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heavy rainHeavy Rain is a game about choices and the consequences to those choices. Quantic Dream's demo of the upcoming adventure title tries to demonstrate just how the developer plans on pulling that off. You get a brief glimpse at how the controls, dynamic conversation, and investigation aspect will work.

As the player, you'll immediately notice in the first scene that the controls are atypical to other contemporary games: every move is deliberate and can even require multiple buttons be pressed at the same time. For example, the game goes so far as to make you hold R2 to simply walk. You can imagine how the rest of the controls hold up.

Not to worry, though, you get used to them quickly and just in time to see the story unfold in beautiful cutscene-quality form in the second scene. Shenmue-era QTEs be damned when it comes to Heavy Rain. Conversations flow naturally and every button corresponds to a single-word meaning of what you want your character to say. You get that in the second scene and then you move on to use future 2011 technology to dissect a crime scene.

The last scene presents you with a different character investigating a recent murder. This is where the demo slows down a bit but presents unique challenges to the player…you'll have to be thorough and check everything before you can move on.

Unfortunately, for a game that's touted for being about consequences at the demo's closing, Heavy Rain doesn't seem to exemplify that. At least, from what I gleaned of the demo. I played through it multiple times and changed my word choices and actions and it seemed to end essentially in the same way. Save for maybe different wording here and cosmetic changes there. The controls aren't too bad once you get used to them, but the verdict on the story and the impact you have on it is still out based on this presentation.

Maybe the choices you make have a ripple effect throughout the rest of the story but it's something that probably would never be apparent in demo form. We'll see how it pans out for the full game on February 23. You can get your hands on the demo right now by following my directions here.

Via HawtWired