'Oh you mean, like The Sims?' is the usual response, and this is natural given the beginning of the game consists of: Getting out of bed, brushing teeth, answering the call of nature, having a shower, getting dressed and going downstairs to do some work.
For the purposes of review I am going to refer to Heavy Rain as a 'game', but this term underplays the structure of the title. Sure, you insert the disc into your PlayStation 3, and then sit back on the couch with the SIXAXIS controller in hand, but only from time to time (apart from some frantic moments) do you press those controller buttons in any kind of gaming way.
The premise [slight spoiler alert]: Starting in 2009, but largely set at the end of 2011, Ethan Mars has had a pretty rough time of it over the past two years, losing one son to tragic circumstances and his second one has been kidnapped by the mysterious Origami killer.
The story on paper (or cathode, or LCD) sounds a little naff, a little too much NCIS with a serial killer on the loose, but one who leaves the intriguing clues of an origami animal, an orchard and the characteristic of drowning his young victims in rain water.
In practice however, the gloomy rain swept setting with obvious parallels to Blade Runner and other film noir, the beautifully sparse piano based score, and the generally brilliant depiction of the main characters transcends the ludicrousness of the screenplay.
In fact, by game's end, I was totally involved in the plot. I think, being a parent, given the circumstances of the stories central arc, Heavy Rain is even more compelling.
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