Last weekend there were crazy storms in Melbourne. There was flash flooding, and large hailstones fell in several areas.
This was also the weekend I chose to pick up a copy of Heavy Rain. Almost as soon as I got home the skies opened. Since I was lucky enough not to have any roof leaks or power outages, it was possibly the perfect time to curl up on the couch and give it a go.
Heavy Rain has its flaws, but I seem to be turning into some sort of pathetic David Cage fangirl, and I loved it anyway. I don't recommend it to anyone with triggers, mind.
I don't want to talk too much about the game itself, because I don't want to spoil the experience. Since most of game stores in Melbourne's CBD sold out on release day (unless you know where to look) there are plenty of people who haven't had the opportunity yet.
I do want to talk about the experience a little though, mostly that it managed to alter a lot of my gaming habits. I selected the hardest difficulty setting, which I've never done with any game before. It still seemed easier than Fahrenheit (Indigo Prophecy) on Easy, but that may have something to do with the fact that I played most of Fahrenheit with a broken controller.
I finished Heavy Rain within about a day, and I just don't do that. For all that I really enjoy gaming I find that extended sessions just make me feel lethargic, and there are too many other things to do. That probably sounds really odd coming from a former obsessive World of Warcraft player, but there you go. And with story-driven experiences I usually like to take some time out to digest (and possibly discuss) things. But I made an exception in this case.
I also intend to replay it, something else have never done before.
What is probably more interesting, is that I changed my actual gaming style. Normally I'm the obsessive type, having to carefully check every corner in case there is something interesting there. In this case I really let myself be driven, and started acting more like a character probably should. I let there be a feeling of urgency.
I suspect this kind of experience works better if you are prepared to let it in. Somehow I was able to overlook the problems which could easily limit suspension of disbelief, and just go with the flow. That's pretty nice when it works. Of course, I'm a very easy person to affect emotionally, so when a game actually tries for that I'm probably going to appreciate it.
P.S. I make a pretty terrible father.