More than two years later, Heavy Rain for PS3 still stands alone as the most unique and best interactive experience on any current generation console. You can disagree with me if you want, but you’re definitely wrong.
There have been some great experiences since then— Skyrim and Amnesia: The Dark Descent come to mind—but neither one of those is necessarily what I’d call “unique”. Are they both superb games? Yes. Are they both really fun to play? Yes, yes they are. Unique, though? Not really.
I won’t fully rehash my enduring love for Heavy Rain here, but if you’d like to read my review from back in 2010, feel free.
The reason I’m talking about old games is because last week at GDC 2012, Quantic Dream, creators of Heavy Rain, showed off a tech demo for the PlayStation 3’s real-time rendering capabilities and a new motion capture method called full-performance capture. The demo brings to life a female android named Kara. Kara is being assembled by robotic arms and running through her initialization sequence when a spark of independent thought prompts engineers to begin disassembling her for being “defective”. After begging for her life, Kara is warily put back together and joins the other androids, promising not to cause any further problems.
It’s a captivating and emotional piece that provokes the imagination. It reminds me that too many games today fail to incite emotion and makes me wish more developers would take chances with the games they make. Though Quantic Dream denies that the demo is tied to a current project, I really hope to see more of Kara someday soon.