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10 reasons why we love Heavy Rain

PSM3 talks up Quantic Dream's noir nightmare

It's whipped up a bit of controversy - and left some people feeling cold - but PSM3 believes that there are plenty of reasons (ten at the very least) to leave your umbrella at home and enjoy Heavy Rain.

1. IT'S SEXY
If you're a heterosexual male, you will fancy insomniac journalist Madison Paige. And the game knows it, stripping her down to naught but a tiny pair of pants at every opportunity. But unlike most games, whose idea of 'sexy' is a blonde girl with an inflated chest straddling a motorcycle and firing an uzi, Heavy Rain will genuinely make you a bit hot along the inseam. This is thanks to its dizzyingly detailed character models, and the fact that Madison looks like a real woman, and not some developer's adolescent fantasy. Don't worry though, ladies: Ethan gets his buttocks out too.

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2. IT'S MENTAL
The first chapter of Heavy Rain sees you showering, brushing your teeth and helping your wife with the shopping. Later you cook an omelette for a bereaved mother, then crawl through a dark tunnel filled with broken glass at the behest of a serial killer. It's this marriage of the mundane and the fanciful that makes Heavy Rain so unique, as well as the fact that you're forced to interact with everything - from breaking the eggs to squeezing your toothpaste. You can even burn the omelette.

3. IT'S REALLY DEPRESSING
A game about a child killer was never going to be all sunshine and trumpets, but Heavy Rain is especially bleak. Ethan spends most of the game weeping over his dead child and his splintered relationship, and the funereal atmosphere of rain-soaked Philadelphia only compounds the misery. But the endless grief is actually quite cathartic: no matter how bad your day is going, at least you're not cutting off a finger to save your kidnapped son.

4. IT'S SLIGHTLY FUTURISTIC
Heavy Rain is set in the future (well, 2011), which explains the slightly advanced technology. FBI profiler Norman Jayden's ARI visor lets him scan crime scenes and examine evidence in a virtual 3D workspace. He can even change his surroundings while he works, choosing from a number of exotic virtual locations including the bottom of the ocean. Another example of future tech is the memory cards Ethan receives from the Origami Killer, which have a 32 terabyte capacity.

5. THE DETAIL
Heavy Rain is not a glamorous game, unless you find shabby motel rooms and abandoned warehouses particularly enchanting. But it's the quality of the locations that make them special. Every scene is rich with detail and feels like a real place, as opposed to a lifeless 3D film set. From the pulsing dancefloor of the Black Lagoon club to the dusty clutter of an antiques shop, it's the most plausible and intricate virtual world on PlayStation 3.

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6. IT'S GOT REAL ACTORS
The characters in Heavy Rain are all based on the actors who play them, including British model Jacqui Ainsley who stars as Madison. Every scene was physically acted out by the cast in a motion capture studio, footage of which you can unlock by finishing the game. There are also audition tapes where the cast awkwardly ham it up in front of director David Cage.

7. YOU CAN WATCH A MOVIE
In the first chapter, interact with the TV in Ethan's lounge while you wait for your wife to come home. You'll be able to watch a few scenes from Suddenly, a classic movie from 1954 starring Frank Sinatra. There's no thematic similarity between the game and the film, but Suddenly is considered one of the best examples of the film noir genre - one of Heavy Rain's most significant influences.

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