Let the genre debates begin about Heavy Rain, as at long last the first veil has been lifted from Quantic Dream's new interactive thriller with the release of a gameplay video from the Games Convention in Leipzig.
The PlayStation 3 exclusive first dazzled gamers with an impressive character-focused tech demo two years ago, but little has been revealed about Heavy Rain since then. Like its predecessor, Indigo Prophecy, (Fahrenheit in Europe), the new "noir-thriller" promises to be a genre-defying title which focuses on player-directed interactive storytelling rather than traditional gameplay conventions.
At GC, a scenario known as "The Origami Killer" was demoed, showing the playable character named Madison entering the house of suspected serial killer, only to find herself trapped when the killer returns home. Through the use of contextual, icon-based actions, players choose their own narrative course from the many and widely varying paths available, some of which promise to radically alter the outcome, Along the way, players will also encounter a number of Quick Time events, and success or failure at these timed button-pressing sequences further alters the outcome of a game that promises to be a unique experience each time it's played.
The video released includes a small sampling taken from the GC demonstration, and the 13 MB trailer can be downloaded from WorthPlaying or streamed directly from GameTrailers.
So while we still may not know exactly how to categorize Heavy Rain, the video makes it clear that Quantic Dream's latest opus will be one to keep a close eye on as its undefined "late 2009" release date approaches.