Thursday, May 27, 2010

Heavy Rain and Firefly

Heavy Rain Without going into too much detail, Heavy Rain is a groundbreaking game.  It’s ingenious, even.  Like many games before it, every choice affects the overall story, some causing little ripples in the yarn and others completely changing the outcome.  There are four main characters, each with different things going on in their lives.  Gameplay is essentially controlling everyday actions of the characters, from cooking food to taking a shower.  You control what they say, what they think, and how they act.  Basically, it’s a very personal and engrossing game, and I can’t help but feel connected to these people. 

A serial killer, dubbed the Origami Killer, has kidnapped one man’s (Ethan) son.  He gets a box full of clues that pose the question “how far would you go to save your son?”  Meanwhile, a private detective is investigating the killer by interviewing past victims’ parents.  Another character is an FBI profiler, and the last is an insomniac woman.

I haven’t played the game much, actually I’m only a few hours in, but I’m already loving it.  I’ve never been so tense and cautious about my characters.  See, in Heavy Rain, there are no do-overs, no restarts.  The game saves automatically after everything, and if one of the characters die, the story continues on.  This may cause you to miss vital clues to unraveling the Origami Killer’s identity, or it might result in the death of Ethan’s son, but it doesn’t matter.  To my understanding, the game can be completed with any combination of any characters surviving, from all to none.

heavy-rain-4 I say all this because as I was playing last night, I had two moments that made me shake my head and groan.  First, I was playing as the insomniac for the first time, and she woke up during the middle of the night.  She walks around the apartment, trying to get sleepy.  After a shower she steps out of the bathroom and something runs across the screen.  She notices the fridge door is opened and she tenses up.  In these tense moments, the character’s thoughts and actions are very important, but they’re also more difficult to control.  Menus get blurry and shaky, and it’s a bit harder to decide what to do.    She goes to close the fridge, freaking out but thinking she’s dreaming from her lack of sleep.  Unfortunately, she wasn’t, and some masked men suddenly attack her.  I start fighting them, but miss a few buttons off and on.  Eventually I run into a room and look for something to defend myself, but someone sneaks up behind me and slits my throat.  I can’t describe the sickening feeling in my gut knowing that I just killed a main character the first time I used her!  (Thankfully, that’s not all to the story, so I’ll keep the rest a secret.)

The second thing involved the FBI profiler.  He entered a man’s house to ask him some questions.  The guy is a bit loony, evidenced by a house full of crucifixes hanging everywhere and covering every square inch of the walls.  Eventually the agent’s partner threatens the man to try and get a confession and the man feels scared and pulls a gun on my partner.  I pull a gun on him and we’re in a bit of a stand-off.  This guys convinced my partner’s the antichrist; I’m trying to talk him out of it so no-one gets hurt.  All the while, the only thing keeping the man alive is me not pushing the R1 button.  After several very tense moments of conversation, I convince the man to put his gun down and turn around to be cuffed.  At this moment I turn to tell Keisha something, as she’s engrossed as well, and the music suddenly tenses.  I look back to the screen and see the R1 button still up, and not thinking, I press it, instantly putting a bullet through the now weaponless man.  The shock on both my face and the character’s face was identical: open mouthed and silent.  I honestly felt horrible after killing the man, all because my lack of focus.

I don’t know how my game will end.  There are like nine different endings or something for Heavy Rain, and I plan to try and play through them all.  For now, I’m stuck with my actions, and hopefully will find out more later on tonight.  If you’re looking for a game that’ll keep you glued to your seat, Heavy Rain is it.

fireflyFirefly is one of the best television shows ever, and currently Amazon is running a special on the Blu-ray set.  I’m pretty sure I’m going to get it, as it’s only $27 for the entire series, and that’s 60% off the list price.  If you’re looking for a great deal on this series and you have a Blu-ray player, you might want to check this out before the deal expires.  Anyway, I need to get a Blu-ray for myself, cause the only ones at Stewartland right now are Snow White and New Moon.


Carl V. said...

One of these days the budget will open up and I'll be getting the whole Blu-ray setup. This is a set I will most certainly want to own. Hopefully by that time they will have gotten their act together and have put out the Extended Editions of Lord of the Rings on Blu-ray and not just the theatrical versions. I need those bad!

That game sounds great. Don't have a PS3 to play it on (obviously, or I'd have the whole Blu-ray thing taken care of). Wish it was out for XBox as I'd want to snap up a copy.

logankstewart said...

@Carl: I've only had my PS3 for a few months, but I love it. Blu-rays are generally too expensive to rent or purchase, but occasionally you find a good bargain. As for the games, I like them much better than anything else I own or have owned.

Carl V. said...

A couple of years ago a friend gave me his extra X-Box 360 and a small HDTV and I've been really enjoying it these past few years. I am a long time computer gamer and hadn't really enjoyed console gaming until technology got to this level. I still miss playing on the PC (my gaming rig died a couple of years ago), but there are several games on the X-Box that are making up for the loss. My plan is, whenever it comes to buying blu-ray, to get a PS3 so that I can get both the DVD and gaming benefits in one.

logankstewart said...

Wow, an extra 360 just laying around? Sweet. I couldn't really afford a ps3, but I found a deal to buy a brand new 360 for $99, which I did, and then turned around and sold it on ebay for $160 or so. With the extra cash made and the moot point of having already spent $100, I found a new ps3 on ebay that came with 2 brand new games, one of which I (again) sold on ebay for $50. So technically, I bought my ps3 for less than what it would have cost at a store by around $120 or so, and to me, that was justified.

I've been satisfied with the Blu-ray on it, and the upconverting of DVDs has been great, too.

If/when you decide to go the ps3 route, and if you're willing to do some searching, ebay is a great place to find some deals.

Carl V. said...

Hey, those are some sweet deals. I'll keep that in mind when the time comes.

Yes, it was really nice of that friend. He wanted us to be able to do some cooperative gaming together and so he made it happen and I got to reap the benefits of getting a current console system without having to spend the money. I've spent some money on games since then, of course.