Developer: Quantic Dream
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Released: February 23rd, 2010
The first thing I ever saw of HR didn’t actually have much to do with the game, though I didn’t know it at the time. The E3 2006 “trailer” was really an audition for a female character. She played the role of an angry wife who overreacts to her husband’s infidelity by threatening him with a gun in the kitchen with the sound of heavy rain just outside the window. Once the audition is over, the casting directors (?) give the actress a noncommittal “we’ll get in touch with you” answer, but once she leaves, one of the directors says that she’s too old for the part. Hmph!
HR was eventually revealed as an action-adventure game about a city being terrorized by the Origami Killer. The game tells its story with four main characters… and their choices affect the plot’s outcome.
March 25th, 2010: After MANY installations, I start Heavy Rain. It’s very innovative.
The game starts off telling the story of Ethan Mars, an architect and family man. His family celebrated his son’s birthday on a Saturday.
When Ethan plays with his sons, it’s fun.
Ethan’s younger son, Shaun, was missing when it was time to serve cake. He was upstairs, mourning the sudden death of his bird, Merlin. Ethan told Shaun that sometimes, bad things just happen.
“It’s not fair, Dad. It’s just not fair.”
Some time later, they went shopping at the mall. Ethan’s wife and Shaun looked for shoes, which left Ethan with his other son, the easily distracted Jason. Ethan bought him a red balloon, but the kid ran off while his father fumbled for his wallet.
Ethan desperately searched for Jason, looking specifically for the red balloon. Ethan discovered that the boy left the mall and wandered across the street.
Ethan called out to Jason, and he ran across the street, failing to look out for a woman in an oncoming car. Ethan tried to dive in between Jason and the car, but…
“Oh, my God, Jason, NO!”
The red balloon flew away.
This was the beginning of the end of Ethan’s old life.
The intro credits are amazing, too. Random characters stand in the rain. But is it all rain running down their sad faces, or…?
Two years later. Ethan had Shaun for the weekend. The boy swiftly settled into watching some pirate cartoon on TV. You can watch it, too.
There was a moment where I forgot I was playing a game when the camera zoomed on the TV and switched back to Ethan’s frowning face.
We had a schedule to follow – snack, homework, dinner, then bed. I let Shaun stay up ’til he fell asleep. I made sure he did his homework and even checked it. I’m a good dad! 😛
Almost all of the Trophies are veiled in mystery.
Can you believe that they only started these Trophies recently? Psh.
The game only has one cartoon for this sequence. Good thing time flows faster in the game, because three-plus hours of that repetition WOULD drive me INSANE.
Am I a bad dad? I know that kids often like to watch the same things over and over. 😦
Then again, so do I, and I’m an adult. :3
March 28th, 2010: After Ethan put Shaun to bed, Ethan suffered a strange episode. Next thing he knew, he stood on Carnaby Corner North in the rain with origami in his hand.
Maybe he was dreaming about Death Stranding. 😛
Not knowing what to do, he started walking forward…
Next, the game shifted to the perspective of Scott Shelby, an aged private detective looking for the relative of a victim of the Origami Killer. His search for a woman named Lauren brought him to a motel.
Lauren’s son was one of the victims. She was very reluctant to talk, and she did not tell Scott anything about the incident. The wounds were too fresh, though they would probably never heal.
Scott left his card on the table before he left Lauren’s room.
In the hallway, he had a severe asthma attack and had to use his inhaler.
Then, one of Lauren’s scummy clients went to see her – she was a prostitute. Scott heard her screaming inside of her room, so he kicked in the door and scared the john off before he could do anything really bad.
Lauren thanked Scott, and he left the motel with an “it was nothing” kind of gesture.
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Then, another new character: FBI agent and dreamboat Norman Jayden. He had shaky hands and a prescription to control them.
He was investigating a victim of the Origami Killer, and he had some amazing CSI technology to help him.
It was raining at the crime scene, so it was muddy, which tampered with finding evidence. Norman left the scene. It was a little frustrating.
Ethan visited his therapist, who gave him Rorschach tests and questions. I couldn’t quite input the answers that I wanted. The therapist said that Ethan was physically okay, but his emotional state is troubled. Duh.
The therapist tried to remind Ethan that his surviving the collision with the car was a miracle…
“I don’t exactly feel lucky, Doctor.”
Later that day, Ethan took Shaun to the park. Shaun said that if he was late to school again, the teacher was going to make him stay home. Oops.
Shaun finally came out of his shell when Ethan taught him how to throw a boomerang. He was acting like the old Shaun.
Then, they played on the swing and the seesaw before they began to leave, but Shaun insisted on riding the carousel. Ethan bought him a seat, but then, Ethan had another episode…
It was nighttime again, raining, on Carnaby Corner North. No one else seemed to be around.
He called out to Shaun and returned to the real world. Shaun’s backpack was on the ground, but he was nowhere to be seen.
Ethan rushed back to his apartment and checked Shaun’s room. He was not there.
Ethan ran outside and called out for Shaun.
Ethan suddenly realized that there was a piece of origami shaped like an animal in his right hand. He dropped the origami and fell to his knees.
Norman returned to the station. It was almost time for a press conference on the Origami Killer. He may visit the conference, but first, he had to do some work in his new office, which was like a cell.
The findings at the crime scene:
The vic’s face was covered in mud. This was one of the Killer’s trademarks. Were they trying to say something about identity?
Lilac pollen from nearby flowers were on the body. Supposedly, that was another par for the Killer’s MO.
The body was found near the railroad tracks, just like all of the others. But Lauren said that her son was found “in a wasteland”.
I made some mistakes, one, as Ethan describing Shaun to the cops, and another as Norman (shooting a potential interviewee).
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