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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developed By: Quantic Dreams
Genre: Adventure
Players: 1
Rated: M (Mature)
Release Date: April 1, 2010
Screenshots: Link
Price: $4.99
Written By: Matthew Prunty

March 29, 2010 - Itís no secret that Quantic Dreamís Heavy Rain, exclusively released on the PS3, was a ďcinematic experienceĒ unlike anything that came before it. From its intertwining storyline, to the depth and engrossing love for the cast of characters, and even the breathtaking visuals, Heavy Rain was and is a piece of gaming history that will stand the test of time. Media, Journalist and consumers alike around the world simply canít get enough of Heavy Rain and because of that, we are here today reviewing the first round of DLC for Heavy Rain known as ĎHeavy Rain Chronicles: Episode 1 - The Taxidermistí. Is this new DLC worth your time and money? Read on to find out.

First and foremost, Iím refraining from spoiling the experience for those looking forward to the DLC being released this Thursday. Also, many gamers will get a feeling of dťjŗ vu when playing this DLC simply because early on when Heavy Rain was first announced, parts of the DLC was played out via a cinematic trailer released by Quantic Dreams. For those who donít know, a taxidermist is an individual who prepares and preserves the skins of animals by stuffing and mounting them in lifelike form. With the definition out of the way, Heavy Rain Chronicles: Episode 1 - The Taxidermist begins with Madison Page, one of the four main characters from Heavy Rain, following up on a lead in regards to the Origami Killer. The events of the episodic content take places roughly two years before the events of Heavy Rain. The lead Madison is following is of a 40 year-old man by the name of Leeland White, who by trade is a taxidermist.

Upon arriving at Leeland Whiteís residence, she presumes that Mr. White is not home as he doesnít answer her knocks at the door. She proceeds to find a way into the house via one of the back windows to the house. Upon entering the house, Madison sees all kinds of different stuff animals from dogs to eagles, etc. Madison does some of her investigative work by searching the various rooms of the house, only to come across some disturbing works in two of the backrooms. What Madison sees in the backrooms would make anyone feel uncomfortable and sorry for the individuals involved. Upon discovering this room, she hears Mr. White pulling into the driveway and coming into the house. From here on, you job is to try and avoid Mr. White while descending the second floor stairs and escaping the house. Similar to Heavy Rain, there are multiple ways this situation can and will play out.

While the entire experience within Heavy Rain was something to marvel at, I have to say that The Taxidermist DLC best represents the since of a serial killer is out and about doing harm than that of the actual game. Different kinds of emotions are conveyed through the DLC, and those with a weak stomach will probably not welcome these new feelings and emotions all too well. On the other hand, the construction of this DLC pack is at odds with the actual Heavy Rain game. While there are multiple endings within the DLC, some of those consist of Madison dying, which donít make since considering she is one of the main characters within Heavy Rain. Because of this, I think Quantic Dreams wanted these DLC experience just to be an extension of the HR universe and not actually have connecting ties to the actual game. By doing it this way, you are able to take liberties like Madison dying, without it actually affecting the storyline of Heavy Rain in any way.

From a visual standpoint, all the high quality character models, environments, etc. are present within The Taxidermist DLC. If you really take the time to look at Madison and compare here in the DLC to the actually Heavy Rain game, you can see there is a subtle difference between the two people. First and foremost, she isnít nearly as tired as she portrayed within Heavy Rain. There seems to be no signs of body fatigue from lack of sleep. Another difference between the two Madisonís comes down to the voice. For some reason, the same person isnít doing all the voice work for Madison Page in The Taxidermist DLC when compared to Heavy Rain. You really notice the difference during the monologues of here internal thoughts. It doesnít ruin the DLC in any way, it just seems different and out of place to have someone other than Jaqui Ainsley doing the voice for Madison Page. Beyond the difference in voice work artist, the audio soundtrack is amazing, on par with the quality found in Heavy Rain.

Just like Heavy Rain, The Taxidermist DLC is designed to be played through multiple times. If you decide to play through it only once, it can take you anywhere from 25-35 minutes to complete. However, if you try to obtain all the endings, you can easily spend upwards of 2-3 hours completing that task. If there was only one playthrough with the same ending every time, it certainly wouldnít be worth your time or money unless you are a diehard Heavy Rain fan. Because of the multiple playthrough aspect and the shear quality of the product, The Taxidermist DLC for Heavy Rain is a must have. After experiencing this episodic content, you wonít be able to wait for the next one to be released. However long that may take, Quantic Dreams we await your next creation.


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