Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Forecast Calls for Heavy Rain

So for the last several weeks, I've been hiding in a cave. No, not literally, but metaphorically, I've been avoiding gaming sites and other such news.

Only coming out the play a little BFBC2 Demo or Warhawk, I've been just hiding out while I waited for the storm. It finally came yesterday, traveling at an average speed of 142.61 mph, it finally blew in yesterday.

Of course I'm talking about my copy of Heavy Rain. Here at Full Frontal Gaming, we don't get to review games before they come out, so you'll have to excuse our lag. That said, from just the first few hours, it became clear that this game is a must own.

Starting off with first impressions. The UPS guy delivered the game to my office. I was there to pick it up as it came in the door. I ripped open the yellow envelope and protective plastic covering to reveal this jewel. I opened it up to find a small square of paper, pre-printed and the instruction manual.

Spending the next 4 hours concentrating on work, was a Herculean task. Some how I marched on and finally, it was time to go home. The wife was out so I popped the disc in. Immediately there was an update to the game, version 1.01. It downloaded and installed in just a few seconds. Then came the install onto the hard drive. 4 GBs of space needed. The install seemed slow to me. I'm sure you guys are aware there's several different speeds of USB, 1.0 1.1 and 2.0. Most devices these days support USB 2.0. Using raw speed, one can in theory transfer 4 GB in approximately 70 seconds. Also considering that a BluRay disc is 50 GB, it certainly should have USB 2.0 speeds right?

Well, my dear reader, do not fret too much. Quantic Dream has taken care of you. Remember that square in the case. Well, during the install you get to do some origami yourself. Best use of a prop to distract the user from install time I've ever seen.

Due to a small emergency I couldn't finish my figure before the game finished installing. That said, it left up the instructions and I now have the bird shown above.

So the game then gives several different levels. It took me a couple of looks to figure out basically it is easy, medium and hard, since they didn't call it that.

After selecting your level, you get to play some with the controls. Let's just say, leaving the door open as you use the bathroom, such a guy thing. The most impressive parts of this open sequence include the juggling and drawing pieces. Not only did it look good, it really felt like I was helping draw up the plans for a new house. The only thing I'd note it there's sometimes very little warning before a task must be done gently (meaning slowly). The camera angles can be problematic sometimes, but nothing your typical gamer can't handle. I only ended up walking in circles once or twice. Especially problematic was the mall scene, where not only did you have these camera transitions but you are trying to push through a crowd.

And while I'm talking about the crowed mall, I've got to say, it really did feel crowded. It is kind of like Assassin's Creed in that respect. You really did have to shove your way through as you ran through the mall.

Without giving too much more away, I'll say there's a possible fight scene early on. Yes it was mostly quick time events, but they made sense usually (though only after you saw what the result was). Additionally the character thoughts add new depth to the game.

So I'm just starting, not anywhere near done with the game. There's been reports of finishing it in approximately 9 hours. With so many different endings though, this could be a very long game.

Once I finish the game, I'll post a full review, but as first impressions go, this game (if you can even call it that) is awe inspiring and awesome.

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