Heavy Rain Preview - 24/03/2008

Heavy Rain, from Fahrenheit developers Quantic Dreams, made it's first appearance at E3 way back in 2006 as a Playstation 3 tech demo, showing it’s emotional depth and capability has finally emerged, but will it live up to its potential?

The team are trying to produce a totally different spin on stories in videogames by adding many features to this new title. The game will revolve around 4 characters, each with unique personalities and persona’s and will show how their lives interlink in an ever-growing and twisting story. They are going to stick very close to the point-and-click style of play of Fahrenheit as they want to steer away from an open-world GTA clone and focus more on story telling in more emotional depth than ever before. The tech demo proved to be very promising with outstanding graphics and unique drama that is sure to drag anybody into the story. Not much has been said since that E3 demonstration, but let's hope it delivers when it’s released sometime in 2009.

Only a movie-like poster has been released so far, which appeared on the game's teaser site which has since been taken down. It shows an origami figure and features the names of what are presumably the main four characters in the game. It suggests the killer(s) in the game (Fahrenheit of course also revolved around various murders across New York City) will be particularly hard to discover, using different appearances, disguises and methods for each one.

No in game media has been released as of yet.

Recently certain new details have emerged on the game. Dutch Magazine 'Chief' conducted an interview with Omikron, and below are the highlights:

“I don’t want to do a big free-roaming city like GTA, because the flow of the story will then be hard to control. Nevertheless, I do want to incorporate big sets, with a crowd, heavy populated areas like a mall and a subway are going to be in there. Of course, the gameplay has got to make use of that aspect too.”

“Heavy Rain is about normal people that have landed in extraordinary situations. I wanted a much more personal story. The first thing that came to my mind, as a father of two little boys, was that the main theme should simply be a father’s love for his son. This is not a game about saving the princess or the world. Its purely about a father’s love.”

“The main story will revolve around 4 different characters, and we’re putting the spotlight on their perceptions. The question ‘what is good and what is evil’ is the key here, that will be just a matter of viewpoint…I believe heavily in moral choices, I’m going to use them A LOT. They’re not about being good or bad, but about finding the right balance.”

No in game media has been released as of yet.

This is a major coup for Sony, as Fahrenheit was loved by many and revered by critics. While the game may appear on PC, as long as it stays console-exclusive to PS3, which it certainly should do (with Sony publishing and co-developing the game engine). If they can keep the same emotive atmosphere as was found in Fahrenheit and Omikron, Quantic's first game (another serial killer-solver), we should be in for a real treat.

- Sam Foster and Michael Hazleton



Quantic Dream