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This is my personal review. It it subject to me personal opinion and bias.
The most important point right away: The collectors edition is not worth its money.
The game comes in a shabby carton-like case which can easily takes dents, damage and can tore apart.
A normal PS3 game case provides much better protection and optics. The heavy rain box is nothing I'd want to show off.
A good way to do it is for example "Uncharted 2" or "Mass Effect 2" whose special/collectors edition come in a steelcase.
The additional premium DLC , the first chronicles episode, cannot save this cheap special edition. More on the Chronicles episode later.
Together with the Chronicles code you were supposed to download the Soundtrack from the game too. Of course first day customers ran into trouble and got only the chronicles and the dynamic design for XMB.
Those like me had to send an email to sony for support to ask for an additional code to download the soundtrack.
It took Sony support several weeks(!) to supply me finally a code for the soundtrack.
Not the best way to encourage people to stick with your platform and to buy additional stuff in your online shop if they see how problematic it can be and how long support does take (to help you).
But now one after one.
The main game
Heavy rain supports good graphics, a (slightly above) average soundtrack and flawless game play. I never ran into any issues in the game.
The quick time events in the game never tired me out: They are the main part of the game. They range from simple and easy to quickly and hasty.
The story is very interesting and draws the player in very fast. Once you are trough the game you will maybe notice some slight flaws to certain "things" however these don't feel game breaking neither are they decreasing the total game experience.
The narrative part of heavy rain is excellent and many other so called story driven games would wish to have this level of depth in such a short span.
What is really fascinating about the game are the big events. Many of them can be played a couple of times and you can experience a different experience each time. The main story is not always affected by these but still it makes you wonder how else the situation could have turned out to be.
The game features various endings. From total failure, a dramatic showdown and a topping happy end - and everything in between.
Some characters can indeed die and the story will keep going, the story will adapt to the missing character(s).
How far would you go for love?
What would you do to save someone you love?
That is the main premise of the game and in my opinion very well delivered. While you struggle to save your son you are challenged how far you want to go.
You can happily crash every limit of moral, ethics and law to save your son or you can hold back, trying to find another way.
It is the always present emotional struggle that makes this game actually fun. Total playtime will tick in between 15-20 hours.
The various endings however will increase this for a couple more hours and maybe many more if you play around with various situations to see the different possible outcomes of those.
Chronicles, Episode 1
The first DLC and included with the special edition of the game makes you play once more the female main character Madison Page. She is checking on a guy she suspects to be the Origami killer.
Indeed its a weird guy but the DLC is very short and nothing fancy.
Being part of the special edt. is nice but for a stand alone DLC to pay for not worth it.
This DLC does add nothing to the main story of the game, it does not deepen the characters or deliver any interesting side information.
If any other DLC turns out like this I'll stay away from it.
In-game the soundtrack is awesome. It adds or to say better it completes certain scenarios in the game. Its only dominating a scene where necessary or just a minor addition in the background.
Stand alone however the soundtrack is underwhelming. It feels incomplete, literally. I feel like some tunes are missing because the soundtrack got only 16 tracks. Also the very powerful music from the games trailer is neither in the game or the soundtrack - a waste.
While the soundtrack is sure nice and sometimes melancholic its nothing special.
Heavy Rain dynamic background for the XMB
For some reason the dynamic background you could buy ahead of the game launch and the one inside the special edition are the same. Not very nice. It decreases the actual value of the edition because this design is nothing special (everyone can have it) and those who bought the design upfront kinda payed twice for it.
Quite disappointing, displeasing and another factor to mistrust the PSN Store.
All in all the main game in itself is absolutely awesome and I highly recomend it to everyone who is into story driven narrative games.
The normal edition of the game is wel
Game Traits applied to Heavy Rain (PS3) by Amargosa