Finally Heavy Rain makes a public appearance, even if it is to the European audience only for the moment. Those who have discovered the Precinct 52 game on the Heavy Rain official website will be rewarded with early access, should they complete the very involving evidence collecting game. The demo will be available to all of Europe as of Thursday and to the rest of the world shortly, but those who can’t wait can exercise their investigative skills, or go to koktaku for a walk through!
For what is nearly 2 gig worth of demo, the amount offered is a little disappointing. Two new scenes are playable (not the two that many have played at game conferences); both pretty short, but still involving to play. Unlike many game demo’s, Heavy Rain’s is simply to there to show interested players how the mechanics work, giving you all the examples (I assume) of game play. From conversations under pressure to a new style of QTE where you hold buttons to progress, the demo is more of a taster session rather than a level for you to explore.
Even though the length of the demo is questionable, I really enjoyed what I got to play. Heavy Rain is high on my list of most wanted games and the demo did a good job of piquing my interest once again. In the comfort of my own home, rather than in a crowded conference, I have time to look at the details of the game very closely. Graphically the game looks stunning; everything is rendered so well that PC gamers with high end rigs will be jealous. Getting a close up shot of a characters face revealed rain landing on and travelling down his cheek, something your hardly going to see, but adds that level of realism that makes the game so appealing. R2 is still the walk forward button, but after a few minutes it feels natural instead of just weird. Every button in the game is perfectly mapped, QTE moments feel fair and every movement feels instinctive. The game is even set to hard from the off, which from what I can tell just changes the amount of time you have to press buttons in action moments.
Heavy Rain is going to be good; there is no question about that. The only question I have is ‘how good?’, open ended promises devolved into sheer stupidity at the end of Indigo Prophecy (Fahrenheit in Europe), and while remaining an enjoyable game did lower it’s score in a loss of direction. My main concern is the FBI agent with his magical glasses and glove combo. While the forensic investigation is an obvious touch in a story about a serial killer, the sci-fi equipment feels out of place in what otherwise seems to be the real world. Only time will tell. Thankfully that time is nearly upon us, so keep your eyes peeled on Koku Gamer, I will be back with a full review shortly before release.