Despite relatively good reviews from most outlets, Heavy Rain is something of a negative topic among bloggers. I’ve seen most come down on it’s mechanics being anti-immersive and some just outright hate the game and the way it is played. I haven’t finished the thing myself yet, but I’m not quite in the hate camp yet. I played Quantic Dream’s last offering, Fahrenheit (Indigo Prophesy in the States), so I knew precisely what I was getting and I’m enjoying that so far. It’s not perfect, but what game is?
The thing that I find most interesting is that there are almost no fail states in the game. Characters can die, lose challenges, get arrested, but nothing causes a game over. Game over comes when the game narrative is over, which is a great idea for what amounts to an interactive movie. I’ve strongly resisted the urge to restart chapters where I failed to do what was required of me two or three times now and only restarted once because a path that seemed like it was viable was invisible walled, causing me to fail. I thought that was unfair.
My biggest complaint has to do with the uncanny valley. So many of the models and shots in this game are perfect or near photo-realistic that the things that aren’t (mouths during dialogue, certain textures, cloth) just pull me waaaaay far out. The voice acting is also obviously European in places where it doesn’t make sense and they also make some strange errors about the way US cities work based on how European cities work.
I’m also not a fan of the tank-style control scheme, but what are you gonna do there? It is what it is.
They really know how to put up an effective resistance.
My campaign against de Gaulle has hit a bit of an impasse as his city has too many defenders (four archers) while my supply lines are way too far to resupply my front. A war of attrition has broken out instead and I’ve started pillaging French resources (Iron was the first to go) to ensure that an effective offense could not be mounted against me while I await reinforcements. I’ve also got workers building roads toward the heart of my territory in an effort to speed along the troops. This bloody encounter won’t end for quite some time, I’m sure.
This game is definitely going in my favor.
I seriously considered renaming it to Istanbul.
Justinian’s lackadaisical military attitude toward his neighbors to the south has turned into his undoing. Once My force of chariots was completed, we marched upon Constantinople, which was hilariously defended by a sole archer. The city fell easily to our assault and we moved onward to Thessalonica, but found our forces inadequate to take on the next city. We’ve also discovered a new city to the NE of Angkor Thom. They will follow Thessalonica once we’re able to reinforce our troops with horse archers.
Enemies to the West and NE will fall to our chariots and horse archers.
Another great development was the discovery of copper in Angkor Thom’s borders. We will have that mined soon and be ready to take on the world next.
My most troublesome game has started to produce some fruits. The discovery of Masonry allowed me to quarry the stone resources nearby, which buoyed me to the completion of the Pyramids before my rivals, allowing me to adopt Hereditary Rule and grow my cities past size 4 or 5. I also discovered Iron Working, leading to a rather fortuitous event.
Kublai Khan won't even know what hit him.
That’s right, I’ve now entered a metal age in Portugal and I will be using that to my advantage in my campaign against Kublai Khan. It will be some time before I’m ready for the next part of my offensive, but his foolish soldiers refuse to end the conflict, so he must die.
I also discovered sailing, which might seem strange, except that it allows commerce across rivers and oceans, opening up trade routes to both China and Persia.
It's not much of an emipre...yet.
Normally I would be loathe to such things as cultural crossover in Portuguese lands, but a direct link to Shanghai, which seems to have both the Hindu and Jewish religions swimming around there, might actually help out with culture spread in my cities. I’ve got to start building up my armies now if I want to stand a chance against Kublai Khan.