Heavy Rain Move Edition (PS3)

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So you’ve tried out all that the PlayStation Move party games have to offer. You’ve done everything from swatting bugs and disc golf on ice to grooming virtual pets and shooting cardboard cut-outs. It’s time to see what the PlayStation Move can do when teamed up with the creative geniuses at Quantic Dream. Even if you’ve already gone through the rollercoaster story of Heavy Rain, here’s a damn good reason to soak up some more riveting action and experience it in a new way with Heavy Rain Move Edition.

Heavy Rain Move Edition Screenshot 1

We won’t be focusing too much on the original story (you can read El33tonline’s first review here) but rather what makes Heavy Rain Move Edition stand apart from the launch title. First off, if you already have Heavy Rain, you can simply pop in your game disc and download an update which will allow you to play it with PlayStation Move features. But be warned, it’s a pretty heavy download, weighing in a little over 1140MB.

The Move Edition is loaded with extra content for those of you interested in ‘behind the scenes’ videos, developer diaries and of course some dynamic XMB themes. Also included on the disc are 40 minutes of pure orchestral bliss – one of the most moving game soundtracks just waiting to find a home in your music library. And finally, there’s the first episode of the prequel, Heavy Rain Chronicles, which was created to flesh out the background story of each of the main characters.

Same Paige, different day

In this first episode, named The Taxidermist, we journey before the events of the original game with Madison as she investigates the Origami Killer case. You’ll find yourself sneaking around the suspect’s house, finding a way to break in and snoop around the place, looking for your breaking story. In true Heavy Rain fashion, there is constant tension in the air, even as you walk through the house exploring upstairs.

Things soon turn hairy as you find some rather disturbing human subjects posed and dressed up, as well as his latest victim waiting to get stuffed. Just as your adrenaline builds and you want to get out of there, the host arrives home leaving you trapped upstairs. Past actions while exploring the house and your consequent choices can resolve the story in one of five ways. The game kicks into top gear and makes clever use of split screen and montage cinematography as you attempt to guide Madison to safety whilst watching the killer try to seek and destroy.

Heavy Rain Move Edition Screenshot 2

The Taxidermist, although very short, is great way to become familiar with Heavy Rain and leaves you wanting to play it over until you discover the other four possible endings to the story. If you’ve already played Heavy Rain, you’ll most likely be itching for some more gripping action – this certainly is a start to soothe that itch. The only drawback to Heavy Rain Move Edition is that while they did a good job of integrating the PlayStation Move features, it put the rest of Heavy Rain Chronicles on ice. Even though this game supports Move features, if you find it more of a distraction, you can simply switch back to using your good old DualShock controller.

A Move in the right direction

One thing that made the original Heavy Rain stand out, together with its immersive storytelling, was its unique control system. Occasionally while using the PlayStation DualShock controller, however, I’d find myself guilty of over exaggerating irrelevant gestures that didn’t seem to match the actions of the character. This was not the case with the Move features, it just seemed more refined.

The controls are shared between the Navigation controller in one hand (used for moving around) and the Motion controller in the other hand (used for most of the action). Luckily if you don’t own a Navigation controller, you can just use your DualShock controller in its place. After learning the new gestures, which consist of mainly pushing, pulling, tilting and turning the Motion controller, you’ll soon be firing those quicktime events like its second nature. Instead of rubbing the grip of your analogue sticks, you simply rotate the Motion controller. The trigger and directional motions replace the rather old button mashing approach and call for a greater degree of accuracy and control.

Heavy Rain Move Edition Screenshot 3

There’s nothing quite like starting a car for the first time by turning the controller just like a key and feeling the motor start up and throttle through the feedback. Likewise, in moments of extreme suspense, the controller pulses to simulate a distressed heartbeat. At last, a Move game that doesn’t require you to stand the whole time – I found it did a good job of tracking my movements while seated.

I think that’s the appeal of Heavy Rain: it’s a fully immersive game. The characters draw you in as they progress and you shape the outcome of the story by the results of your actions. The music and cinematic visuals set the backdrop, and the Move features add just another layer which brings it all to life. The game alone without the Move support is fantastic, so you are really getting great value for money even if you don’t make use of the Move.