Heavy Rain: I’m going to have to buy a goddamn ps3, aren’t I?

[View Hi-Def version]

The store owner sort of had oddly dead eyes, but the rest of it was pretty amazing, visually.

After playing Fahrenheit I’m still not convinced that there is actually good gaming to be had from a game made entirely from QTEs, but I wouldn’t hasten to call this a game. Games like Monkey Island are really more just light puzzle games with a good interactive story attached (some, like The Longest Journey, seem to more or less ditch the puzzle element all together in favour of satirically apostrophized ‘puzzles’ which wouldn’t challenge a four year old let alone a drunk 24 yr old) and I think Heavy Rain is just a continuation of the theme.

Which is fine for people like me who enjoy the whole interactive story-telling thing (Bring! Back! Grim! Fandango! etc), but I don’t think the square-shouldered cigar-chomping shotgun-toting audience much cares.

Luckily for me, the games market is becoming large enough that the genre that died in the early 2000s seems to be coming back. Monkey Island is getting remade, Sam & Max was remade, The Path, Dracula Origins, plus various franchises are getting adventure-game-ised, such as Nancy Drew, Wallace & Grommit, Poirot and Sherlock Holmes. OK, some of them suck (zomg Nancy Drew, I am not your target audience) but it’s really good to see a resurgence like this.

So… how about some Grim Fandango 2 then?

PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE?!?!

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4 Comments

  1. pchow
    Posted October 1, 2009 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    The detective steps into the pool of blood?!

    I thought an interesting idea in the quick time scene would be to have different choices in the quicktime events as well e.g, mashing Triangle would extert forward pressure while wrestling for the gun, Square would involve kicking the guy while still wrestling for the gun, etc). The idea behind that you still have to make action choices, instead of plot choices that affect how the story progresses. Could be a nice blend of action and pick your path storytelling.

  2. Posted October 1, 2009 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    You forgot STRONGGGG BADDDD! Wonder what Telltale has planned next, they’ve pretty much done everything else. Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, maybe?

    @pchow; “The idea behind that you still have to make action choices…”

    Geez, different buttons with different actions attached? At that point it’s practically a game!

    Definitely worth googling “ergon/logos” for a nicely presented (albeit entirely textual) look at interactive storytelling in real time.

    (disclaimer: didn’t watch the video, </3 filtering proxies)

  3. Posted October 1, 2009 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    The detective steps into the pool of blood?!

    :s I didn’t notice that one.

    I thought an interesting idea in the quick time scene would be to have different choices in the quicktime events as well e.g, mashing Triangle would extert forward pressure while wrestling for the gun, Square would involve kicking the guy while still wrestling for the gun, etc). The idea behind that you still have to make action choices, instead of plot choices that affect how the story progresses. Could be a nice blend of action and pick your path storytelling.

    It’s an interesting idea, but yeah, it’s another point on a continuum, and what these guys are aiming for is more to the ‘pick a path’ side of things than that.

    In Fahrenheit at least, the system made for some extremely effective tension, although tbh that was primarily the amazing camera work / scene construction and was only once actually a result of QTEs.

    You were in your office and you ‘hallucinated’ giant bugs that dropped from the ceiling. You panic and try to escape the office. Queue endless QTEs jumping left and right and dodging these giant fucking bugs jumping out at you. They get faster and faster and finally you role out of the way of one of them and grab a door handle and start trying to open it, and all these QTE symbols pop up on the screen and you can’t keep up and they’re too fast and FUUUUUCCCCKKKK. Then the scene shifts and the character is like, lying on the ground with all his office coworkers peering overhim with ‘wtf is up with this retard’ looks on their faces.

    But most of the awesome of Fahrenheit was not in QTEs but in clever use of split screen, where they build tension by having you do something in the main part of the screen while having another portion of the screen artfully show ‘your demise’ in another. So there is a scene where you have to search your office and remove incriminating evidence that puts you at a crime scene before the cops show up. On the main part of the screen is you, and the bottom 20% is another scene showing the feet of the cop in the lift… walking to reception… talking to the receptionist finding out where your office is… walking to your office… getting to your door… it’s really pretty cool.

  4. Posted October 1, 2009 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    You forgot STRONGGGG BADDDD! Wonder what Telltale has planned next, they’ve pretty much done everything else. Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, maybe?

    They could do another Full Throttle… not sure who has the license for that though. They could do new IP, but I imagine they’re trying build up enough cheddar so that they can make a proper go of it.

    Replace ‘imagine’ with ‘hope’ for more accuracy.