Heavy Rain is, without a doubt, a game that’s very unlike many of the games that many developers are putting out there these days. For that, it certainly deserves to be appreciated for be something more than another space marine shooter. However, just because it’s different doesn’t mean it deserves a free pass for all of its faults. There were a few plot points that weren’t laid out very clearly and a couple others that just plain confused the hell out of me. I wanted to take some time to point out some of the lingering questions that I still have even after completing the game.

[DO NOT READ ON IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE SPOILED! I WILL GO INTO DETAIL ABOUT MAJOR PLOT POINTS THAT WILL RUIN THE GAME IF YOU HAVE NOT PLAYED IT!]

The first question I had is in regards to the videos that Ethan gets for completing the various trials. In the first trial, the Bear, Ethan first has to get a car from a garage. At this garage, the mechanic gives Ethan the keys to the car and says they’ve kept it in working order for two years. It’s understandable that this man would have forgotten the face of the killer after two years, but if the killer had been to the garage in the past day to hide that video, wouldn’t he have had to talk to the mechanic? I’m willing to believe that the killer had some way to access the car and place the video. A couple of the other clues are iffy like that one as well. The one that I had the most problem with, though, was the Shark trial. When Ethan gets the box containing the clues for all the trials, there’s also a gun. He has this gun for at least a day before he begins the Shark trial. During the Shark trial, he is tasked to kill a drug dealer in order to complete the trial and get the clue to his son’s location. Once he’s killed the drug dealer, he sends a picture to the killer, and then message comes back telling him to look in the grip of his gun for his reward. How could the killer have possibly put a video in the grip of the gun showing Ethan’s son in deeper water than the previous clue? That may be a little nitpicky, but for a game that is solely about its mystery plot, this seems like a pretty large oversight on the part of the creators.

Another aspect of the story that was never fully explained was Ethan’s blackouts. This plot device was used early on in order to make the player think that Ethan may be committing the murders without knowing what he was doing. Upon the conclusion of the story, the ending never really goes into detail about what Ethan was doing during these blackouts, why he would wake up in the same place with an origami dog in his hand, or what impact these blackouts had after the story was over. I understand that this was meant to be a red herring for much of the game, but once again, on such a plot focused game, these blackouts seem like something that could use some kind of an explanation as well.

[IF YOU READ ANY FURTHER, IT WILL RUIN THE ENDING BY SPOILING WHO THE KILLER IS. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.]

Finally, just what the hell were Scott Shelby and Lauren doing for most of the game? At the end of the game, it’s revealed that Scott, one of the main player controlled characters, has been the killer all along. During my play through the game, I enjoyed Scott’s sections immensely. I found him to be quite the interesting character. At one point in the game, while sitting at his desk, I looked in one of the desk drawers and found a bottle of alcohol. I looked at it for a minute while deciding whether or not to drink it, and ultimately decided to close the drawer without taking a drink. I found myself deciding that Scott was trying to cut back on a drinking habit and try to remain sober while investigating this case. None of this was ever explicitly stated during the story, but with that one decision I’d come up with a bit of back-story for this guy and found myself attached to this character. Finding out he was the killer shattered everything that had been built over the course of the game. This was a rather large failure on the story creator’s part. I would have preferred if it had been one of the other NPC that the player meets throughout the game. Hell, I’d have preferred it to be some other personality of Ethan’s instead of Scott.

While this game has some story telling issues, it’s no doubt an enjoyable game. This game is full of extremely intense sequences that had me on the edge of my seat, mashing buttons as the prompts appeared. The game had me wanting to keep playing just to see what situation I’d be put in next as I took steps towards finding out the solution to the mystery and saving Ethan’s son. For that, this game certainly deserves some props, if only the story would have been executed a little more cleanly, this game would have been a game we’d still be talking about ten years from now.

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