For once we are happy there is rain, Heavy Rain infact. Yes folks, we have some new screenshots and game information to drool over.
The game is based around four characters called Ethan Mars, Scott Shelby, Madison Paige and finally, the guy you see in the screenshots, Norman Jayden. The story revolves around a killer known as the Origami Killer and each characters attempt to find out exactly who he/she is. Even though the basic story for all the characters is the same their paths will be very much different and unique to themselves.
The details released today are based on one sole character called Norman Jayden. He is an 29 year old FBI Profiler, specializing in psychological profiling of criminals and holds a degree in psychology and forensic medicine. He is able to apply emotional intelligence to get into the heads of the murderers, is a highly professional, committed, organized, methodical and brilliantly intelligent. He has become obsessed with finding this killer.
He is sent to the West Coast to back up the police in the investigation of the Origami Killer. Norman believes they may have had the killer in custody but failed to interrogate and released them back onto the streets, this is a point of tension between Norman and the Police of not getting anywhere fast which will be shown throughout the game.
As shown in one of the screenshots below, Norman has a device prototype created by the pentagon called A.R.I (Alternate Reality Interface) Glasses and a wireless Glove, these allow you to take a closer look at the crime scenes and can detect Fingerprints, Blood, DNA fragments, pheromones and more invisible to the naked eye. The glove can absorb crime scene information via touch, come into touch with blood and it can identify victim and cross check against other information.
If that wasn’t interesting, each character will have specific strengths and weaknesses. Norman is a drug addict, addicted to triptocaine which he has become dependant on. If time passes without you taking these drugs decisions become harder to make and less clear, you will suffer from tremors, dizziness, and instability. Not only that but Norman is hiding this addiction from the rest of the world, the player will have to make decisions based on this, keep it secret whilst looking for the killer.
Thing is though, all decisions made in the game rotate around the characters body, depending on their state of mind it can be calm and slow or fast and impulsive, so if you are drugged you may not even be able to read what the decision is!
As you might have read already, there is no game over in Heavy Rain if your main character dies you simply loose their point of view on the events, you switch to another character but without the influence of the character that has died meaning the story can change. It is even possible for all four characters to die in which case the player will be given a conclusion, albeit probably not a satisfying one.
Could this game sound any cooler?! Fahrenheit (aka Indigo Prophecy) is still regarded as one the best games of the previous generation and if the people at Quantic Dreams can perfect the flaws of that game (stupid sci-fi ending) then this could be something special. Yes the main gameplay mechanic is based around QTE’s but Fahrenheit showed that you don’t need to have a huge arsenal at your disposal for a game to be immersive. The game is due to be released November 2009, we can’t wait.