Friday, March 05, 2010

Heavy Scene

I have been playing the game Heavy Rain this week. It's been described as the first "adult" PS3 game, and it certainly deals with some themes you wouldn't want children to see (as shown above, the first scene involves a man having a shower, which doesn't leave a lot to the imagination). In terms of storyline, it is similar to the films Saw and Se7en. Without giving too much away, you play four different characters and guide them through a film-like environment as they try to find the identity of the mysterious "Origami Killer". The gameplay involves making choices at various points, as well as pressing buttons in different combinations within specified time limits in order to get your character to do certain things. Some of these are utterly mundane (in a Sims sort of way). I spent ages making an omlette for a prostitute and she didn't even eat it!

Even though each chapter is a bit limited in terms of what you can actually do (you can't wander off where you want to for example), it is very involving and you end up caring about the characters in a way that isn't usual for computer games. At one point, the female character, Madison got tied up in a sick killer's basement. He was just about to use an electric drill on her, when the doorbell went and he had to go answer it. This gave me a chance to let her wriggle free of her ropes, but every time he came back and in the ensuing fight, he always got the better of her, as I wasn't quick enough at pressing the button to make her bash him over the head. The scene ended with him laughing sadistically over her corpse. I couldn't let the story continue like that, so I spent all Tuesday night in that bloody basement, pressing the x key and shaking the console around to untie her knots.

And it's just as well I did, because otherwise I would have missed out on a hilarious scene where you have to press keys to let Madison gussy herself up and then do a sexy dance on a podium in order to entice a sleazy nightclub owner to talk to her. I'm afraid I wasn't very good at applying eyeliner or primping hair, although my dancing was superb and I was granted an audience with the sleazy club owner anyway.

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