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David Cage’s Heavy Rain was truly a phenomenon when it originally launched on the PS3 almost over a decade ago. Lauded for its neo-noir serial killer story, gritty realism, and high replayability, Heavy Rain was showered with awards and accolades. It made Quantic Dream the household name for developing narrative-driven interactive stories in the video game market and went on to pave the way for their next few releases. It’s now 2019 and Heavy Rain has finally found itself sailing onto the PC platform as the pioneer of Epic’s partnership with Quantic Dream to bring all of their games onto the growing platform. But like Bob Dylan said, ‘the times they are a-changin’. Can Quantic Dreams’ heavy hitter impress the PC crowd in 2019 with its decade-old charm? Let’s take a look.

Story & Narrative

There isn’t much to say about the story of Heavy Rain that hasn’t already been said. Heavy Rain is a heavily Hollywood-ized crime drama, pitting the player in the shoes of four different protagonists chasing after the Origami Killer terrorizing a fictional American suburb. Heavy Rain is set in the aftermath of the kidnapping of Shaun, the 12-year-old son of Ethan Mars, the already unlucky father whose life just went from sunshine and lollipops to eternal darkness and rotten matter due to the death of his first son. The game is divided into several rather short segments where the player gets to control the worst father of the year Ethan Mars, the private detective Scott Shelby, FBI profiler Norman Jayden, and  ‘photographer’ Madison Page, all having the same goal of catching the killer and saving Shaun before it’s too late.

Heavily cliched, filled with awkward dialogues, plot holes, and confusing twists, Heavy Rain’s story has become the center point for countless memes and jokes over the years. Yet, there is something gripping about the dark undertones, gritty realism and it’s movie-like nature that makes you want to finish it in one go. But the real star here is the multiple choices and consequences you’ll get to make throughout the campaign that leads to a whole lot of different endings and its permutations including the omission of several chapters and the death of any and all main characters. It’s something you don’t see that often even in the biggest visual novels of today.

Gameplay & Mechanics

Like mentioned above, Heavy Rain is a narrative drama, or in layman’s terms, a walking simulator filled with fixed camera angles and Quick Time Events. No matter which character you’re playing and which chapter you’re in, all proceed the same way. You watch a lengthy cutscene, you’ll engage in conversations that may or may not have multiple dialogue options, you pixel hunt for stuff in the environment and interact in dramatic cutscenes filled with QTE’s that are surprisingly forgiving. It aged as well as you’d imagine. If you don’t like QTEs, this game (and any Quantic Dream game for that matter) is not for you. But the saving grace here, is once again the branching paths. Your performance in many sections in the game are translated into the story. So you can rest assured that not all QTEs are there just for the sake of having QTEs. The controls and the camera angles were terrible then and it remains so even today.

There are so many context-sensitive button prompts it’s crazy. Thankfully, the controls, despite how tanky and inaccurate may be, is well optimized for keyboard and mouse. In fact, I prefer playing with the afore-mentioned scheme since my controller was acting a bit too mean. Nothing else has been added or tampered with. It’s still the same old Heavy Rain you know and love/hate, except it looks and runs better, which brings us to the next section.

Visuals, Performance & Sound

Despite being nearly a decade old, the gritty art style of Heavy Rain with all its muted color palettes still holds up relatively well. It’s undoubtedly the best version of the game and the ideal way to experience Heavy Rain. There are even a decent amount of graphical options to choose from. Oh, and it runs at 60 fps (locked) flawlessly as well. So you might feel that some facial animations to be a little bit too wonky. Definitely the best Heavy Rain experience.

The music in Heavy Rain is as good as the day it came out. Perfectly fits the dank and dark atmosphere of the game. But can’t say the same for the voice acting. Heavy Rain garnered some harsh criticisms back in the day for having forced line delivery from non-American actors in an all-American script. This awkward accents can downplay some of the seriousness of the scenes and even at times comes off as hilarious.


Heavy Rain on the PC might be 10 years late to the party but it’s a welcome arrival nonetheless. The port is nothing extraordinary but the crispy visuals and 60 fps makes it the best Heavy Rain experience. Heavy Rain on the PC won’t make people who weren’t interested in the game during its original run magically come running, but those who long-wanted to see what the fuzz was about now has one more chance to jump in. If anything, play it for the well-executed branching storyline.

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