Gaming Moments of 2010 #10: Heavy Rain

All the big guns have come and gone. The best games are all now on shelves and we've just decided on our game of the year. Now we're taking a look at out 10 favourite gaming moments of 2010. Be aware that these are just my subjective choices - feel free to let us know some of your favourites in the comments below.

Favourite Gaming Moments of 2010 #10: Rocking the baby to sleep in Heavy Rain

In a lot of ways Heavy Rain was a broken experience. It was stiff with rigour and pomp, and ambitious beyond its means. The story was middling, despite its pretence, and lumbered with some ludicrously bad voice acting. The controls were clunky, the pacing was off. In so many ways Heavy Rain was technically a bad game, but despite this there were specific, discrete moments when, somehow, Heavy Rain managed to transend its flaws.

Rocking the baby to sleep was one of those moments. I chose this moment specifically because Heavy Rain was undoubtedly at its best when it represented tactile action through the control system. Action sequences tended to devolve into polished quick-time events, but rocking the baby felt like a moment I was part of, something I had a meaningful affect on.

Most of Heavy Rain involved button presses, analogue movements, six axis shakes - control mechanisms that were completely disconnected from the action being presented onscreen - and I felt that was a fundamental problem with the mechanics. Heavy Rain worked when what you were doing onscreen was represented in some meaningful way with the control system - and rocking the baby to sleep was probably the best example of that. It felt less like a disconnected mini-game and more like a genuine experience.

Heavy Rain was full of these moments, but this one stuck with me - partly because of context. PI Scott Shelby is constantly portrayed as a lumbering, clumsy figure, ill at ease with his own awkward size and weight. Helping him take part in an action that requires delicate, subtle control was a brilliant touch, and fit seamlessly into the overall story. Even in hindsight, having finished the game, it remains one of the few perfectly executed moments in the game.

In some ways I hated Heavy Rain, but I was always compelled by it. On some level it defies traditional parameters of what is 'good' and 'bad' in a video game, on other levels it's a complete failure. But I'm glad it exists - I'm glad someone made it. I'm glad that there is a game out there that lets me play as an awkward, ill-at-ease cop, trying awkwardly to rock a baby to sleep.

What were your favourite moments in Heavy Rain, or any game for that matter? Let us know in the comments below


Comments

    I really have to disagree with you on why Heavy Rain was bad, i found it completely enthralling and moving.

    I dont think i have ever cared about characters like i did in that game. I felt genuine remorse when i killed one because i failed at something, or when a tradgedy struck a character i flet sympathetic.
    It is a stand out in my year of gaming, because it did things no other game has ever done and did it very well.

    Perhaps i have rose coloured glasses on, but it was one of the best games of 2010 IMHO

      I think I actually enjoyed talking about Heavy Rain more than playing it - because that was when I started to get an idea of just how varied the experience could be.

        I have to say that i actually wasnt allowed to play this game without my flatmate and his girlfriend present because they loved the story and helping me make decisions ;)

        I do agree though, i really enjoyed talking about the game with other people who played it.

        I actually finished the game about 5-6 times to get different endings (i.e. im going to be a right old bastard, or an angel personified)

        Spot on. I would end up talking to mates of mine and going "Your Kidding, how did you kill that person, or find that thing, or escape from a certain part" etc.

        Where i pushed on through a hard bit, others would just skip.

        That debrief afterwards with others was actually an important part of the game and encouraged replayability. Unfortunately, with such a compelling story line the first time round, it made it hard to get the same level of enjoyment on a second playthrough.

        I enjoyed it also btw. I actually killed the guy with all the crosses on his walls and thought about it for days. It actually affected me as i pulled the trigger (whereas i do this in an FPS 2000+ times without thinking). That goes a long way to show what this game offered.

      It could have had that potential for me... had the people been better written.

      I'm sorry but really, it was pretty darn cliched. I completely stopped caring, for instance, for Madison when she's doing her stupid dance thing in the club. And the detective when he goes Rambo? Seriosuly. That's not even mentioning the climax of the game, so cliched. These were some of the things that completely ruined a game with potential to be something much better than it was. Sorry for my rant!

    I got distracted reading your comments because of the control/interface problem you pointed out. I actually think that if this game was made again with Kinect it would be an amazingly immersive experience... wait.. is that what Milo was?

    As for heavey rain, the "Jason Chase" sequence was one of the best, mainly because it spawned a flash game 'Press X for Jason'.

    I was a big fan of farenheit so I enjoyed this game

    Italics!!!!

    I actually really liked the moment before you rock the baby when you pull the woman out of the bath and bandage her wounds.

    The game was full of really great moments though. Any parts that involved Scott were the best.

    WOW, I almost forgot. My best moment in this game was not in the game at all.

    Digging aroundin the special features/extras, there is a video of an actor doing a reading (I am assuming this was a pilot/concept for the game in pre development.

    Anyway, I can't remember the dialogue but the acting and the animation to go along with it, the tears, the way it escalates was AMAZING.

    Here is a pic
    http://gallery.techarena.in/data/2/medium/Heavy-Rain-1.jpg

    Did anyone else see this and did anyone else feel what i felt. THIS was the best part of the game for me!

      that was part of the concept and was a short called 'The Audition' and was shown as a teaser way back in 2006.

    I'm impressed... no-one mentioned the shower scene yet.

      I can't be the only one who dragged out the strip scene as long as possible. I'm a bad man.

        If the quick time events were not time limited.. it would have never ended! I'm with you i'm sorry to say!

      nah... later on when you were bumping uglies in the motel room!

      it felt as though you were in the corner of that same room just watching... lol

        Do you remember watching movies with your parents as a kid and how the room got awkward when a sex scene came on screen?

        I was showing my parents Heavy Rain so they could see how far games have come along in the last few years, and I came to that scene - my wife and mum were like "KISS, KISS, KISS!"
        I kinda knew where it was leading, but figured it wouldn't be that bad.

        My god, the minutes that followed were probably the most embarrassing of my life.

        "SO YEAH, UM, GAMES ARE REALLY GOOD THESE DAYS...INTERACTIVITY...UM...GRAPHICS."

    I think Heavy Rain was a resounding success despite its flaws. In fact, in some ways, BECAUSE of them. When you try and do something different you're going to make a few missteps, simply because you're learning the lessons as you go. There aren't really any other games out there like it which they could look at and say "this worked, that didn't".

    If you set the target high enough you're going to fall short in some areas. But when it comes to an experimental sort of game like Heavy Rain, I'd rather they did that rather than play it safe.

    There is, however, no excuse for the crappy voice acting. People who were obviously French trying and failing to do American accents. Sony is a giant, multinational corporation. Surely they could have got some actual Americans to play American characters? Instead we got a cast full of French Sam Worthingtons.

    I will forever remember that chilly Autumn day of 2010, when I pressed 'x' to "Jason".

    Heavy Rain was the first game that truly made me think about the decisions i was making. Seeing what Ethan was going through was truly heartbreaking, it was an amazing emotional experience.

    Spoilers

    The scene where the child dies in the sewer is heart wrenching. I want to play through HR again with the PSMove but I can't bring myself to watch that again, to see a father care so little about his child.

    The end of the game where Ethan has to drink poison or not is just amazing as well. I literally paced that room with the character for ages wondering what to do, and I am not the only one.

    /spoilers

    if you let Heavy Rain take you into its twisted world it was one of the best games of the year, but you had to completely let yourself go.

    Yah, I have to disagree as well. I thought Heavy Rain was excellent. I had no problem with the control scheme. A mate an I played the entire game through in one sitting we were so hooked. It took about 10hrs.

    You thought it had ludicrously bad voice acting?

    Sure they've all got slightly odd accents (French Canadian?) but it wasn't ludicrously bad like some games ... I'm thinking Resident Evil bad.

    I love the game but sometimes the quick time event actions did get a little awkward and tedious.

      Wierd to compare Resident Evil and Heavy Rain - RE's Japanese horror kitsch doesn't try to pass itself off as a legitimately cinematic narrative.

    NOMAN JAY DANS glasses were crap though, only bit of the game completely unrealistic really :(

    ripping the skirt was hot ;) i remember seeing that at E3 and instantly thinking well this game won't get uncut into Australia

    Mark, were you surprised we got it uncut?

    Never played it, but watched the entire thing from start to finish. Loved it.

    Found Ethan's trials to be amazingly powerful and horrifying, Scott's story to be quite moving and subtle in a lot of ways, and Madison to be quite irritating and not quite nude enough

    I haven't played, I don't own a PS3, but I wonder if the controls have improved with Move?

    Wow, no one has mentioned the moments that really got me shook up in Heavy Rain: When you had to choose whether or not to murder that man on his knees in his apartment. And when you have to chop off the end of your finger in front of a camera. I couldn't bring myself to shoot the man, I just couldn't do it. Even though he'd been attacking me through the whole apartment, as soon as you saw his family and his kid's room I just couldn't do it.

    And the finger, jesus that was amazing. I sat there, going to cut and then couldn't. Then I'd try again, and couldn't. Then I bit the bullet and did it without letting myself have time to think and stop myself.

    This game was amazing!

      absolutely

      i was about to shoot then it showed the kids room and im like F>>K

      couldn't do it

      absolutely AMAZING game, especially that scene

        That part was pretty intense. I honestly had trouble with it but in the end I had to pull the trigger. Ethan's desperate justification of "I'm a father too" was tragic.

        I really hope that one day they do the rest of those DLC packs. Shelby and Ethan were great but Jayden's and Maddison's levels were lacking in comparison.

      Playing through that lizard trial the first time I used the hatchet and cringed the whole way through. Then i found out you could use the pliers or the scissors and replayed it. Using the controller to mimic forcing the scissors closed was the single most painful thing I have ever had to do in a video game. I almost couldnt bring myself to do it again and again.

        All this talk is genuinely making me want to play through it again.

          I sold it to a mate to buy another game... But yeah, Im kinda keen to go back there myself!

    PRESS X TO JASON

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now