The Problems With "Heavy Rain" *SPOILERS*

*SPOILERS*
 
Just finished reading a write-up by Kirk Hamilton on Gamer Melodico about his numerous issues with Heavy Rain. It's a good read that summarized my issues with the game. You can find the read here, and I suggest anyone who's played the game look it over:
 


Here is my response:
 
I never seemed to have as much of a problem with the QTE, so I was fairly enjoying the game for the most part. I realized the story was average and cliche-ridden at best, but was still intrigued about how it would end up and what I would have to do. 
 
That was, until I reached the point that they implied that the killer was going to be a surprise. I took a moment to think about what this implied; namely, that it was someone the player already knew. There was no character in the game that I was going to happy with being revealed as the killer. And yep, it was Scott Shelby, and I felt fairly enraged.
 
It's possible that going back through his story, everything he does (and everything he thinks) somehow lines up with his true motives, though I still think the scene where he kills the typewriter expert is cheap...he is apparently shocked to find him dead even when he's not trying to put on a show for that terribly-voiced hooker mom.
 
It's the idea of motive that is the real problem with Scott Shelby being the killer. In a game such as this, making the claims that it does, being told to experience and play out a character under a suggested motive that is false is cheap. It helped make an average story terrible.
23 Comments
24 Comments
Posted by EvanFavreau

*SPOILERS*
 
Just finished reading a write-up by Kirk Hamilton on Gamer Melodico about his numerous issues with Heavy Rain. It's a good read that summarized my issues with the game. You can find the read here, and I suggest anyone who's played the game look it over:
 


Here is my response:
 
I never seemed to have as much of a problem with the QTE, so I was fairly enjoying the game for the most part. I realized the story was average and cliche-ridden at best, but was still intrigued about how it would end up and what I would have to do. 
 
That was, until I reached the point that they implied that the killer was going to be a surprise. I took a moment to think about what this implied; namely, that it was someone the player already knew. There was no character in the game that I was going to happy with being revealed as the killer. And yep, it was Scott Shelby, and I felt fairly enraged.
 
It's possible that going back through his story, everything he does (and everything he thinks) somehow lines up with his true motives, though I still think the scene where he kills the typewriter expert is cheap...he is apparently shocked to find him dead even when he's not trying to put on a show for that terribly-voiced hooker mom.
 
It's the idea of motive that is the real problem with Scott Shelby being the killer. In a game such as this, making the claims that it does, being told to experience and play out a character under a suggested motive that is false is cheap. It helped make an average story terrible.
Posted by DeShawn2ks

My only problems with Scott being the killer is he was my favorite character and I was hoping him and Lauren would be the ones to solve the crime.  I think him being the killer really takes the scene down with him and the baby down more than a few pegs.  Kinda hard to think that he cares about this child when the man gives little boys a slow, cold death.  Cold bastard betrayed me >_<.

Posted by subrandom

Wasn't the motive that he was nuts? Also wasn't that explained several times that he was testing other fathers who couldn't ever save their sons? I mean maybe that isn't made as clear in all versions of the story but it seemed pretty clear that, although being a very thin motive, he was driven insane by his brothers death and his fathers complacency. I can agree that the type writer scene felt really off after the ending and was probably the biggest example of that choice not making much sense but other than that its perfectly fitting for a crime drama.

Edited by Bionicicide

One of my biggest complaints, was the typewritter scene reveal (really cheap trick). I was hoping he was hired by the origami killer, not be him. The origin of origami was also disappointing, he got a book about origami... that's it? And what trailer trash actually grows orchids?

Posted by Impossibilium

Yep the typewriter scene was a cheap cop-out. Worst part of the game for me. It didn't ruin it but that scene felt extremely lazy given what happens in the rest of the game.
 
It was the same as those old Saturday morning serials like King of the Rocket Men and Flash Gordon, when they would show the cliffhanger one way and then in the next episode it would show scenes that never happened in the previous week's cliffhanger to make the hero survive.

Edited by cspiffo
@DeShawn2ks said:

"My only problems with Scott being the killer is he was my favorite character and I was hoping him and Lauren would be the ones to solve the crime.  I think him being the killer really takes the scene down with him and the baby down more than a few pegs.  Kinda hard to think that he cares about this child when the man gives little boys a slow, cold death.  Cold bastard betrayed me >_<. "


This game certain brings out emotions, doesn't it. 

@impossibilium 
 
Yeah, the whole typewriter thing was kind of messed up.  I didn't destroy my experience but it certainly did color it.

Posted by Dovey

Why is it that I have this feeling that even quantic dream didn't even know who the killer was until they backed themselves in a very tight corner... 
You see the game literally shoves the idea in my face that Im in complete control of all the playable characters... heck if control were like dirty socks quantic dream would be shoving it under my nose.  Having me shower, cook eggs, place plates GENTLY, and other numerous medial tasks... whilst pointless in the plot progression, gave me a sense of control, Yet when Soctt is revealed as the killer, sure he has motive which is explained, but I feel like this element of control is violently taken away from me and a gargantuan plot hole is torn wide open, here's why. 
 
Scott kills the elderly watch repair dude... Wait.. WHAT!!!  I don't remember doing that, I had complete control of Scott at this time, I DID NOT DO THAT! 
I thought MY CHOICES determined the outcome, Where was my choice here, where was my control. 
 
And then I too was infuriated later to find out that It wasn't all those choices I made and all that control I had that determined the outcome, but some stupid ability to accurately follow your flimsy QTE.  
 
I only finished the game myself 10 minutes ago... So I have a lot of anger and disappointed bellowing through me at this moment.  When calmed I will see if I care to elaborate more on this poor experience. 

Posted by Newjack

@ Dovey: In regards to the typewriter repairman being killed, while you're waiting for him to go through his files there's a shot the zooms right into Lauren playing with a music box so I think that's when Scott kills him.  
 
Overall though there was only a couple of things that really annoyed me. I was surprised how natural the movement and interaction felt after some time with it. That said, JESUS CHRIST THAT FUCKING TUNNEL!  All the disorientating camera changes as you're crawling and Ethan suddenly doing a complete 180 when you're trying to turn left or right was absolutely maddening.

Posted by Akeldama

why is everyone being no negative with this game? 

Posted by JokerClown88
@Newjack said:
"@ Dovey: In regards to the typewriter repairman being killed, while you're waiting for him to go through his files there's a shot the zooms right into Lauren playing with a music box so I think that's when Scott kills him. "
I totally just remembered that.  Doesn't that happen when you go into the back to "check" on the old man?  Now it makes sense.
Posted by Dovey
@JokerClown88 said:
" @Newjack said:
"@ Dovey: In regards to the typewriter repairman being killed, while you're waiting for him to go through his files there's a shot the zooms right into Lauren playing with a music box so I think that's when Scott kills him. "
I totally just remembered that.  Doesn't that happen when you go into the back to "check" on the old man?  Now it makes sense. "
That's does explain it... but me feeling about it still stands that control was taken away, given that they touted this game as saying the story unfolds on your choices.  The story would have been better served by not introducing they piece of evidence that leads you to the typewriter guy... I know that something else would have had to have taken its place as he was trying to gather evidence from his victims families and thats where better writing would have been served. 
 
Newjack please don't take this as a dig at you... your response makes sense... I just think that this instance as well as a couple of others weren't scripted well and in an Adventure/Interactive Drama you have to have a well written story, it is the only reason that attracts people like me to buying these types of games.
Posted by Crono11
@Bionicicide:  Actually the reason he leaves origami is because his mother taught him and his brother when they were kids. He leaves them on the bodies as a memorial type thing for his brother.
Posted by newmarcom

I'd like optimistic approach and think that Quantic Dream wanted the killer to be randomized based on your decisions. But because of budget/time/whatever, they were forced to go with one specific ending with Shelby being the killer. So all of the ground work that was laid out for the random killer mechanic, like the surprised Shelby finding Manfred dead scene or the multiple ways the ending played out, didn't fit too well with the new restricted plot.
 
Also, I felt really grossed out when Shelby kissed Lauren after I found out he was the killer.

Edited by Bionicicide
@crono11 said:

" @Bionicicide:  Actually the reason he leaves origami is because his mother taught him and his brother when they were kids. He leaves them on the bodies as a memorial type thing for his brother. "

 What I'm getting at is the origami was just a gimmick, he could of wrote the numbers on eggshells and paint them like the Easter bunny and nothing would of changed (I was expecting some supernatural stuff with the origami animal or at the very least puzzles that had something to do with the animal).

Why did Mr. Shelby bother even acting like a P.I. in the first place? Let alone talk to the foreign hooker? ie: Why only contact 2 of his 8 victims parents? Just to make players go, "OMG I was the killer teh whole time when he just coincidentally found teh coolest dad ever who saved his foreign son = mind blown!"?

I love hating on artsy fartsy stuff.
Posted by Crono11
@Bionicicide:  
 So you're problem with the origami is something that you went into the game with and not something the game did itself. Shelby acted like a P.I because he was getting the evidence that implicated him as the killer. He contacts three of his victims while you're playing him, it's implied that you have already "cleaned up" the other evidence. I love using my brain while I'm playing story based games. (that comes off as really dickish, I'm sorry)
Posted by Baillie
@crono11: You dick. 
 
Is it just me, or was I the ONLY person playing who thought it was Shelby the whole way through? Especially the scene in the shop where he takes the box, nothing is heard from it again and surprisingly Ethan gets one from the locker. 
 
Right then, I said to myself. Yep, definitely him. 
Edited by Bionicicide
@crono11: I'm still saying the origami was a gimmick (just giving reasons on how it could of been more). Shelby should've wrote at the end of the letter to bring it with them and to burn it at the first trial so he didn't have to run around. Heh. As for the cellphones... wouldn't the fathers of had them at the time of their demise?
 
Edit: Wait that shopkeeper didn't die, so I guess he didn't even bother with the trials? If not then he would've surely gave the evidence to the proper authorities before Shelby came to question him.
Posted by Bionicicide
@Baillie: Wow, now I look really dumb. That was the biggest giveaway and I missed it. Dunce hat for me.
Edited by Crono11
@Bionicicide:  That is actually a really good idea for Shelby to do and with that in my mind I think that is what he really should've done. If those clues are out there and the cops don't have them then they are stupider then Shelby for leaving them. 
Maybe that was the only father to have left it behind and when he found his body he didn't find the cell phone so he went and looted his house for it. 
God I'm putting way too much thought into Heavy Rains story.
Posted by Baillie
@Bionicicide: Nah, it's not that you missed it, it could have just as easily gone either way.
Posted by handlas

In the end I felt that Jayden's partner was in on it with Shelby or at least helping him cover it up.  He was quick to wanting to accuse other people (the religious guy, the thug from the meat locker, Ethan).  Also, if you get arrested after the type writer store...you come to find out that Jayden's partner and Shelby know eachother.  He says something like "If you find any evidence you'll let me know, right Shelby?"....Shelby looks at him under his brow and then walks off while Jayden's partner laughs.  Plus his utter disdain for Jayden wanting to find the real killer instead of accusing Ethan (at least in my play through).
 
I'm probably reaching....maybe I just want something a little more.  Making Shelby the killer was a little lame IMO as well.  
 
(and sorry...I can't recall Jayden's partner's name...so I just refer to him as "Jayden's Partner")

Posted by Crono11
@handlas: His partners name is Blake. And I totally thought that he was in on it as well.
Edited by Newjack
@JokerClown88: Yeah I think it's just as he goes into the back. To be honest I'd forgotten the shot changed too at first, when it showed flashbacks of Scott killing the old man it really annoyed me. I only remembered about it after finishing.
 
@Dovey:  Nah don't worry about it mate I can see you're not having a go and I agree with you to a certain extent, the way they covered up the murder was pretty cheap. I do think it would have been worse if you'd never lost sight and control of Scott though, so what they do is at least plausible, if a little sneaky. All in all though, my biggest problem with the twist, was that Scott was probably my favourite character and I wanted to see him get his due (asin not being the killer and solving the case, not a one way trip to crusher town).
Edited by Newjack

Double post but two more continuity things that aren't massive but seemed intentionally misleading: 
 
-Unless Scott was wearing a girdle under that trench- coat the character you fight in the night club is an extremely poor representation of his proportions. 
 
-Anyone get Jayden and the tanks on his desk? Don't really understand what I did to get it, is the implication that ARI is bleeding into his life? Because I resisted all possible chances to take triptocaine and didn't use the glasses on the final office scene any longer than was absolutely necessary.  
 
Also, for a while I was cooking a theory that Jayden had already fried his brain irreversibly even before you control him. ARI is the only sci fi aspect of the game, and nobody else ever acknowledges it in the slightest. I was half expecting it to be revealed as just a pair of sunglasses and a glove, anyone else ever suspect similar? Obviously the level of evidence he acquires is too detailed for that to really work, but when he started having Shining- esque hallucinations with the waiter (combination of drugs and ARI?) I wondered if perhaps he was using conventional means of clue gathering and deluding himself.