Heavy Rain 101

Heavy Rain is an "interactive drama" video game that launched in February 2010 exclusively on the PlayStation 3. It was developed by Quantic Dream and written/directed by the Quantic's CEO, David Cage.

The story begins by following the life of Ethan Mars, an architect living happily with his wife and two sons. After a series of unfortunate events, one of his sons is kidnapped by the "Origami Killer", a serial killer whose trademark is leaving origami figures on the bodies of his victims. You then set off to try and save his son by following Ethan and three other people associated with the case: Norman Jayden, an FBI profiler brought in to work on the case; Madison Paige, a journalist; and Scott Shelby, a private investigator hired by the families of previous victims.

The game's trademark is its format of interactive storytelling. Most of the game's action sequences take place using quick-time events, essentially instances where the game instructs you to press certain buttons or move the controller in a certain way. While this may seem dull on paper, the sequences quickly become intense and require skill and finesse to complete. If you fail, it can alter the direction of the story and may lead to one of the numerous alternate endings.

Heavy Rain arrived to critical acclaim, receiving an average of 89% from over 80 sources. Many praised its original and compelling story, intense atmosphere and effective control scheme. GameZone's Michael Lafferty, having given the game a 9.5 out of 10, remarks that Heavy Rain "creates an interactive experience that goes beyond the pages of a good novel or film noir".

I don't think any description can really do the game justice, but if your curiousity has been adequately piqued then I urge you to read more about it here. Also, for those of you who are already fans, I would strongly recommend that you check out Quantic's other masterpiece, Indigo Prophecy (aka Fahrenheit), available for XBOX/PS2/PC.