Back in the UK again

So I flew back the other day, on my way through LAX I got selected for additional screening and was put in one of the new imaging machines. They zapped me with terahertz radiation for a bit and then decided I was safe. I suspect given what I’ve learnt from movies, games, and comic books this may lead to me developing super powers.

I didn’t get to see what ever horrific image the machine generated, the viewing screen was remote from the machine itself which was basically a hollow cylinder with a scanning arm that rotated around it.

Once that new experience was over with I decided to have something to eat and tried the new (well as far as I know but then I don’t frequent mcdonalds that often) mac snack wrap. Basically a big mac in a tortilla instead of a bun it was nice enough and given the limited options in LAX (which seems to get worse every time I go there) it was probably one of the better things on offer.

The flight back was pretty good, the entertainment system worked this time though there wasn’t much worth watching, I spent as much of the flight as I could sleeping.

Spent the rest of the weekend playing games. Picked up Bioshock 2 off steam and finished it after some fairly extensive play testing. It did give me a lot of trouble and more than once it crashed erasing all my progress even once corrupting a save game meaning I had to start over (thankfully this was right at the start). Even with that it’s a pretty good game very much like the original with a few new twists. Played a bit more of Mass Effect 2 then had a go on the demo of heavy rain.

Heavy rain is a pretty interesting title it looked initially like one long Quick time event but having now tried the demo it’s a lot more than that. The graphics are very good from what I’ve seen of the game in this brief intro it should be pretty fun to play. Most of the time you wander about and interact with the environment with buttons and analogue sticks in a fairly sedate way but sometimes it switches to a sort of action mode ie your character gets in a fight and then it’s like quick time events except failing them doesn’t end the game and make you repeat it can lead to changes in how things play out. The actions to do things in world often feel very natural the progression of movements and buttons serving to make you feel a part of the action not just watching a cut scene.

The developers Quantic dream have always been pushing the boundaries and going for new and innovative concepts which has meant their games fail as often as they succeed. Their last game Fahrenheit (or indigo prophesy in the US) had some nice ideas but went mental towards the end and some of the action stuff in that was painful to try and accomplish on a joy pad. You can clearly see that Heavy rain has taken the best ideas and refined them to make a much more streamlined experience.

Heavy rain seems to have none of the obvious problems that previous games have had, it’s a bit hard to tell how involving the story will be from the demo but it feels like a very interesting setting investigating a series of murders from several perspectives. It’s got to be worth a look if you have a PS3 when it comes out towards the end of this month.