Author Topic: Heavy Rain [split topic]  (Read 4997 times)

turnstyle

  • His wife doesn't like the Sarcastic Butlers
Heavy Rain [split topic]
« on: February 05, 2010, 12:46:18 PM »
You can download the heavy rain demo early apparently:

http://kotaku.com/5464839/want-the-heavy-rain-demo-right-now-heres-how

However, the sight seems to have ground to a halt as everyone wants the code. I cannot get the bugger to load at all.

Arse!

If by any chance anyone has a spare code, I will pay you one million pounds*.






* I will not pay you one million pounds.

falafel

  • Yes, blue.
Heavy Rain [split topic]
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2010, 01:05:03 PM »
You can download the heavy rain demo early apparently:

http://kotaku.com/5464839/want-the-heavy-rain-demo-right-now-heres-how

However, the sight seems to have ground to a halt as everyone wants the code. I cannot get the bugger to load at all.

Arse!

If by any chance anyone has a spare code, I will pay you one million pounds*.






* I will not pay you one million pounds.

Crashed for me. Got a laugh out of it though: the spam filter made me copy out the words "Came Facially" before the site spazzed out.


Heavy Rain [split topic]
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2010, 06:33:33 PM »
Got my demo of Heavy Rain yesterday, it's really awesome. It looks beautiful and while the controls seem a bit wonky at first, plays really well. Apparently it's similar to Fahrenheit, but I haven't played that. I'ma cop when it drops.

Nik Drou

  • Heh-HAY! *glasses*
Heavy Rain [split topic]
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2010, 07:16:33 PM »
I'm still not quite sold on Heavy Rain.  I've not played the demo, but if the gameplay really is just a series of prompts/quicktime events, surely it'd get old fast no matter how David Finchy the plot and script are.

Sainsbury's are selling Bionic Commando on the PS3 for a tenner.  Worth it?

HappyTree

  • Diz <3
Heavy Rain [split topic]
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2010, 07:37:52 PM »
Heavy Rain looks right up my street, I loved Fahrenheit. Pity it's a PS3 exclusive. Or is that "exclusive" in that it will make its way to the Xbox eventually?

chand

  • "like Louise Mensch but with a sexy beard"
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Heavy Rain [split topic]
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2010, 08:04:09 PM »
I'm still not quite sold on Heavy Rain.  I've not played the demo, but if the gameplay really is just a series of prompts/quicktime events, surely it'd get old fast no matter how David Finchy the plot and script are.

That's a bit like saying the gameplay in Monkey Island is just clicking things though.

Still Not George

  • Sarcastic arsehole
    • Numbers and Lights - My Blog
Heavy Rain [split topic]
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2010, 08:05:55 PM »
Heavy Rain looks right up my street, I loved Fahrenheit. Pity it's a PS3 exclusive. Or is that "exclusive" in that it will make its way to the Xbox eventually?
"Exclusive" in the sense that the project is funded by Sony, so, no Xbox version.

It'd be interesting to see if you actually could port Heavy Rain to the 360, actually. That'd put to rest an awful lot of arguments one way or another.

chand

  • "like Louise Mensch but with a sexy beard"
    • https://twitter.com/RopesToInfinity
Heavy Rain [split topic]
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2010, 08:19:25 PM »
I think it has been said that you couldn't do it on the 360, then again that's said about a lot of exclusives.

Still Not George

  • Sarcastic arsehole
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Heavy Rain [split topic]
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2010, 08:23:09 PM »
I think it has been said that you couldn't do it on the 360, then again that's said about a lot of exclusives.
Hence me saying it would settle a lot of arguments.

HappyTree

  • Diz <3
Heavy Rain [split topic]
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2010, 08:32:05 PM »
I would imagine that a game like that would use the extra space a Blu Ray disk has for the graphics, so it'd be too big to fit on an Xbox disk. The next gen of Xbox better get with the program!

Having said that, do a lot of PS3 games use this extra capacity?

Heavy Rain [split topic]
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2010, 08:48:46 AM »
I think it has been said that you couldn't do it on the 360, then again that's said about a lot of exclusives.

I haven't seen anything in the demo yet which is particularly impressive. It reminds me of the first generation of CD ROM games like 7th Guest. Which aspects of it are supposed to be impossible on a 360/PC?

chand

  • "like Louise Mensch but with a sexy beard"
    • https://twitter.com/RopesToInfinity
Heavy Rain [split topic]
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2010, 09:08:10 AM »
I don't really care, to be honest.

Still Not George

  • Sarcastic arsehole
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Heavy Rain [split topic]
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2010, 10:07:35 AM »
I haven't seen anything in the demo yet which is particularly impressive. It reminds me of the first generation of CD ROM games like 7th Guest. Which aspects of it are supposed to be impossible on a 360/PC?
I don't know, why don't you ask the developers, since they're the source of the quote?

chand

  • "like Louise Mensch but with a sexy beard"
    • https://twitter.com/RopesToInfinity

Heavy Rain [split topic]
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2010, 10:48:31 AM »
http://ps3.nowgamer.com/news/504/david-cage-heavy-rain-cannot-run-on-360

Thanks...

Quote
"We used all the SPUs... I think this game can only be done on Playstation 3”
"I think to do the visuals, and all the stuff we’re doing would be too difficult [on the 360]. There are amazing physics there, and stuff with crowds that you just couldn’t really get."

OK... I haven't seen anything like that yet in the demo, although I haven't completed it yet. The facial animations seem (so far) not significantly better than those used in Mass Effect 2.

No love or excitement for Bioshock 2? Out today isn't it?

I'll be buying it, although the 'protecting the little sisters' bit from the first game was my least favourite part, so I'm not really looking forward to that mechanic.

falafel

  • Yes, blue.
Heavy Rain [split topic]
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2010, 11:01:44 AM »
What confuses me about Heavy Rain is that so much of it seems scripted - I don't get why that would be difficult on 360. I would get it if it involved things spontaneously happening and the physics engine having to deal with that but the whole point of the game is that it railroads you into certain situations... doesn't it?

Ah well, I will have a go on the demo tonight and see how it goes. Hoping it's good.

Heavy Rain [split topic]
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2010, 11:13:18 AM »
What confuses me about Heavy Rain is that so much of it seems scripted - I don't get why that would be difficult on 360. I would get it if it involved things spontaneously happening and the physics engine having to deal with that but the whole point of the game is that it railroads you into certain situations... doesn't it?

It looks like it, and I was thinking exactly the same thing. The graphics look like those kind of demos written by graphics card manufacturers that max out the hardware under very constrained circumstances. It's almost as though their idea for the game was to create something that looked more detailed than games on competing platforms while being happy to throw out as much user interaction as was necessary to achieve that aim. That's what I meant about it seeming like an old school CD ROM FMV title - it prejudices visuals over interactivity. Having said all that, the visuals just aren't that brilliant in the small section I've seen. 

Heavy Rain [split topic]
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2010, 11:43:14 AM »
I really couldn't get into Fahrenheit, I think I just didn't get it. It seemed like I was watching a story unfold and every now and then I'd have to make a dialogue choice or press x or y and the story would go in a different direction than it possibly would have if I had made another choice.

It just seemed like a slightly more advanced version of Dragon's Lair. I can't see any gameplay in those Fahrenheit type games at all. I vaguely remember some combat against some monsters in an office or something, and all it seemed to be was pressing buttons in a certain order, within a time limit, when they came up on the screen. I felt like I was playing Simon Says rather than a supposed sophisticated video-game, and that's when I gave up with it.

I've not played the Heavy Rain demo yet, does it look like much the same but with better graphics?

chand

  • "like Louise Mensch but with a sexy beard"
    • https://twitter.com/RopesToInfinity
Heavy Rain [split topic]
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2010, 11:51:54 AM »
It's almost as though their idea for the game was to create something that looked more detailed than games on competing platforms while being happy to throw out as much user interaction as was necessary to achieve that aim.

It's more like they were making a game like Fahrenheit and decided to do it with as impressive graphics as they could. Not that it matters since you're not impressed by them anyway.

Heavy Rain [split topic]
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2010, 12:01:03 PM »
It's more like they were making a game like Fahrenheit and decided to do it with as impressive graphics as they could. Not that it matters since you're not impressed by them anyway.

Ah, well I've never played Fahrenheit. Do you find the Heavy Rain graphics impressive, by the way?

Still Not George

  • Sarcastic arsehole
    • Numbers and Lights - My Blog
Heavy Rain [split topic]
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2010, 12:23:45 PM »
Ah, well I've never played Fahrenheit.
*nods* I figured that from last page.

Viero - don't feel confused, Farenheit is basically gaming Marmite. Either it's the best attempt at a genuine game/movie crossover ever made, or it's a confusing mess of QTEs, and there doesn't appear to be a middle ground.

chand

  • "like Louise Mensch but with a sexy beard"
    • https://twitter.com/RopesToInfinity
Heavy Rain [split topic]
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2010, 01:15:17 PM »
Ah, well I've never played Fahrenheit. Do you find the Heavy Rain graphics impressive, by the way?

Fahrenheit was basically the same sort of game, but of an earlier generation.

I thought the graphics were impressive, yes, certainly good enough for what it's trying to do.

Heavy Rain [split topic]
« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2010, 01:19:54 PM »
I thought the graphics were impressive, yes, certainly good enough for what it's trying to do.

Yes - I don't have any complaints about them - it's just that they didn't seem to be anything wildly special.

So to those of you who did play and liked Fahrenheit - are the Dragon's Lair / 7th Guest comparisons unjust, or is it just that you liked those games too?

HappyTree

  • Diz <3
Heavy Rain [split topic]
« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2010, 01:34:24 PM »
I don't remember F being particularly lacking in gameplay. But then I like games that tell you a story and let you fiddle about a bit. I also used to like the "Choose Your Own Adventure" books when a child.

Still Not George

  • Sarcastic arsehole
    • Numbers and Lights - My Blog
Heavy Rain [split topic]
« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2010, 01:35:25 PM »
So to those of you who did play and liked Fahrenheit - are the Dragon's Lair / 7th Guest comparisons unjust, or is it just that you liked those games too?
Well, I like most games. I didn't see much of a parallel with DL/7G though.

Little Hoover

  • It's totally boss, man.
Heavy Rain [split topic]
« Reply #25 on: February 09, 2010, 01:42:32 PM »
I don't remember F being particularly lacking in gameplay. But then I like games that tell you a story and let you fiddle about a bit. I also used to like the "Choose Your Own Adventure" books when a child.
I think the problem was, the button tapping sequnces, which were just useless, tacked on excuse for gameplay. The idea in theory is that combining an emphasis on narrative with some interactivity, somehow makes you feel closer to the characters, and more invested in the story but the gameplay rarely achives this, it still feels like the story and game are two different things.

this review covers some of the problems with it, although there's quite a few parts I don't agree with.
http://www.gamecritics.com/forums/showthread.php?p=112539#post112539

Quote
"My desire to create videogames dates back to the arrival of 3D real time. I remember how many possibilities suddenly opened up because of this new technology. I saw it as a new means of expression where the world could be pushed to its limits. It was my way of exploring new horizons." David Cage, 'director' of Farenheit (Indigo Prophecy) from his introduction.

Bullshit.

David Cage does not love videogames, and Farenheit makes this blatantly clear. From his comparison of himself to a pioneer film-maker, to the cinematic cut-scenes, to the mechanics choices, it's patently clear that David Cage loves film, not games. Or if he does love games, then he's not paid much attention to them when he plays them.

[Farenheit] shows how it's possible to create an interactive experience that is more than just killing monsters in corridors and shooting crates to find ammunition. It shows that it's possible to create experiences that are richer and deeper.

Videogames are all about interactivity and interaction. This is their most basic, fundamental point — The player performs an action using the input device, and the game responds in kind to what was done. But in nearly all games, from all the way back to the Nintendo Entertainment System and the Atari 2600, games have understood that the depth of interaction was a key part in a good game. Super Mario Bros. gave Mario only three actions: Run, jump, and shoot. But it allowed players to execute these three actions in as many combinations as possible to navigate the levels to reach their goals.

To convey action in Farenheit, David Cage allows the player to choose exactly one action: Whichever one the plot demands now. And it allows the player to execute it in exactly one way: Whichever way the plot demands. Consider this — When demonstrating action, Farenheit offers less interactivity than Donkey Kong.

(Other parts of the game fare better, but not much. Solutions to most problems are remarkably linear. There are multiple ways to handling conversations, yes, but most seem to end up at the same place regardless. By the game's end, however, action sequences are all that remain.)

How, then, are we supposed to even consider this a game? It is a game, by definition, yes. Simon Says is a game, after all. But it seems churlish, and unfair to other games that have gone to greater effort, to consider this sort of cop-out to be of the same nature.

Worse, these mechanics go against his stated goal of creating emotion. They deny the player a chance to be invested in their characters actions, as they really aren't controlling their character at all. (At best, they can be said to be controlling their fate on a pass-fail basis.) Had the game gone to the greater effort and difficulty of developing a working interface for the game, they would have been able to use it to force players into stronger emotional connections. Some examples, both from Farenheit and other games, follow.

Much has been made of the opening scene of the game, taking place in a diner's bathroom. And to be fair, it's a great scene, well designed from a gameplay perspective. Had the game followed this sort of logic throughout, I'd have a very different opinion of the game. A more typical example of the sort of gameplay offered occurs late in the game, as you attempt to hide from a policeman in an in-renovations apartment. Where you hide barely seems to matter — All that matters is if you can match the Simon Says movements on your gamepad. If you match them accurately, you don't get found.

Imagine if, instead, you had been free to pick up the boxes laying about the apartment and stack them in front of your hiding spot, making it look disused and difficult to look into anyway, deterring the policeman from looking in it. Once you're hidden, you can do nothing but pray that your preparations were strong enough. Imagine the tension this would bring. The sense of powerlessness. By encouraging interactivity earlier, the lack of it here would create an emotional punch far beyond what the cheap Simon Says device can. But it would not have been filmic in the same way that the close shaves of the Simon Says routine was, and thus that solution won out.

Another scene features a character being chased down by three cars in a parking lot in an attempt on their life. Imagine playing this in a conventional game interface — Having to dive left or right at the last moment to send cars crashing into walls, hiding behind support pillars, diving to the ground to avoid being run over. How powerful does that scene sound? All this happens in the game, of course, but you don't control it. How much less powerful does the scene sound now?

Or instead, consider another scene late in the sterling PS2 game Ico, wherein your loyal companion Yorda has become impossibly weak. As the player instinctively pushes full-forward on their gamepad, Ico runs and Yorda, too weak to follow, falls to the ground. The player could always run back, pick her up, and run again. But instead, they will more likely move slowly, accomodating Yorda, trying to help her in her moment of weakness.

See? Interactivity can be used to encourage the player to consider their actions on an emotional basis. By controlling a character directly, the player can be invested in them and the emotions surrounding them, and furthermore be asked to act on that investment. When, by contrast, a player is reduced to merely pushing directions that vaguely correspond to a character's actions (at best) how can they be invested? How can they be asked to act in accordance with a character's emotions if they do not act for their character?

Videogames were only exploiting a tiny part of their amazing creative potential, because they focused on 'Action' and totally neglected a fundamental element of all human experience —*emotion.

Fear is not an emotion? And it hasn't been explored in games like Silent Hill? Joy is not an emotion, and hasn't been explored in games like Super Mario Bros.? Or even friendship, and intimacy, in games like Ico?

Emotions and videogames are interconnected. We all feel something while playing games. Maybe it's tension, a never-ending paranoia that marks games like Splinter Cell (especially in its versus mode) or Counter-Strike. Maybe it's the thrill of successful puzzle solving. Or even (yes) the exciting joy of action that can be found in blowing up enemies good.

But again, the real problem David Cage seeks to alleviate here is the way that these emotions are handled. They're implicit, told in minor keys and subservient to the larger goal of creating a game for the player. They are, in other words, exactly the reverse of film, in which the acting, writing and direction are in the service of the story and its emotions.

And that's not really a problem, is it?

One even senses that David Cage knew that he was contorting the whole idea of a videogame to make his concept work. In the much ballyhooed sex scene in Farenheit (but not the US version, Indigo Prophecy) the player is asked to press up at paced intervals to make their character thrust.

What on Earth, may I ask, does this serve? How does asking the player to press up on the gamepad increase the scene's dramatic relevance? How does it increase the emotional impact of the scene? It doesn't, is the brief answer. But without it there, it wouldn't be as easy to argue for the scene being part of a game.

What's sad is that the scene would have worked well... in a film. It's well placed, well thought out. Love comes from unexpected places in the darkest of times. It would work great... in a film.

I think David Cage loves film. Videogames? I'm not so sure. I don't think he understands the pure thrill of hunting down another player in a deathmatch. If he's played Ico, it doesn't seem like he's grasped the subtle emotional interplay of the main characters, and how much depth there was in the way it handled character death and save games. When playing Deus Ex, if he did, then did he stop to consider the morality of shooting policemen who were only doing their job to stop you, or did he just shoot the crates to get more ammo because that's all he saw? If he played Half-Life or Half-Life 2, did he rejoice when he successfully saved the lives of scientists and soldiers who aided him?

We don't need games to be like film. Film still is, in fact, the best medium out there in being film. By basing his work within videogames, he is never really able to capture film's best qualities. And worse, by desperately trying to emulate film, he closes himself off to the power videogames have to offer.

And yet he has a point. Some games aren't emotional in the slightest and never give a thought beyond shooting stuff up real good. (In fact, I can think of a particularly popular shooter on the Xbox whose emotional content approaches absolute zero.) But he seems to ignore the vast amount of effort into endowing emotion into videogames that's been done already, because it doesn't match his pre-conceived notions of what it should look like. If we truly want videogames to develop artistically, then yes, we do have to condemn or at least reject those games that make no effort to even nod to art. But we can't praise those that pretend to art while making nothing but token efforts to advancing videogames.

However, it would be likewise foolish to deny the game does some things right, and what's more, that there's a larger point here that bears further investigation.

First of all, the game does split-screen and does it right. This is no small feat —*Split-screen is hard to do well. Several scenes employ shots of imposing characters (such as a policeman) advancing on the character while a timer roughly informs the player of how long they have to ward off their doom. It's an effective device, and it builds up tension admirably. Better yet is a scene in which a detective tries to forge links between disparate pieces of evidence. As the detective considers each individual piece of evidence, it emerges in a separate split-screen, memorized, at the forethought of the detective's mind. If two pieces fail to link logically, both vanish, the thread dismissed. It's a perfect way to peer into the character's mind, and beautifully done.

And if anything else, that's a worthwhile goal in videogames. Emotions are something games have done often, but getting into the heads of their characters is rarer, usually because (sensibly) it's argued that the player itself is what is inside their head. But if David Cage keeps up his attitude, arrogant and pretentious as it is, he may well accomplish something remarkable. The game's early, very personal tone is an indicator — Could he make a game about a family in crisis after the death of its father? What about a story about a man abused as an altarboy now trying not only to prosecute the priest who abused him, but also to come to terms with the incident and his faith?

I'm not interested in the shock value of the latter, I'm interested in the idea of a game requiring small-scale and the need for game mechanics that deal with emotion directly. Farenheit isn't that game. Its mechanics for handling emotion are truly clumsy, and the small scale of the start is well and truly destroyed by the time its Big-Ass Boss Battles kick in by the end. But it hints at that game, and suggests that (should he ever get over trying to turn videogaming into movies) David Cage might just have it in him to create it. Let's hope so. Because that really would be original and bold in all the ways Farenheit isn't.

Final Score: 4.0

Heavy Rain [split topic]
« Reply #26 on: February 09, 2010, 01:45:26 PM »
The demo (and opening) of Fahrenheit was great, it really looked like it would do something different and deep. Then it began a steady tumble downhill.

I'll give Heavy Rain a try, but it will be an eBay purchase later on down the line if I like it.

Also David Cage is a bullshit merchant.

HappyTree

  • Diz <3
Heavy Rain [split topic]
« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2010, 01:48:05 PM »
Ahh, now I remember the game. I remember I got to do the bunky-bunky with my ex-wife and you had to press the buttons for the thrusting motions, lol.

Heavy Rain [split topic]
« Reply #28 on: February 09, 2010, 02:14:44 PM »
Ahh, now I remember the game. I remember I got to do the bunky-bunky with my ex-wife and you had to press the buttons for the thrusting motions, lol.

Thank you for giving me the term 'bunky-bunky'. It will be a gift that i demand keeps giving!

falafel

  • Yes, blue.
Re: Videogaming v2.0
« Reply #29 on: February 11, 2010, 02:34:06 PM »
So Heavy Rain is getting pretty good reviews - with one or two issues, and it looks like they might be dealbreakers for me.

First - the reviewers seem to be split into a couple of schools.

1) The story is really gripping but starts a bit slowly, the gameplay mechanics are well executed but sometimes textures are a bit meh.

2) The artwork and attention to detail are fantastic and the gameplay is involving but the story, script and voicework are poor, although it starts well


These roughly fall into two recognisable schools of contemporary games journalism: (1) being the traditional, techy-minded, long-term gamer who isn't that fussed about narrative depth as long as they get their rocks off, and (2) being the sort that come to a review of a game like this with an expectation of genuine artistry and complexity. Roughly comparable to the difference between people who thought Avatar rocked because of the  story, and those who liked it despite of the cookie-cutter plot.

Each is fine but I would generally be in the latter camp, so I am worried. From the demo I did get a real feeling of disconnection. The QTE bits were brilliantly done and exciting but what drama there was, was utterly cliché. The game seems to be working incredibly well with the visual language of film, but I can't help but feel it's coming from that typical gaming perspective of having seen loads of cool movies but not spending enough time reading screenplays, or plays, or getting to understand the emotional or intellectual subtleties that really underpin great drama and simply can't be translated: the end result really is the tip of the iceberg, there is so much thought that goes on underneath. I have a feeling I will end up feeling utterly subservient to a series of devious plot machinations, just as I was in Fahrenheit. And that it will start to get s bit silly, contrived and shoehorned towards the end, just like in Fahrenheit, although hopefully a lot less bonkers.

I'll still buy it though.