Move Over Heavy Rain Chronicles

Quantic Dream, the studio responsible for Heavy Rain, has put its plans to release further instalments of the Heavy Rain Chronicles on “indefinite hold”. Fans of this year’s soggiest Playstation 3 exclusive had been promised an additional two more episodes to accompany ‘The Taxidermist’, which was released in March. In an interview with Now Gamer creator David Cage acknowledged the premature termination of the Heavy Rain Chronicles, saying, “I am certainly disappointed for fans we could not finish the story of HR the way we intended”.

Now, I’m sure this kind of thing is not entirely without precedent. If your new game turns out to be a commercial flop, spending time and money expanding the game’s universe further is probably not the wisest of business decisions. For all we know, Rebellion had planned to release a dozen hours-worth of extra content for Rogue Warrior, featuring the sound of Mickey Rourke ruffling frantically through a dictionary in search of an expletive he didn’t use during the game’s embarrassingly short two-hour campaign. Would he have been successful? We’ll never know. But I doubt it.

However, Heavy Rain‘s DLC has not been put into stasis due to poor sales. The reason the Heavy Rain Chronicles will go unfinished is because Quantic Dream has spent the past few months modifying the original game to be compatible with Sony’s new motion control peripheral, Playstation Move.

As Cage explained, “Unfortunately, Sony preferred to ask us to focus on Move to support the device rather than on creating new content.”

I find this revelation disappointing on two counts. Firstly, I was looking forward to playing more Heavy Rain. Sure, it wasn’t perfect — navigating your avatar across the screen felt like coaxing a drunkard away from your fine china with a broom made of flubber, the script varied from eloquent to awkward and there’s a plot hole in the second act the size of small continent — but it was one of the rare titles that attempted to engage with an adult audience using substance beyond cuss-words and crossfire. The fact that Heavy Rain didn’t automatically assume I was closet sociopath with a penchant for vehicular homicide and a subscription to ‘Evisceration Monthly’ earned it a special place in my heart, next to rainbows, unicorns and Mia Sara circa 1986.

But the main reason I’m sending Quantic Dreams to its room without any supper is that it prioritised trendy motion control tomfoolery over expanding the Heavy Rain universe. Personally, I would much rather play through two hours of fresh content than play Heavy Rain again, only this time controlling the action like a crazy person directing invisible air traffic.

Gutted though I am, I shouldn’t really be angry with Quantic Dream. Judging by Cage’s sincerely apologetic tone and telling use of the word ‘unfortunately’, it sounds like he very had little choice in the matter. Heavy Rain has doubtless fallen victim to Sony’s marketing push, with the hardware giant currently doing all it can to ensure that Move is a platform invigorating, Kinect-trouncing success. What we have just witnessed, ladies and gentlemen, is the first casualty of the motion control war. Something tells me it won’t be the last.

That archery game better be REALLY good.


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4 responses to “Move Over Heavy Rain Chronicles”

  1. Michael avatar
    Michael

    “For all we know, Rebellion had planned to release a dozen hours-worth of extra content for Rogue Warrior, featuring the sound of Mickey Rourke ruffling frantically through a dictionary in search of an expletive he didn’t use during the game’s embarrassingly short two-hour campaign.”

    Presumably while trying the occasional word out loud to see if it’ll work? Everybody learns!

    It’s a bit depressing to think that even the most, hmm, daring of dev companies needs to kowtow for the monies. Not really surprising though; multi-million dollar/pound/etc business, eh? Maybe those instalments will appear eventually? 🙂

  2. Leon avatar
    Leon

    *sigh* this is my worst fear come to life – when genuine creators who actually want to build good game content get trodden on by the money-grubbing corporates who just want to sell their latest accessory.

    Lets just hope the DLC will make an appearance afterward – although it doesn’t sound as though it will.

  3. Simes avatar

    Shoehorning motion controls into a game that didn’t have them? That’s *always* a good idea!

  4. Duncan avatar

    Of all games to reduce content for controls, why choose Heavy Rain? One of the most story-driven game of recent times.

    Sometimes the industry confuses me.

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