Being told that you will love something makes it exponentially harder to actually love that thing. This is a fact, as unimpeachable and immutable as the fact that cake is better than pie. Again, these are facts, and they are not up for debate.
It is for this reason that I have to this point held fast on not playing Heavy Rain. It's not willful stubbornness, or at least not any kind of bullheadedness that I have the faculties to control. It's just that as each person, a long line in seemingly endless succession, informed me of how very much I would love the game, I felt the barriers go up like watching the opening credits of Get Smart in reverse. No, I wanted to say, I will not, and it's your damn fault!
Maybe it's that the bar becomes so high as accolades become an avalanche of expectation, and that feeling of uncertainty which so deliciously fosters a sense of surprise is lost under the overwhelming perceptions of those who advocate for the game. Maybe it's just that I'm kind of a contrarian dink. Either way, as I wandered toward the checkout counter yesterday with Heavy Rain in hand, I had a sinking feeling of money poorly spent.
It's not fair. Not in the least. But, as I plugged the game disc into the long dormant drive, waited the predictable eternity for the PS3 to update using what I assume is a dial-up connection and an abacus, and plunged into the exciting world of getting dressed, I had to actively fight not to pick out any tiny flaw as though I were collecting evidence for a grand jury indictment.
"Is this really the voice acting I'm going to be subjected to the whole game?" I thought. "At least if something bad happens to these kids I won't have to listen to them talk." Had there been a QTE that allows you to shrug in apathy, I would have Generation X'd that whole intro.
I stress: This is a terrible way to approach a game, and I have no one but myself to blame.
I bring this all up so I can get to this paragraph, however, and it is hopefully my one opportunity for redemption. Following the first big emotional gut-punch of the game, a moment I watched with a kind of detached fascination but little investment, I finally hit the first action moment of the game, and for a second there I got it. It made sense what the game was capable of, and why everyone's been going on about it.
That was a good moment. I will try to build from that.