined. It was a detective story about Origami Killer, a person who kidnapped children and gave their parents difficult challenges, for a reason we won't tell you. With the tension until the very end, Heavy Rain delighted the players with a series of possible conclusions of the story. Each of the four characters thus had three to seven possible outcomes of the story.
And while Heavy Rain’s story was commendable, the gameplay brought much less satisfaction. The adventure was mostly quick-time sequences and quick keystrokes in a certain time roll. Sometimes it looked silly or comical, like in a scene where my father and I had to look for our son in the middle of the mall, calling him with the x key. The same scene quickly became a mem - press x to Jason.
When there were no QTE segments, character management was rather clumsy, and subsequent support for PlayStation Move controllers didn't help. Still, Heavy Rain is an example of a game where the story made up for gameplay flaws, and this title was well-received by audiences, selling over five million copies.
Six years after its initial appearance, Heavy Rain has been remastered for the Playstation 4 console. The same remaster also served as the foundation for the PC version that appeared in mid-2019, first on the Epic Games Store and a year later on Steam.