Final (ish) thoughts on Heavy Rain

Heavy Rain is over, I’ve finally completed it. I miss it already. Love you, Heavy Rain.

It was an amazing experience right to the end, though my thoughts of how differently it could’ve turned out have overridden some of the pleasure.

Here’s how my playthrough ended:

Madison discovers that Scott is the Origami Killer through talking to his mother in hospital. She breaks into Scott’s office. Scott discovers her and locks her in before torching the place. Madison gets out and opens a window. She says she’ll die if she jumps from this height. I’m then given the option to make her jump. The fall didn’t look too bad to me, and I thought that, if I’m given a choice, then she much have a chance of survival (versus continuing to fight through that burning office). I jump.

The game cuts between increasingly-closer shots of her eyes as she lies sprawled on the pavement. I wait for some sign of life. Nothing.

The game confirms her death, with her perhaps taking the killer’s identity with her.

Cut to a shot of a drain cover, underneath which Sean, Scott/Origami’s latest victim, is drowning. Sean, who I’d spent the game trying to rescue.

Sean is confirmed dead.

Cut to Ethan, Sean’s father, in a prison cell. My first, idiotic thought was Well, if the truth gets out, he’ll be happy to be proven as innocent. Forgetting the small detail of his son being dead. Ethan sticks his head through a noose and hangs himself.

Carter, the arsehole policeman, fidgets with a pair of glasses. The specs belonged to Norman Jayden, the FBI man who’d been investigating Sean’s disappearance. Carter had died (which was probably my fault) in a car-crusher earlier in the game (long story). The glasses use Virtual Reality and were a sort of digital office, containing all Norman’s clues and notes on the case. Carter, the big arsehole, toys with the glasses before putting them on. The VR kicks in and, for some reason, he sees Norman. And then…nothing. WTF?

Cut to Lauren on the street, waiting for Scott to arrive. Lauren, through methods independent of Madison’s, had discovered that Scott had never been hired to investigate Origami’s victims. From that, she concluded that Scott must be the killer. Thankfully, a small glimmer of hope under all this darkness. She pulls a gun and shoots Scott.

And then the game ends.

What a bleak ending. I love a dark finale. But I’m also underwhelmed, for reasons I don’t yet understand. I haven’t mentally unpacked all the story details, so I don’t even know if Scott as Origami makes sense.

What I do know is that Scott is the second unreliable narrator I’ve played in Heavy Rain (Madison being the other). That still makes me uncomfortable. During play you can verbalise your character’s thoughts at the touch of a button. I obviously wasn’t getting the truth. I obviously couldn’t be given the truth.

I also haven’t looked into the different ways this game can end. I imagine that’s a fairly deep rabbit hole to venture down.

Regardless of my feelings towards the ending, Heavy Rain is now one of my top-five games of all time. What an incredible, ambitious, funny, ridiculous, moody, tense masterpiece.

I may been done writing about it. I think.

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