Reader Review: Heavy Rain

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Matt does, as he takes a carton of orange juice from the fridge and then puts it back.

Yes, that’s right, we’re now publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.

And thanks to the very kind chaps at Madman Entertainment, purveyor of all kinds of cool, indie and esoteric film, the best reader review we publish each month will win a prize pack containing ten of the latest Madman DVD releases.

This review was submitted by Matt Cirina. If you’ve played Heavy Rain, or just want to ask Matt more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Heavy Rain (PS3)

Generating discussion around the web is Sony's latest exclusive "Heavy Rain." Does it carry the joy of a waterslide? Or is it nothing but a wet blanket?


The Characters: They grew on me and I admit, I got attached. I loved them all, from the tired swagger of the old private detective, to the FBI agent who could have been a dead ringer for some estranged relative of Agent Cooper from Twin Peaks.

The Graphics: While there were many visits to uncanny valley through Heavy Rain, There were moments that absolutely blew me away. Moments that added to the profound effect of Heavy Rain. Which brings me to my next point:

Storytelling Innovation: I was honestly left in awe. It took me only a half hour to find myself feeling complex emotions that I thought were only reserved for books or films. This is the only game in which I actually felt genuine remorse for any harm that came to a character because of my decisions. It makes the morality systems in other games look like gimmicks.


Controls: While for the most part they were smooth, I found myself stuck with the character facing a wall on some occasions.

Soundtrack Repetition: Don’t get me wrong, I loved the soundtrack, it's just that the developers seemed to like it too, and insisted on playing it over and over again at the most inopportune moments.

Silly Dialogue: While I loved the story as a whole, some of the dialogue felt heavy-handed, like those moments where sitcoms try to be serious and meaningful but almost always fall flat.

Regardless of flaws, Heavy Rain is a fantastic new step towards true, powerful storytelling and maturity in games and I can’t wait for more.

Reviewed by: Matt Cirina

You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 500 words - yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.


    One of the things I really hate about this game is the walking! Maybe its just me, but it doesnt feel intuitive at all

    The game, on the other hand, is brilliant

    Oh, and big FUCK YOU to Hyper magazine


        Sorry David, forgive me because I havent read their whole review yet (so I may be shooting myself in the foot here) but I was a little miffed how they could write something along the lines of - "the game forces you to do one arbitary movement in order to move to the next bit - ie maybe standing up from a table" (again, not a direct quote, but very close to what they said) - essentially deriding the game for at times being linear, which seems odd as other games with the similar styles of linearity (ie an FPS that will force you to go down a corridor to progress the story line) is OK in their books - and then scoring it a 7 out of 10 while giving Mass Effect 2 a 10 out of 10.

        It seems that HYPER deliberately try to be controversial in their review scores to stand out from the crowd. Maybe I am being biased because I enjoy the game, but I do think they should have a few better reasons for scoring the game so low (they also mentioned that input and control by the player amounts to a button press here and there every now and then - but then also deride games for constant button mashing). QD are trying a new type of game here (OK new after Fahrenheit) and I dont think they judged it accordingly.

        But then, this is HYPER. They've gone downhill since that current editor came on board. The promised a balanced way of presenting review scores with their new (stupid) out of 10 system, only to fall into the trap of giving almost every game 8 or 9 - check the current issue, there are lots of games with 8's and 9's (and there is Heavy Rain with a 7 - which according to the original HYPER scoring chart this should mean its slightly above average, but now it just means its average considering the calibre of games that got scores higher).

        Pah - sorry about the rant. This is why I hate reviews that provide scores - and why the Kotaku system seems the best. List pros and cons and let the reader make up their own mind - rather than some stupid score that someone like me will read the wrong way.

          Oh - also a big FUCK YOU to Sony Computer Entertainment Asia.

          I bought this game last week in HK (I was over there, and I thought I'd save some $$ by buying it there instead) and it DID NOT come with the paper to fold into the origami when it was installing.

          The game was still factory sealed, so the guys who work in the store didnt take it out.

          I will assume that because if you have a HK region machine the game does the 4Gb install via the XMB rather than the ingame installer. So at the start, when the game asked me what language to display everything in, I selected English and was presented with the origami folding install screen - and no origami paper to do it with.

          I watched the guys at the store I bought it from install HR on their PS3's and, as I said, it was installing via the XMB (ie screen was black with the white line above and below and the progress bar with the % indicator)

          Fail. Although I think this fail may go to me...

          I haven't read the review either, but criticising Heavy Rain's controls seems misguided to me. (Unless it's solely in reference to the basic movement controls, in which case the criticism is valid.) Criticising it for "being linear" is just baffling and clear indication that the reviewer has failed to understand the game.

            I believe the reviewer was Darren Wells. Maybe you know him?

            As I said, I've only read about 1/3 of the review, as what I read didnt sit well with me either. But I am prepared to stand corrected once I've read the whole thing and I was incorrect in what he wrote.

              So, DansDans, have you read the entire review yet?


                And my complaint of the review is still valid. The reviewer mentions "linear actions" and the whole "this is not a game" lines - yet then goes onto review as it was a game.

                I think if the reviewer is going to make a statement that this is not a game, then he/she should not review it as a game.

                Unfortunately, for the reviewer, I disagree. This is a game. I played it, I interacted and I felt emotions while playing it. Yes, I didnt press as many buttons as say Modern Warfare 2, but it was still a game and thus deserved to be reviewed as a game.

                Yet another reason why a subscription to Hyper to becoming increasingly hard to justify.

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