Heavy Rain Director’s Cut makes a lot out of a little

By Bill Jones

It’s no secret that I love Heavy Rain. (Read the Pads & Panels review here.) I found it to be one of the most innovative games of the last decade, and it earned a prominent spot among our Best Games of 2010. But did it really deserve a “Director’s Cut,” as Sony Computer Entertainment recently gave it? Well, I ask – What else does it offer that the original did not already? Sony’s answer is as follows…

In addition to the original game, the Heavy Rain: Director’s Cut comprises Heavy Rain Chronicles: Episode 1 – The Taxidermist DLC, the Heavy Rain Original Videogame Score, new front-end menu and interface with built-in Move support, a series of eight “making of” bonus videos, three dynamic themes, 15 additional pieces of concept art and two bonus trailers. Let’s break this down.

It’s funny that the company is still referring to the DLC as “Chronicles,” plural, after they indefinitely suspended production of more episodes to have the studio instead add unnecessary Move support, which I maintain is pointless when the original controls of the game focused so much on familiarity with the standard controller and new ways of manipulating it. And that’s all before mentioning that the single piece of true DLC on this disc, essentially a deleted scene, is not that good. (Read that review here.) Also, bulletpointing a “new front-end menu and interface” reeks of how DVDs used to boast “interactive menus” on the back of the box when they had little else to offer.

No doubt the original video game score is a great addition, as the Heavy Rain score is nice and moody, but it’s strange how it actually works. The gamer must first essentially copy over a file that lands in the Games menu on the XMB, only to pop that open and then install it to music, at which point the original file can be deleted from Games. The eight making of videos and 15 pieces of concept art on the disc are a nice complement to what’s already there, but enough to warrant another purchase? I don’t think so.

The themes are what they are, if the gamer is into that sort of thing. All in all, for the price, those who don’t already own Heavy Rain would do well to just pick up this edition. But the audacity of Sony to put out a Director’s Cut to this game after indefinitely suspending production of more actual content is a bit baffling, and the extras just don’t seem worth it for anyone who has already played the original, as good as it may be.

For more info, heavyrainps3.com

Pads & Panels received a sample copy of the game courtesy of the publisher for review purposes.