Quantic Dream’s ineptitude toward successful promotion apparently equals what visionary developers the team has proven to be.
So suppose you released a game. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, it was IGN’s 2010 PS3 Game Of The Year, Heavy Rain. Suppose you packed a bargain-priced “Director’s Cut” edition with fascinating extras, including the bonus episode Heavy Rain Chronicles, Episode 1: The Taxidermist, the original game score, revamped menus and interface, full PlayStation Move support, eight making-of vignettes, three dynamic themes, new concept art and, for a cherry on top, a couple bonus trailers.
Wouldn’t you let people know damn far in advance that it was coming out? Especially during a ludicrously huge month of highly anticipated titles hitting shelves?!
If so, then by all means, spit-shine your resume and seek ye good contact information for Quantic Dream’s promotions department. PlayStation broke the news Nov. 3 that Heavy Rain: Director’s Cut will hit shelves Nov. 8.
For those who didn’t experience this title upon its release last year, Quantic has once more turned game-play mechanics on their heads by taking the distinctive, revolutionary marionette-style controls that debuted with their previous PS2 hit Indigo Prophecy and feeding them growth hormone to create not so much a “game” but an “interactive drama.” It’s cinema-centric gaming at its finest. The player controls essentially all major members of an ensemble cast that’s collectively entangled in a mentally fragile father’s sprint against time to rescue his one son from the Origami Killer. In this game, one hand always washes the other: what one character does often impacts how another’s story unfolds, with no guarantee main character one controls will necessarily survive and see the ending credits.
I’ve personally heard several opinions, but they’re usually overwhelmingly positive. It’s definitely a gripping, story-driven title, but I’ve heard some claim it progressed too slowly for their liking and that they found frustrating the marionette controls that let players “unfold” actions by manipulating individual limb mannerisms with the analog sticks. I personally found its cerebral qualities and build of tension extremely satisfying and actually a challenging, refreshing breath of fresh air.
Just as importantly, if ever there were a game that was a match made in Heaven for the PlayStation Move, it’s this one.
Still, it’s a frustrating thing sometimes, loving Quantic Dream. Though Indigo Prophecy (20005) and Heavy Rain (2010) were both absolutely worth the wait, the European developer churns out these unique titles with frustrating infrequency working on one title at a time that can make the good folks from Square Enix look like Robert “Several Films Per Year” Rodriguez by comparison. One can only hope that if they’re rushing this onto shelves, it means a few things: first, that they’re confident sales may pick up after the big Christmas rush thanks to its already-low $29.99 price tag – an absolute bargain for that many extras in one package; but second, and more optimistically, that it’s an appetizer to whet fans’ appetites while they perhaps work towards something I can excitedly preview come E3 2012. Dare I really stretch my optimism to its breaking point and hope, Heavy Rain 2?
Either way, good on Quantic for keeping their name out there.
But next time, a little more advance warning than less than a week before release?