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The true value of a game is measured by a few elements such as gameplay mechanics, graphics, replay value, etc… In most cases, games “fall short of the glory” because they are deficient in one or more areas previously mentioned. In order to compensate for their shortcomings in addition to making a profit, developers often become magicians by using “smoke and mirrors” to pull the wool over gamers eyes. An example of this would be the common hysterical shock value used in below average games such as X-men Origins: Wolverine, Rogue Warrior etc…
Nevertheless, it pains me to say that developer Quantic Dream is a guilty party when it comes to the overcompensation. With their highly anticipated game beginning to surface, Heavy Rain, it becomes very evident that their graphics are the only focus and selling points of this game. It would be safe to say that Heavy Rain is the true definition of “Smoke and Mirrors”
To begin with, it is without a shadow of doubt that Heavy Rain delivers a graphical masterpiece but that’s where it ends. What about the gameplay? From the little we have seen of this game, QTE (Quick Time Events) seems to be only way to control this game. Now do not get me wrong, QTE’s are a great compliment to any game but when it is the main element in a game it takes away from the true essence of gaming. Although it does give the game more of theatrical feel but it seems that becoming more theatrical is the developers main objective.
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Furthermore, according to the Gameinformer Magazine (issue 195) Quantic Dream stated that Heavy Rain will cap at 8-10 hours of play. Now for a game that is not highly anticipated or a movie based video game, this would be an acceptable amount hours of gameplay. Nevertheless, it seems as if Quantic Dream was mostly concerned with beguiling gamers with an attractive graphical masterpiece rather than supplying gamers with an overall great gaming experience.
Overall, Quantic Dreams is taking a short cut with their upcoming release. With the suffering economy it is very understandable that developers/publishers would do what it takes to generate revenue but it should not be at the expense of true gaming.