The best games of 2010: Heavy Rain

This is an easy choice for me. Heavy Rain was so very different to other video games and treated its story as if it were the star instead of using it to justify game mechanics. Add to that some frankly stunning graphics and a true feeling of choice with every action you do having a purposeful effect on the narrative. There were a lot of mentally challenging scenes that presented me with mature adult situations, the likes not common in gaming. Do I kill an unarmed lunatic? Or drink a vile of poison for the final clue to the whereabouts of my kidnapped son? And how does someone react when watching a child drown because of the incompetence of adults? The best and most touching moment was taking control of Ethan Mars after picking his boy up from school. A scene that could have so easily have been the epitome of boredom became like a test for my own fatherly instincts, making sure my kid is fed and trying to discuss the death of his brother. And as quick time events go, Heavy Rain doesn’t do the usual button-press sequences. The process you’re going through to get the playable characters to respond tries to be representative of real life. Mars’ awkward traversal of an electrified maze is mirrored on the PlayStation pad by a finger-bending combination of button presses making the inclusion of QTEs a necessary one. All this brilliance, only sullied by a peculiar wrap to the story, had to make it into my top games of 2010.

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