story by Mike Gas

Take the opening cinematic for example. It makes an explicit attempt to show off the city, its worn and sordid locales, and the everyday lives of the people who live in it. We get these admittedly cool looking close-ups of various people throughout the city... and then we never see them again.

This kind of opening would make much more sense in a game where you're constantly venturing through the game's setting and always crossing paths with the people who live in it, say a game like Shenmue. But this game rarely offers you any interactions with anybody outside of the main ensemble cast. I do understand that in narrative driven AAA game with graphics that look as pretty as Heavy Rain's, you can't just fill the game with environments and characters willy-nilly. I will concede that there is such a thing as money.

But when I first saw this cutscene I couldn't help but think the city was going to be a bigger character than it actually was. The game is less focused on making you feel a part of this setting than it is about tossing you schizophrenically back and forth between its boring claustrophobic locales. In this game you spend more time in rooms then you ever do on the street.

Cage tries to paint a more vivid picture of the city by scraping at some really vague political/economic commentary about how much it sucks to live in shithole Philadelphia, but never goes any further beyond statements like: “Damn, it sure does suck to be poor,” "rich people are dicks," and "cops suck."

I’m down to roast pigs on the fire as much as the next guy, but I can’t help but feel a little patronized with how blatantly evil Norman Jayden’s partner is. This guy, Blake, is literally Satan.

I can only assume he was planned to to be the sort of devil on player character Norman Jayden's shoulder, but this guy is such a cartoon dick, his way of doing things never sound the least bit appealling. He’s always grimacing, kicking in doors unprovoked, beating up innocent civilians, in too much of a hurry to use his gun, or yelling at you. There’s never any real layer of redemption to Blake, nothing that makes him a believable person. I find it extremely hard to believe that this guy really climbed so far up the ranks to become a detective for a job that he seems to despise so much.