Heavy Rain

The weather forecast.

Normally, when presenting their games to the press, game developers try to explain them as fully and as best they can. They choose representative sections to demo and strive to get their vision for the whole project across in interviews. David Cage likes to do things differently.

The first time he showed Heavy Rain - the "Taxidermist" demo at last year's Leipzig Games Convention - he explained that what we were seeing wouldn't appear in the game itself. The second time journalists were summoned before the French writer-director and head of the Quantic Dream studio, he went one further: he didn't actually show anything at all.

This third time, he's got nowhere to hide, or so you'd think. Quantic has brought alpha code of a scene that will appear in the PS3 interactive drama, and we're even being allowed to play it ourselves - but Cage isn't done playing cat-and-mouse. It's the first of four scenes he's going to show over the next few months, he says, each one so different that it's going to make you doubt what Heavy Rain actually is. Beware of jumping to conclusions, he warns, because they'll be false. We're beginning to think that he's enjoying this.

"It's difficult to understand, don't worry, that's normal, but the more scenes we show, probably the more lost you'll be," Cage says in his light, unassuming tone. "We'll show you things that are really, really different from what you've just seen. And that's going to be a pleasure."

On that we have to agree. What we learn and experience of Heavy Rain at this preview - quite a lot, in fact, despite Cage's coyness - doesn't do anything to change the impression that it's the most interesting game of this year. We await a chance to see the next scene at E3 with as much excitement as anything else at the show.

hr1
The characters are realistic, but the backgrounds almost painterly.

The first thing we learn is that Heavy Rain will have four lead characters, and you'll play through their scenes in turn as you move chronologically through the events of four days. Each will have a different angle on the story, and we'll be introduced to them all in the coming previews. This time, we get to meet FBI profiler Norman Jayden.

Jayden is a young forensics and profiling expert working on the case of the Origami Killer, a serial killer responsible for a series of murders on the east coast of the US. The police have been working the case for months, but have no suspects. Jayden is professional, methodical, clever, obsessive... and a drug addict, slave to a pharmaceutical called Triptocaine. Players will need to manage his addiction, taking the drug to retain Jayden's self-control at key moments, but risking deeper addiction as they do so.

In the only hint of science-fiction we've seen in the game, Jayden uses a high-tech glove-and-glasses device called ARI - "Added Reality Interface", a Pentagon prototype - as an investigative tool to look for clues in his surroundings. It turns him into a one-man mobile CSI lab, detecting fingerprints, DNA and blood traces, and highlighting them in the environment, unlocking clues. It can also be used as a virtual reality interface, re-skinning his surroundings and providing Quantic with a visual tool for out-of-scene investigation and storytelling.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.

Jump to comments (79)

About the author

Oli Welsh

Oli Welsh

Editor

Oli is the editor of Eurogamer.net and likes to take things one word at a time. His friends call him The European, but that's just a coincidence. He's still playing Diablo 3.

Related

You may also enjoy...

Sekiro boss guide and walkthrough - boss and mini boss list for beating Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Our detailed, in-progress walkthrough for each key moment in Sekiro: Shadow's Die Twice.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey Ainigmata Ostraka locations - how to solve all ancient puzzles

A complete list of solutions for every single Ainigmata Ostraka puzzle in Assassin's Creed Odyssey.

Days Gone Horde locations list, maps and tips to take down a Horde

Where to find all 37 Horde locations in Days Gone.

Pokémon Let's Go walkthrough and guide to your quest through Kanto

Our complete Pokémon Let's Go walkthrough and guide to your big adventure with Pikachu or Eevee.

Comments (79)

Comments for this article are now closed. Thanks for taking part!

Hide low-scoring comments
Order
Threading