Heavy Rain: Under the Radar review

March 8, 2013

Developer: Quantic Dream
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Genre: Adventure
Number of Players: 1
ESRB: M for Mature: Blood, Intense Violence, Nudity, Sexual Content, Strong Language, Use of Drugs
Available on: PlayStation 3

I know what a lot of you are probably thinking: Heavy Rain isn’t an underrated game. It received many awards and positive reviews. But “Under the Radar” isn’t just about underrated games; it’s also about games that a lot of gamers somehow overlooked or were skeptical to try out.

In a virtual world filled with first-person shooters and platformers, Heavy Rain presents something different.

When I first saw the trailer for Heavy Rain, I knew I just had to play it. I didn’t even have a PS3 at the time, but I knew I had to get one. My boyfriend got Heavy Rain, and I watched him play it for hours. I was sucked in.

A couple weeks later, I bought the game. I didn’t even have a PS3 yet, but I was pretty sure I’d be getting one for my birthday. And, I did. And I played that game for 12 hours straight. I was obsessed with it. I platinumed it within weeks, despite having to go to school and you know, live in the real world.

The game involves four protagonists, Ethan Mars, Scott Shelby, Madison Paige, and Norman Jayden. The player switches between each character throughout the game as they try to discover the mystery of the Origami Killer, a serial killer who drowns his victims in rainwater.

Talking about Quantic Dream’s upcoming game Beyond: Two Souls, Game Director David Cage said, “I’m much more interested in what happens in your mind than what you do with your thumbs.” This quote rings true with Heavy Rain as well.

Heavy Rain is all about making choices. Each choice you make, no matter how seemingly insignificant, can change the whole outcome of the story. The game has seven endings, each unlocking different epilogues for a total of 19.


Heavy Rain blurs the lines between game and movie, making a lot of core gamers skeptical of it. Quantic Dream’s games are more about making choices and really interacting with the story. There is more to video games than shooting the bad guys.

Heavy Rain had more of an emotional impact on me than any other game had before. There were times when I had to pause to think about what decision I should make.

Heavy Rain is not a game for children. Sure, Quick Time Events (QTEs) are simple enough for children to handle, but the emotion involved in playing the game will only be appreciated by the adult crowd.

Anyone who has played the game will tell you that Heavy Rain has its problems, but they are not significant enough to take away from the experience. The biggest downfall of the game is the voice acting. It’s pretty poor, but not poor enough to distract you from the story or the gameplay.

If you’re looking for an emotional experience that brings more to the table than your run-of-the-mill first-person shooter, Heavy Rain is the game for you. Be prepared to become emotionally involved with this game in a way unlike ever before. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll probably get angry from time to time. Don’t worry too much if you mess up; there is no “game over.” You will play all the way to the end, even if one or more of your characters dies.

If you do decide to get the game, don’t worry about trophies on your first playthrough. Don’t even look at them. Play it and make decisions based on your gut instinct; you shouldn’t be thinking about what to do to earn a trophy. See how your game ends based on your decisions.

If you have the time, give Heavy Rain a chance. I promise that it will be one of the most unique gaming experiences you will ever have.

Overall score: