Sunday, May 16, 2010

Dangerous semantics

Heavy Rain wastes no time in calling itself an interactive drama. In truth, there is no more game here than there was in Dragon's Lair or Space Ace, only now losing a scene does not always equal death. I did not come to this party to be impressed by the controls, I came because I was interested in the story, and Quantic calling it an interactive drama lets me know that I am going to get what I came for. Unfortunately, calling it a drama opens it up to all sorts of critiques that video games aren't normally subject to. Okay, so it's a drama that I have to push buttons, occasionally in finger crunching combination, to see. I have no problem with that. I do have a problem with the actual drama being terrible because there is nothing else to fall back on to hold my interest. I also have a problem with what they are deciding to make interactive; I have changed my share of diapers, changing one in a video game is not immersive. It just gives me flashbacks to my soon projectile pooping on the wall at 2:00 AM.

The story, an odd combination of Kojak and Saw, is not original, not engaging, full of suspect voice acting, and generally not that much fun to push buttons to see. Indigo Prophecy's batshit insane third act is a relief compared to some of this stuff, and I do not see the completely telegraphed double switch ending as bringing any relief. What this game does have are some of the best looking faces I have ever seen, but the wow factor of walking around a room and opening cabinets ended with Shenmue, and even that had a few real real time fights to spice things up. This game is too new to spoil, so I will refrain from specific plot related bitching, but I will say that not calling the cops when someone sends you a box of origami figures and a cell phone with video on it of you son drowning is one of the dumbest things I have ever seen. Almost as dumb as throwing two shower scenes (on for the ladies, one for the men) in the first hour or so of the game. Quantic has a thing for asses, apparently, they certainly hired more then a few to handle the writing.

Wait, where's Gordon?

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