Heavy Rain and What I'm Missing
Souvik Friday, March 05, 2010I first came across Heavy Rain in a Games TM review and I loved the concept of the origami killer. With such plot concepts coming into games, the number of people questioning the role of narratives in videogames cannot be too high. I can't play Heavy Rain because I don't have a PS3 and they won't release for the PC. More's the pity.
Was a bit surprised when David Cage commented that Heavy Rain was best experienced when played once (or something to that effect). Given that the game is reported to have reasonably good branching narratives and twists, I am not sure about how true the comment is even though it comes from the guy who conceptualised the game. As I've always argued there is no The Videogame but rather videogames and the variety and range of the medium needs to be kept in mind always --- so if Cage is after a linear concept for a videogame or is moving towards interactive fiction (or in his case, cinema - because I believe he described his earlier work Fahrenheit as such), I have no problems. Nevertheless, like books are generally considered to have pages (I speak of the codex here), games have an inherent level of branching in them that makes every other attempt different - albeit to a different extent. I've never said that this doesn't happen in other media but that it's quite obvious in games. So if I had Heavy Rain, presuming I could afford a PS3, I would play it many times and I'm sure enjoyed it differently each time. If ... then .., if ... then ...
'Literature is a combinatorial game that pursues the possibilities implicit in its own material [...] but it is a game that at a certain point is invested with an unexpected meaning' - Italo Calvino