Saturday 7 December 2019

Game on: Heavy Rain flooded with cinematic features

Ronan Price

Ronan Price

Heavy Rain, PS3:There's been a mistake. Should Heavy Rain be reviewed here at all? Maybe it should be filed under the movie genre, because it has much more in common with cinema.

Certainly, it's like almost nothing you've ever played, a brave, ambitious attempt to marry a Hollywood-style hunt for a serial killer to a multi-layered game experience.

Playing as four interlinked characters -- a father, a photographer, a private detective and a cop -- you try to unravel the secret of the Origami Killer, who abducts and kills boys.

The first surprise is the novel control method, introducing welcome variety via sweeps of the joysticks. Equally unorthodox is the sheer volume of cinematics, all with a filmic quality, an eye for detail and convincingly acted.

At times it falls back on the crutch of hoary gaming clichés and some of the action is glitchy and unnatural.

But Heavy Rain is still a fascinating experiment; its branching storylines exploring the blurry crossroads where movies and gaming meet.

RATING: 9/10

Darwinia+, X360

Now we're really kicking it old-school. A faithful remake of a 1980s classic, Darwinia + mixes elements of Tron, Lemmings, Syndicate -- plus half-a-dozen other retro themes. Part shooter, part strategy game, you need to save the Darwinians by leading them through a hostile landscape. Well worth a download and not just for tickling the nostalgia glands.

RATING: 8/10

Aliens vs Predator, X360/PS3

Essentially a reboot of the 1999 hit, A vs P contents itself with giving the fans what they want -- the chance to become the vicious Alien or Predator.

It's hardly worth bothering with the option to play as a space marine, so bland is its plotline.

The real, ahem, glamour lies in the gruesome hack and slash when adopting the guise of the titular monsters.

A vs P nails the atmosphere with some chilling audio ripped straight from the film and bathing everything in a creepy gloom.

But the entertainment is weakened by fussy controls and dull missions.

RATING: 6.5/10

Irish Independent

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