• Publisher: SCEA
  • Release Date: Feb 23, 2010
Metascore
87

Generally favorable reviews - based on 107 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 99 out of 107
  2. Negative: 3 out of 107
  1. 90
    A hell of an experience. Its controversial control scheme actually works really well in allowing the fantastic story to dictate how events play out, and many of the game's scenes will keep you on the edge of your seat. It starts slow and the presentation isn't perfect, but the character development, dialog and story twists will hook you like few games can.
  2. A profoundly personal experience that should not be missed.
  3. There are some flaws, but taken as a package Heavy Rain is a remarkable achievement in gaming that creates an interactive experience that goes beyond the pages of a good novel or film noir. This is a game that needs to be experienced.
  4. Believe me; you will care enough about these characters to want to see just how things play out differently each time. Heavy Rain potentially marks the beginning of something new in the industry and I hope the rain continues to fall.
  5. It's barely a game in the popular sense of the word, but Quantic Dream's masterpiece makes groundbreaking strides in storytelling and character development, demonstrating that interactive entertainment still has a deep well of untapped potential. [Issue#203, p.91]
  6. 90
    If you can buy into the idea that the ending you get is your ending, and that your characters are really your characters, then you just might find yourself feeling moved by a videogame.
  7. It may also be the only game you play this year where pulling the trigger makes you really feel something, and I can think of no greater compliment.
  8. 100
    An emotionally engaging thrill-ride from start to finish, Quantic Dream's Heavy Rain is a superbly crafted interactive experience, told expertly through it's stunning visuals and believable characters.
  9. Heavy Rain is more of an experience than a game, and as far as an experience goes, it does an impressive job and is truly unlike anything else on the market.
  10. Heavy Rain is a unique and ambitious, once in a generation type of game with exceptional production values and an enthralling story.
  11. Heavy Rain is an inspiration board of editorials waiting to be written. It is entertaining without being “fun” and explores the assumptions players make as a spectator and a participant, the extent at which literary drama can interconnect with games, and the uncharted space far beyond mainstream gaming...Even if you come to oppose everything it stands for – and understandably so – Heavy Rain needs to be played.
  12. 91
    One of the most emotional experiences I've ever had playing a videogame.
  13. It's really difficult to judge Heavy Rain. The new David Cage masterpiece is something to love or to hate without any compromise. But this duality is something typical for the excellence: Heavy Rain is strongly emotional and represents a new way to think about videogames. A way where the plot and the quality of narrative become more influential than the gameplay.
  14. An incredibly original and compelling thriller that's unlike anything else out there. [Mar 2010, p.64]
  15. The presentation for Heavy Rain is nearly flawless with some stunning mo-cap work, not only for overall character movement and subtle character traits and idle animations, but also in the detailed facial capture and lip-synch.
  16. Visually and aurally it's a decadent feast for the senses, but its frequent descents into ham-fisted schlock and downright broken storytelling ultimately make it a clumsy case of style over substance. It's a likeable mess if you don't think too hard, but nevertheless, a mess it remains.
  17. Regardless if you like it, it's a must try experience for every videogame fan.
  18. Despite some rough edges, Heavy Rain is an unforgettable experience.
  19. 90
    Sound is a mixed bag. The soundtrack is absolutely stunning. The tempo of the music picks up at just the right time and the score is so well constructed it feels like a blockbuster movie soundtrack. The voice work on the other hand suffers as much as it succeeds.
  20. So, in what can also be described as a truly "parental" set of feelings, I love this game, but I'm also disappointed that it was not able to be all that it could have been.
  21. Heavy Rain pulls off its branching narrative by donning blinkers and sprinting down the chosen routes. Countless permutations of each scene are allowed, safe in the knowledge that they will never be addressed again.
  22. Heavy Rain isn't the ultimate narrative-driven videogame but the first, a template that should inspire other creators and open up a genre as limitless as imagination itself. And we can't wait to see what stories we get to play next. [Issue#93, p.104]
  23. Enter Heavy Rain with an open mind and no expectations and it will grab your attention from start to finish. Although its sentiment will fail to hit home with everyone, this is a game that should be experienced by anyone with a love for gaming.
  24. Quantic Dream again brings its unique vision of videogames with Heavy Rain, its latest gem. Maybe it’s not a perfect game, but if you want a deep and engaging history and believable and touching characters this is your game. It’s an incredibly original videogame.
  25. For those of you who can open your minds to the possibility of something genuinely new, this is mana from heaven. Heavy Rain is one of the most exciting things to happen to video games for a long, long time. It's not a threat to the old way of doing things, but it does hint at the possiblity of a whole new genre.
  26. Everyone who calls himself a videogamer should try the Heavy Rain experience. Such a fresh and innovative point of view on home entertainment could give birth to an entire new genre. Technically superb, provided with a good story and an interesting control system, Quantic Dream's new title is really a twist in the videogaming culture. Still, some minor issues and a limited interactivity do not allow to praise it with full marks.
  27. Everybody can breathe a sigh of relief, because Heavy Rain was definitely worth the long wait. This is an intriguing murder mystery that will have you guessing all the way to the end. Best of all, the narrative is one of the strongest I've seen in years.
  28. Ultimately, Heavy Rain is an experiment that both succeeded and failed, when it could easily have been a total success if the brains behind it weren't trying so hard to be smart, and cared more about providing a sensible plot as opposed to a shocking one.
  29. Heavy Rain is an essential title for an adventure game fan but I don't think I can limit the recommendation to "fans of the genre." It's involving in a way that most games don't even aspire to.
  30. It’s film noir, it’s drama, but most accurately it is unique. I’ve played literally thousands of games on every platform under the sun, but Heavy Rain really connected with me.
  31. Heavy Rain is not a perfect game, maybe it's not a videogame at all. It's an involving experience that no one has created before and that will remain in videogamers' hearts forever.
  32. A remarkably cinematic game with a superbly stylish execution. The imaginative Quick Time Event action sequences, both big and small, enable participation in action normally reserved for passive cut-scenes. A tidal wave of QTE that might follow afterward is something to dread for but in this context QTE works well. [Mar 2010]
  33. The game allows you to interact with its rain-drenched world, shaping its development in ways that you’ll never expect until it’s too late. The clunky movements and awkward controls kill some of the immersion, but the gorgeous graphics and emotionally assaultive scenes will keep you mesmerized.
  34. Beyond its unconventional and somewhat unconvincing gameplay, Heavy Rain is one of those few products able to assure a real videogame experience, taking gamers though a journey they’ll hardly forget. Quantic Dream has definitely pushed forth the standards of the whole adventure games genre.
  35. 92
    Heavy Rain is a risky game but it offers you an unique experience and therefore it's definitely worth your money!
  36. For many people Heavy Rain won’t be more than a progression of quick-time-events, but for me this game has everything a great game needs. The thrilling story, the beautiful graphics and the innovative controls will let you play on and on, till you just can’t look any longer into your TV.
  37. 85
    While slightly weighed down by its ambition, Heavy Rain provides a riveting mature-themed story, and an adventure driven by the decisions you make and the actions you succeed in. And best of all, there is nothing out there quite like it.
  38. Heavy Rain is a unique experience. It’s not a traditional game, but that isn’t a problem, because the strong story, fantastic gameplay and impressive acting make up for it. An emotional adventure in the life of real characters. An interactive drama of which we would like to receive more in the future.
  39. An interactive movie where the gameplay is as basic and two-dimensional as the story and acting.
  40. Put gaming conventions aside, go in with no expectations other than this is something new and massively good-looking, and you'll be rewarded with a unique experience that lurches between genius and madness, manages to be genuinely emotional, and that you'll be bursting to talk about with your friends. [Feb 2010]
  41. In the day and age where every other game is a first person shooter, Heavy Rain comes to us with a fresh and original experience that is really unlike any other game on the market today. It is not perfect but its originality to me makes it a must have for any Playstation 3 owner.
  42. The epic moments fall down like, well, the rain. Boss fights, huge brawls, escapes, and much more will keep your fingers nimble and your mind guessing.
  43. Heavy Rain is a game based on a good idea, but it doesn't work as well as we hoped it would. Gameplay-wise, it's not as open as it was supposed to be, thanks to the limits imposed by Quantic Dream. Its great visuals and the superb OST fall under the feeling that players are just mere spectators of the story.
  44. 90
    Watching a robbery go down with detached movie-convention-predictability and suddenly realising you have to intervene can freeze you up like Paul Henry spotting a mustache on a lady. It adds the third dimension that makes this game a game. In any case, it's an entertaining variation on screaming, "Don't go in there!" at a flickering screen in the dark.
  45. The controls and interaction with the game world are suspect at best and downright awful at worst. And even looking past that I still come away disappointed. The script is weak, the characters' interactions/motivations are often left unexplained, and the voice acting is mediocre in some places and bad in others. The only thing Heavy Rain really has going for it is the composition of some of the individual scenes, and that's not nearly enough to carry the whole game on its own. So in the end we don't have much of anything except the spectre of what might have been.
  46. Heavy Rain is not a game, but an experience. At times you make feel like a passenger, but the ride is worthwhile, and extremely enjoyable.
  47. 94
    A game that will split opinion, but to our minds it is one of the most immersive, mature and refreshing games in years. If you've been waiting for something new from your PS3, then this is essential. [Issue#189, p.64]
  48. Times when “interactive movie” was more invective than praise are gone. Thanks to Heavy Rain you can enjoy one story in different views; dark atmosphere will not let you take a breath. More experience than game, one could say. [Feb 2010]
  49. An excellent game in its own right, Heavy Rain lingers in the conscience long after the final credits, but it feels less like a revolution, more like a precursor to something genuinely fresh and groundbreaking.
  50. In the end, Heavy Rain is a revolution in video game storytelling offering an emotional thrill ride. Unfortunately it doesn’t quite hold up on the gameplay end of things.
  51. Heavy Rain is a rare experience that can be enjoyed by a watching audience and not just the person with the control pad. It's also one that you'll certainly want to play through at least one more time just to see what you missed and perhaps reach a better outcome.
  52. Heavy Rain is, without a doubt, one of the most ambitious titles to come out in a long time and delivers on all its promises. This is clearly still a game but could easily pass as a film. We are always given choices in the games we play and Heavy Rain is one you want to choose.
  53. Heavy Rain isn’t just a masterpiece; it’s an ingenious step in the right direction...This may very well be the most “human” game ever made, and an absolute triumph for the industry. Take from that what you will.
  54. Quantic Dreams have managed to throw a curve ball into gaming, especially in this congested world of first and third person shooters. Heavy Rain is like a movie that gives almost total control to the player as you manage the outcomes and directions of all involved.
  55. Heavy Rain is not the revolution that the videogame industry is waiting for, but it will probably be part of videogame history, as an important step in the growth of the industry, as a piece of entertainment.
  56. The game definitely offers enough replayability so that your experience should change if you decide to play through it again, though whether the second playthrough would stand up to the first is a big question for another time.
  57. Bold, tense, exiting, gritty and very well executed. Quantic Dreams' interactive thriller-movie is here and it triumphs in more ways than any of us could have ever imagined. This is Se7en: The Game, and you need to buy it.
  58. More risks have been taken here than in any other high budget, first party offering in recent memory, maybe ever - and it absolutely deserves to be played by anyone with a passing interest in the medium.
  59. It's essentially a nine-hour film that you nudge along by following on-screen button prompts, although you feel more connected with the action than this might suggest. [March 2010]
  60. The excitement and emotion the experience playing Heavy Rain conveys is nothing short of remarkable making it a game that you definitely should pick up for your PS3.
  61. Heavy Rain reigns supreme. PS3 owners, do yourself a favor and play this game.
  62. Flawed, yes, but far closer to perfection than I ever would have thought given earlier peeks at the game, Heavy Rain is a monumental accomplishment. It takes familiar situations, bits of gameplay and tones, and melds them into something... unique.
  63. Heavy Rain is an experience like no other, and one that will be different for everyone who lethemselves fall into its spellbinding narrative. Quantic Dream has done an amazing job engrossing the player into a deeply felt story that has all the care and production of a feature film.
  64. However, if you come into this with a longing for the adventure games of decades past, or simply want to have a video game experience that hasn’t really been done before, then this game hits right on the mark.
  65. It's a shame that the controls are somewhat blocking the experience and that the serial killer story sometimes goes over the top, but Heavy Rain has some outstanding scenes, great animations, beautiful design and is one of the most interesting games in the last couple of years.
  66. Regardless, Heavy Rain is a fascinating project. It takes away much of the control featured in traditional videogames, yet is no less engaging because of it.
  67. Heavy Rain is an amazing title, flat out.
  68. 100
    I have never played anything so momentous or revolutionary as Heavy Rain. In the coming years I expect the game's influence to be felt throughout the industry in terms of gameplay, storytelling and interactivity. This is a game that deserves all the plaudits it can get. So please go out and buy Heavy Rain and reward those that have made such a groundbreaking videogame event.
  69. You have to appreciate Heavy Rain for what it is; a fantastic and absorbing narrative, and a bold new venture in interactive storytelling. Not Shenmue.
  70. I would happily watch Heavy Rain “the movie” in theatres, but the fact that I get to watch and control it on my PS3 instead is very cool.
  71. 100
    Heavy Rain transcends the current definition of a video game and blazes a beautiful, artistic trail with a psychological thriller that features shades of Hitchcock.
  72. We're enjoying it immensely... It is a game like none other. [Mar 2010, p.66]
  73. Heavy Rain is a bit Saw, a sniff of Se7en, a big dose of Fahrenheit and a lot of Heavy Rain. The game is unique and can be called a milestone!
  74. Compelling, different, addictive - Heavy Rain is all of these things. Will appeal to gamers and non-gamers alike. [Mar 2010, p.70]
  75. 90
    Those of you willing to concede a degree of control, and embrace the game world, its characters, its ambience, will find that Heavy Rain is a slice of entertainment that stays with you between plays and compels you forward. It isn't perfect, but there's no questioning the gripping endeavour here. Meanwhile outside, in the night, the rain keeps falling, and time is of the essence get to it.
  76. For every person that hates this breath of fresh air for gaming, a dozen will love it. For me, Heavy Rain has been the highlight of the last ten years and a ground-breaking event in video games that I am glad to have experienced; a masterpiece of gaming.
  77. In spite of the negative aspects of the game, I highly recommend the interesting and unique experience that is Heavy Rain.
  78. Interactive storytelling might not yet be able to evoke the same degree of raw human emotion as more traditional art forms, but this is a big step in the right direction.
  79. The horrifying scares and raw tension mined throughout ultimately speak to the story and how it’s told.
  80. Missteps or not, Heavy Rain’s legitimacy to the medium is a commentary against the often too-myopic approaches to game design—a quality that should be both recognized and lauded.
  81. Heavy Rain is disturbing, immersive, has a great script and can be played by everyone, regardless of his experience with videogames. You really should be buying it right now.
  82. Quantic Dream's ambition is truly realized through a game that has interesting controls, stunning graphics, and a masterfully accomplished change to current gaming trends.
  83. If you go into Heavy Rain with an open mind and the understanding that this isn’t your average video game, you will reap the reward of playing one of the most memorable video games of this console generation.
  84. It’s flashy, technically stunning but ultimately slightly empty. Characters vary from vapid to engaging, the FBI agent a highlight but lead Ethan tends to look bored rather than desperate. If you’re looking for a decent story with minimal interactivity to occupy a wet weekend, one cut with mystery and suspense, Quantic Dream’s latest might be right up your street, but gamers looking for anything else will be left out in the rain.
  85. 90
    The game is far from perfect, but it does prove that there can be fluid, legitimate choices in a digital form and still have things make sense.
  86. Quantic Dream puts forth some truly incredible ideas and concepts as to what a game can be, but they’ll stay ideas and concepts until gamers are willing to accept that they deserve more than another GTA or Call of Duty clone. Heavy Rain is without a doubt one of the most impressive games of the last five years, and it shouldn’t be missed by anyone.
  87. More than anything, Heavy Rain is further proof that games have truly come of age and are a viable platform for telling stories that will haunt your dreams and color your days.
  88. Heavy Rain is fast, violent and very emotional. Every now and then the story stumbles over a tired cliché or a “No-o-o-o!” scene, but you try hard to ignore them, because you want to believe the heroes, to accept them with all their maladies and inner turmoil.
  89. Heavy Rain is a flawed gem. The glitches are disappointing – Quantic Dream certainly knows that. But what lies beneath is so exquisite that you should make up your own mind about it.
  90. A worthy effort and a greatly unique gaming experience and though it is unlikely to start a gaming revolution, I genuinely hope it will convince more developers that story is not lifeless decoration and innovation is always welcome.
  91. Heavy Rain is thoroughly unusual. Rarely before, a game has been as emotionally haunting as this one. Furthermore, the replay value is very high, because of the different endings.
  92. It definitely treads a very thin line, balancing interactivity and spectacle, but it is a balancing act that it gets absolutely right.
  93. It's surprisingly subtle at times, genuinely terrifying at others, and even when it breaks, it's still outstanding. This is a game you're going to want to have played, because it's going to be talked about for many, many years to come.
  94. Flawed as it is, Heavy Rain is a game that anyone with even the vaguest interest in its intentions should experience for themselves. While it’s not quite the revolution for storytelling in video games, its accomplishments should prove it a worthy vanguard. And its ambition should be rewarded.
  95. 93
    Heavy Rain isn’t a game and Heavy Rain isn’t a film, but it’s something in between. It has a storyline with 23 different endings with the main purpose to give every player a different experience. With every choice you make, the storyline will be going a specific way. The choices are that important, that the most of you will play a totally different game then the other. A new kind of game with great gameplay, brilliant graphics and superb audio. A must have!
  96. Heavy Rain is a beautiful, wonderfully presented title and while there will be those who decide to pass it by, those who don't are in for a real treat.
  97. The experience and immersion it offers truly make this psychological thriller unmissable.
  98. Heavy Rain looks amazing and it puts in an outstanding effort to further how video games can be used to tell a story, but it's not good enough. David Cage - the game's Creative Director - has argued that Heavy Rain isn't a video game, it's an interactive movie. If you were to remove the interactive part of Heavy Rain and focus on the plot, characters and acting you'd come away disappointed, and by misunderstanding fundamental elements of character representation in interactive media it fails to utilise interactivity to its advantage either.
  99. 90
    Heavy Rain’s undoubtedly a sophisticated, fearless and often remarkable piece of entertainment. As a game it's not always successful but, as an experience, it's absolutely unforgettable.
  100. 88
    This game represents some fine character development and storytelling. The further in you get the more involving it all becomes, and when you finish you’ll be raring to start all over again, and that’s always a great sign.
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 2499 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 50 out of 401
  1. CharlieF.
    Mar 2, 2010
    10
    This game is downright incredible. The bad reviews you see are...ridiculous. Any of the reviews that give this a 90 or lower I just cant This game is downright incredible. The bad reviews you see are...ridiculous. Any of the reviews that give this a 90 or lower I just cant respect. I know we're supposed to respect other people's decisions (and i normally do) but in this case, I simply can't respect anybody that reviews Heavy Rain and doesn't give it a "good" score. This game deserves all of the praise it gets. Congratulations, Quantic Dream. You have made me feel more emotional about a video game than I ever have before. Full Review »
  2. BenjaminB
    Feb 24, 2010
    9
    Probably not the best game for a preschool teacher in Portland, OR to be playing at this time of year
  3. Mar 28, 2011
    6
    I don't think I've ever been this split on a game.

    I enjoyed the story half the time, and loathed it the other half. It's the strangest
    I don't think I've ever been this split on a game.

    I enjoyed the story half the time, and loathed it the other half. It's the strangest combination of terrible and fantastic dialogue and plot twists. I think I had the most issues with Madison because her character was inconsistent and was the source of the dumber parts of the story (psychopath ex-surgeon drug dealer anyone?). The controls were either fine or terrible, especially in some of Ethan's segments. Due to a control glitch (I think) Jayden got killed. Right before the end too. As far as vocal performances go, I'm not even sure what to say. Each character had great acting, but at some part of the game, each one of them had terrible deliveries.

    I'm kind of split on this one. I can't recommend buying it, but it's worth a rental I guess.
    Full Review »