Quantic Dream's Guillaume de Fondaumièr offered us our third official look at the developer's PlayStation 3 game Heavy Rain at Gamescom, showing us just a few of the many possibilities that await us in the hi-def choose your own adventure.
Since Quantic Dream had already thoroughly teased the adventures of newly revealed character Ethan Mars at Sony's Gamescom press conference, our demo focused on the fourth and final playable character, Scott Shelby. In Heavy Rain, Shelby's been hired to do a little detective work on the Origami Killer, in service to those who have long lost loved ones to the mysterious serial killer. The Shelby segment shown to us didn't reveal much of the game's story line, instead putting a heavy emphasis on its characters and the consequences of their choices.
The brief scene was set in a convenience store run by a man named Hassan, father of one of the Origami Killer's victims. Shelby's there to interview Hassan, but the private dick finds it hard to get anything out of the shop owner who is clearly still hurting from the loss of his son. Shelby's solution? Make use of his proximity to convenience and pick up some asthma inhalers.
Whilst shopping for said inhalers, Hassan's Shop is robbed by a young and jittery thief. Shelby, luckily out of sight, has a choice to make.
Fondaumièr showed us the results of one of those choices, with Shelby slowly creeping down one of the store aisles directly behind the thief. Along the way, Shelby nearly knocked over what appeared to be a box of detergent, but Fondaumièr was dexterous enough to catch it via an on-screen prompt, quietly replacing the box. He then, just as quietly, pulled a bottle of booze from the shelf to his left. Sneaking up behind the assailant, Fondaumièr swung the PS3 controller downward, knocking the thief unconscious.
Hold up averted.
Shelby's alternate attempt wasn't as cut and dry. Fondaumièr instead chose a different aisle to sneak down. Upon exiting, he found himself perpendicular to the thief who spotted Shelby in his peripheral.
At the thief's nervous request Shelby held his arms up—really, Fondaumièr held the R1 and L1 buttons on the DualShock controller—and attempted to talk the thief down. Negotiating is as technically simple as pressing one of the controller's face buttons, but you'll have to make the right decision. Fondaumièr did, choosing a series of soothing, grounding dialogue options that tied into the game's thread of love and loss.
The demo didn't show off much that we didn't already know about. We've seen Heavy Rain in action multiple times and have become familiar with its control scheme, its mechanic of letting the player hear the internal thoughts of its cast, and the complex threads that weave between each of the four characters' respective stories. Co-creator David Cage has been careful about not revealing much in the way of intertwining plot, so we'll be interested to see how scenarios and characters overlap in the final product.
What we saw at Gamescom was as consistently good as Heavy Rain has been over the past year in its public showings—it's now been a year since we first saw a playable build. It's not due to hit PlayStation 3s until sometime next year, so we're guessing there's still more yet to be revealed about the game.
We'll let you know our internal thoughts on those details when the time comes.