Heavy Rain. The game I've been going on and on about to anyone and eveyone who'll listen, the game I've mentioned several times on this blog, the game I've heaped mountains of unreasonable expectations on, is here...
...and it blew my fucking mind. (enough so to warrant expletives).
Its gameplay is unique, its approach to story is unique in that its all about the story rather than the high score or the next headshot. Its handling of emotion is unparralled in gaming. It looks gorgeous too.
The only reason I'm not still playing it and unlocking another of its multiple endings is that the PSN is down and a trophy error is preventing me from loading it up.
I've mentioned before why this game is so important, not just to me but to the entire gaming industry. In summary, its pointing the way, maybe not in terms of design but in terms of tone. This is what this medium can do at the highest level, unmatched interaction storytelling based on a massive range of emotions.
What I love about Heavy Rain is the way consquence is engineered. There are no game overs or retrys. You carry on regardless of wether a character dies, screws up, you make a specific moral decision on in their shoes, or they succeed. This means when you arrive at the ending the context and weight behind every decision is so much more profound because it belongs to you. Your choices, your mistakes. And, in the end, your feelings.
Thats why Heavy Rain is both hard to concisely explain and experience with constraints. You need to sit down and experience it in it's entirety. And probably more than once too.
I mean, how many games can boast of scenes in which the player (spoilers): changes a nappy, prevents a suicide, has a shower, kills an innocent man and has to live with it, cuts of his finger, has sex, sits bored, plays with his kids, loses his son in a shopping center, performs first aid, cooks an omelete, saves a life, takes drugs, kicks the habit, frees a innocent man, plays piano, makes an architectural drawing, plays basketball, falls in love, dies permanently. And you feel every minute of it, its powerful stuff.