Living with the Consequences of your [ingame] Actions.
by, 09-03-2010 at 04:19 PM (845 Views)
*** This May contain Heavy Rain Spoilers, I'll do my best to avoid them but you never know***
Is it possible to regret you actions in a game? Is it possible to get so attached to a virtual character that their death physically upsets you? Is it possible for your to feel responsible for their deaths? These are all questions I've been asking myself since i finished Heavy Rain yesterday morning. I didn't get the perfect ending, 2 characters died and poor Ethan didn't rescue his son.
I killed Madison... there is no other way to put it, it was my clumsy fingers that caused her death, if i had only been faster. If i just knew the controller better she would still be alive...
Same goes for Jayden, had i not fumbled the quicktime event he would have survive and captured or killed the Origami Killer, instead he was beaten unconscious and dropped into a shredder...
These feelings of regret are something one doesn't normally experience while playing a video game, mostly because normally when a character in a game, even a playable character, dies the player knows it was always part of the story. This time however the possibility existed to survive. The fates of these virtual people where entirely up to the player and their deaths had brought... sadness. In Madison's case such sadness that my Fiance had asked me if I was ok as i stared at the screen and Madison's lifeless body being dumped on a table. A guilt so strong that i had nearly restarted the entire game just to try and let her live.
Similarly when i had learned the identity of the Origami Killer I found myself wondering if, when replaying, i would try so hard to have him survive. If i wouldn't just let him die early on...
It is these questions , these feelings and emotions that are the real marvel of Heavy Rain. A title which crosses the line between Game and Art. The clumsy movement controls aside and the few graphical glitches not with standing the sheer emotional depth of the game should earn it multiple awards but this is where the really sad fact comes in. Unfortunately Heavy Rain will never receive the same level of recognition as Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, Battlefield Bad Company 2, Mass Effect or any of the other dozen titles that will fill the candidates for Game of the Year or any other reward. Sure one or 2 sites or publication may give it the Best Story Award or something similar. This is due to most gamers being emotionally retarded with no idea what they are missing by not playing Heavy Rain. It is one of the most singly important tiles of this decade for the one and only reason that it pushes Gaming into a new direction, a more adult direction and not an adolescent fantasies of violence or sex like many other "mature" games around but in a dark and psychological adult direction that, in my humble opinion , is like the Watchmen Graphic Novel.
Let us hope Quantic Dream keeps up the good work and delivers us another engrossing title soon for the gaming world could do with more titles like Heavy Rain to show that gaming isn't just about mindless violence or childish fantasies of sex but that is can be as compelling or deep as any novel or film.