One of the most important titles from the last generation comes to PlayStation 4. If you’re reading this review, you’re hoping to get some insight on whether Heavy Rain is worth revisiting nearly 6 years later. Short of it, yes, it is worth revisiting this interactive drama. Long of it, yes, but the issues that plagued the exclusive PlayStation 3 title remain.
Heavy Rain launched in 2010, taking the gaming world through a downpour of emotions. The brilliant score, the graphics at the time were unlike anything seen on a console, the controls were original and engaging. This was one of the most interactive game I had played at the time and at the end my playthrough, I was emotionally drained like our protagonist, Ethan Mars.
It’s 2016 now, and Quantic Dreams has remastered both Beyond: Two Souls and Heavy Rain for a new generation of gamers to experience for the first time.
Heavy Rain is about a man whose life is shattered time and time again by tragedy. While the primary focus is on Ethan, you play as and learn more about several other integral characters, too. The main premise is Ethan Mars’ child has been kidnapped by the serial killer called the Origami Killer, who kidnaps children and leaves them to drown and leaves an origami figure with the child. There’s more to it, but you need to play for yourself to get the best experience.
The original Heavy Rain had a resolution of 720p on the PlayStation 3, the resolution has been upped to a solid 1080p at 30FPS, with some improvements to lighting, post-process HDAO and MSAO, and more under the hood improvements to make the game look fundamentally better. There is no longer any screen-tearing that the original was well known for having, luckily this is rectified here.
The control scheme has not aged well and upon beginning my playthrough remembered how different and clunky the controls felt, being rather counter-intuitive to what I am used to when having a controller in hand. Holding R2 to walk and completely taking the left thumbstick out of the equation felts dirty and unclean to me in 2016. Tapping L1 changes the camera angle to bring out a new perspective and more clues to look out, but often times would cause confusion as I would walk and tap L1 making my character do the opposite of what I intended.
The music of Heavy Rain is still haunting, six years later and when I hear the Heavy Rain theme I still get shivers. Normand Corbeil sadly passed away before finishing up the soundtrack for Beyond: Two Souls, but left a lasting soundtrack with Heavy Rain, without this soundtrack the game would feel lifeless.
The voice acting can be cringe-inducing, especially now in 2016, when we’ve been blessed with the likes of The Last of Us, Tomb Raider, Grand Theft Auto V, and well, you get it. This isn’t by any means bad, but it definitely did not live up to what I remember back in 2010.
Heavy Rain is the same game we got in 2010, the upgraded visuals and reworking under the hood make for a nice addition to your library. Clunky controls and voice acting hinder the experience, but, not to the point of avoidance. The story, the music, and the labour of love put into Heavy Rain makes this an experience worth visiting again or for the first time.