Why Heavy Rain is a 9/10 game

This month Official PlayStation magazine has the exclusive review of Sony's first exclusive of 2010: Heavy Rain. Subscribers copies are now in the wild so we can reveal the magazine has scored the game a stellar 9/10 and given it a coveted gold award.

With this in mind, we wandered over to OPM UK's office for a quick chat with the author of the review, Tim Clark (Editor-in-chief) to find out what led to his verdict on the game, in advance of our own review next month.

So, Tim, tell us about your review, why does Heavy Rain deserve a 9/10?

"Well, primarily I scored it high because I think it's really good. More specifically it's a tremendously exciting experience and exactly the kind of thing people who moan about there being too many shooters and sequels have been crying out for.

"It's also an amazing piece of technical craft. Visually it's right up there with Uncharted 2, and the stuff they do with the control system is incredibly bold. Far from being just a series of linked QTEs, it constantly toys with what you expect from it, regularly introducing new twists on the core mechanic, and is just incredibly exciting to play through. Can you tell I liked it?"
In the review you made a point of saying it would turn off as many people as it will turn on others - what is it about Heavy Rain that will divide gamers?

"Well, I think the people who may not get it are the ones who aren't willing to put aside the conventions they've built up from years spent playing traditional genres. As I said in the review, Heavy Rain isn't about grinding XP or hoovering up collectibles. It's about getting sucked into this genuinely intriguing noirish story, and the thrill of knowing your actions and decisions are making that story jag in different directions. That said, there are times when it's slow - deliberately so, for atmosphere and pacing's sake - which may annoy the kind of gamer who's perpetually in a rush."

This is very much a 'Sony game' isn't it...

"I think it is, yes. Sony has a track record for backing riskier, innovative projects from Ico through to LittleBigPlanet. We speak to people like Michael Denny and Shuhei Yoshida who run Worldwide Studios and they have a very clear sense of wanting to create a portfolio of exclusives on PS3 that runs from big blockbusters like God Of War III and Gran Turismo 5 through to more artsy stuff like Heavy Rain. Which isn't to say it doesn't matter if Heavy Rain makes money -  everyone concerned wants it to be a hit, and I think it will be.

"The fact it doesn't use any assumptions from other games (in the sense of its control system, particularly - all you need to know is up there on the screen) I think makes it quite casual-friendly, particularly as the modern, real-world crime setting will feel very familiar to everyone. I'd love to see it really breakout and reach people who like watching thriller movies."
How much replayability are we going to get out of it?

"Well as soon as I finished my first playthrough I wanted to jump back and try doing things differently, so there's absolutely replay value there, although clearly once you've seen the big story twists, the 'what happens next?' motivation will be gone. And some scenes (you can pick and choose once you've completed it once) clearly have more replayability than others in terms of being able to affect their outcome.

"I didn't much want to replay the scene in which you cook scrambled eggs for a bereaved mother, but the big action beats - car chases, fights, a shootout - are really fun to experiment with to see what else can happen."

What about the sex and nudity - how did that work?

"Well for me it opens the whole debate up again, in a good way. Whatever Quantic Dream might say, the sex/nudity is absolutely designed to titillate - and I have no problem with that. When Halle Berry takes her top off in Swordfish, that's designed to titillate too.

"I think that it's about time the games industry worked out how it's going to portray sex. Why shouldn't it be a part of story-driven games aimed at an adult audience? The actual sex scene in Heavy Rain, which dips to black before it gets too sweaty, was a rare moment of the animation looking a bit clumsy.

"More interesting is the first Madison scene, where her vulnerability and your voyeurism as the player is underlined when things get a bit nasty. I expect it to be discussed a fair bit when the game comes out.

"Fundamentally though, Heavy Rain is a game of ideas that will excite players and get them talking about what they want from the medium. That's got to be a good thing. And in case that all sounds a bit wanky, I'll just repeat that it was tremendous fun to play from start to finish. "

To read the review in full be sure to get your copy of Official PlayStation Magazine UK when it hits news stands on 19 January 2010. 

Look out for a GamesRadar Heavy Rain Super Review next month.

Jan 19, 2010


  • Blackviperr - January 25, 2010 12:27 p.m.

    I have been looking forward to this game for so long.. i remember seeing some game play segment from somewhere and it looked amazing.. Im a junkie for awesome story's and twists.. Im getting this one for SURE
  • FantasticMrStarFox - January 25, 2010 5:14 a.m.

    sounds awessome. cant wait.
  • Dalibor - January 21, 2010 10:13 a.m.

    Can't wait for this game. It's going to be cool & very different imo.
  • DavidMacphail - January 20, 2010 2:28 p.m.

    9/10? Heavy Rain is a 9.5/10 at least.
  • CH3BURASHKA - January 20, 2010 8:51 a.m.

    The part about the PS consoles have a legacy of out-there exclusives is absolutely true, and it's one of the main reasons I will purchase a PS3 before a 360 (soon..), something I wouldn't choose to do a year ago. MS gets props for a solid library, but they don't seem to get behind the 'indie' or non-mass-market stuff, which Sony does, and I respect them immensely for it.
  • Tyboy - January 20, 2010 6:30 a.m.

    @qwertycommander i counted, and its actually 3248. Also, i have no life
  • smallberry - January 20, 2010 5:06 a.m.

    I remember an interview with David Cage where he spoke about the importance of seeing the character's tongue inside their mouth when they speak. To think that that is the level of detail they have gone into makes me very happy. But I loved Fahrenheit (minus the Dragonball Z bits) and Omikron so I've got very high expectations.
  • CARLINNIT - January 20, 2010 1:38 a.m.

    My most anticipated game of all time. I'm not getting carried away with myself here, I just loved Fahrenheit and have been on the edge of my seat sucking every bit of information of this game that I can. I'm tremendously excited to play this game. I'll have a friend down on release (we played through fahrenheit together) so I'm sure we'll both be in awe of this. I simply cannot wait. Preordered the special edition and regular edition as soon as I could. I even made some origami birds for my mantlepiece, soaked them in tea bags and added some blood red at the bottom like on the game case. Yes, I'm a little obbsessed, but I believe anyone who misses out on this game is very unfortunate. It is looking to be an absolutely phenomenal title. I really hope it sells well, but I can see a lot of people bashing it because they just can't understand it's quality.
  • Cyberninja - January 20, 2010 1:30 a.m.

    i wonder what ending you get for this game if you kill everybody first thing since you dont get a game over
  • inconceivable - January 20, 2010 1:17 a.m.

    To me, Heavy Rain seems like a game you should play just to see what it's like, but seeing a high review like this is very nice because it means playin' it will be an enjoyable experience. Most likely.
  • Samael - January 20, 2010 12:09 a.m.

    Was gonna get this day one no matter what, but some sweet, sweet vindication is always great. @Yeager1122 4 people, Ethan Mars (a devoted father and architect), Madison Page (a determined insomniac reporter), Norman Jayden (a pill addicted FBI agent with some sweet shades) and Scott Shelby (a asthmatic private detective) get caught up, in one way or another, in The Origami Killer case, a serial killer who leaves origami on his victims. @crumbdunky START. A. BLOG.
  • Yeager1122 - January 19, 2010 9:12 p.m.

    Im still not even sure what this game is supposed to be about.
  • CreeplyTuna - January 19, 2010 8:04 p.m.

    damn! im 14 and wanna get this but if there nudity or sex, im not taking the chance of my parents walking in right at that moment. i was very careful with mass effect and god of war, but still. leave porn on the internet, and just tease us in movie s and games
  • Xobi - January 19, 2010 7:58 p.m.

    my experience with Playstation official magazine UK is that they are completely unbiased in their reviews and previews for that matter........... if they have given a 9 to HR translates for me into a great game...... I love the principle with which these guys work............ on the other hand PTOM US has given me a few reviews that were unjust. ANYWAY if the Official UK mag gives it..... it has to be good
  • QWERTYCommander - January 19, 2010 7:06 p.m.

    How could dunky's essay not be more than 5000 characters?
  • Amnesiac - January 19, 2010 6:28 p.m.

  • crumbdunky - January 19, 2010 5:01 p.m.

    I've been quite impressed by OPMUK, and especially their reviews, over the past two years or so and they haven't ducked out of giving imperfect scores for games like KZ2 when other, non platform specific sites and mags were dishing out tens. A lot of people a that time said to me "Well, it must be crap if a PS3 official mag doesn't give it ten!" but they were just being consistent and honest with us and that extends to their multiplat coverage too. This means I'm more than happy to accept their opinion of HR without any issues and am confident it really is a good, good experience. What I see as it's problems(and if any game was ever going to be a game that burns slowly through word of mouth it's this)are also it's strengths as well:people don't know what it is or how to take it and it's so different to most games a lot of people will get frustrated after five minutes and never put it back in the console. We, in general, have gotten very conservative in our tastes with FPSs everywhere, remakes being clamoured for(FF7, SoTC are constantly being requested to be redone and only today Valve are saying thast after PD for the XBLA they'll be brushing up a load of their old IP too)and, when new things are tried(the changes people are hating on in FF13 or tthe complaints about the controls being "broken" in KZ2 when, really they were just heavier and different to COD and had no auto aim assist at all for most guns)we moan about it and don't want to learn. Or a least a sizeable percentage of our community feel this way. Are people who feel like this really likely to open their arms to a game like Heavy Rain? IDK but I do think the barriers are there and the digs are already made "just a string of QTEs", and, "it's not a game but just a movie with some choices"-if people want to excuse not giving this game a chance. I just hope it's as good as TC makes out as I really think Sony deserve a little praise for pushing this title in a time where gamers aren't as forward thinking as we, maybe, once were. Perhaps it's the pace of today's world that makes us impatient for our gratification and leaves little gaming time to learn new control schemes and certainly not enough to get our heads round anything really new. Beleive me a lot of gamers won't have the patience-I'm prepared to say that much without playing the gam-to giv HR a real chance but for Cage and Sony I really hope it sells well in a market where even decent sized jrpgs titles have struggled lately. Whatever, interesting stuff and what looks to be a pretty good game to boot. I just wonder if enough people outside of the likes of us who read around the subject will be prepared to take a risk on this one-I wouldn't panic about it, though, if I were QD or Sony if it doesn't fly right off the shelves as it should do well over time if there's any justice in the gaming world. BTW:interesting that Mr Clark felt casual gamers could well find it a good, and not daunting experience. I just think it looks stunning and want to know a lot more about the story we get to abuse!
  • mfwahwah - January 19, 2010 4:52 p.m.

    "This month Official PlayStation magazine has the exclusive review of Sony's first exclusive of 2010: Heavy Rain." What!? Heavy Rain is not the first SONY exclusive of 2010. I'm disappointed in you GR. in tows
  • OmNomRomRearghNergh - January 19, 2010 4:40 p.m.

    LOL fuzzy wind. This game seems good but it just doesn't appeal to me at all.. a lot of people probably feel the same.
  • Optimaximal - January 19, 2010 4:37 p.m.

    Official Sony Magazine gives exclusive Sony game good marks? I'm shocked and appalled! (seriously, I thought everyone, even the fanboys, knew that these rags are biased and useless for getting a balanced opinion.)

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