Can Heavy Rain Be Game Of The Year?

A little game by the name of Heavy Rain came out recently. So far I have seen nothing but glowing reviews and people tweeting about how great the game is. Then the news changed from praise to complaints as the game started freezing on people at very inopportune times (not that there is a good time for a game to freeze), and in some cases corrupting game saves along the way.

The people that have finished the game are saying it was an incredible experience. The people that have freezing issues seem to be loving it as well. This brought me to a question. Can a game retain a high score (on the critical end), and stay in the GOTY running if it is plagued with issues such as freezing and corrupt saves?

Heavy Rain

Heavy Rain

This console generation has brought a lot of innovation to the console space. One of the main points of innovation is developers can now patch a game after it has launched, fixing problems or even adding features. It has been a boon for gamers who love downloading DLC, but the sword cuts the other way. Developers can make their release date and follow it with a patch to fix something that would have otherwise caused a delay. Of course, not all bugs can be found until the game is released into the wild, which is where Heavy Rain seems to be in this equation.

Castle Crashers

Castle Crashers

Other games have released and one of their main features is unplayable. Castle Crashers comes to mind. The patch came many months after the game actually released. This never seemed to affect the opinion of most people who lauded the game as a great beat-em-up. I don’t think the game should be given a 5 out of 10 for being a little messed up on release, but should it be considered GOTY material?

This brings me to the big one. Modern Warfare 2. This title has been patched multiple times in an effort to curb the exploits and glitches in the multiplayer portion of the game. A lot of people, including many websites, gave their GOTY nod to Modern Warfare 2 last year. All the while, one exploit would be squashed with a patch and another one would pop up almost immediately. Shouldn’t these type of issues be solved by the time the game releases? If they can’t put out a game with out serious multiplayer problems, can you give it the GOTY trophy?

Modern Warfare 2

Modern Warfare 2

Personally, I haven’t played Heavy Rain, nor do I ever expect to. That being said, I hope the developer is able to fix the freezing issue so people can experience the game the way it was meant to be experienced. When these things happen, I always think about the guy that doesn’t have his console connected to the PSN and doesn’t frequent message boards, Joystiq, or Twitter. His $60 is spent on a game that he can’t play, or at the very least is causing him a lot of frustration.

Can we judge a game based on the code that comes on the disc, or do we reserve judgement until the developer gives us the game we paid for via a patch? I think games are expensive enough without waiting for a fix because the developer cut corners in the testing phase.

What do you think?

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  • I say no, it should not receive GOTY. It is possible to win many awards for it’s engaging and intense story, but the “gameplay” elements just don’t work well enough. I recommend checking it out as it is a really great experience, just don’t expect it to be played like a game. Play it as an actor in a movie, or interactive story book. Otherwise, you’ll be disappointed and miss out on the story. Actually, it is possible to miss out on the story because the QTE’s seem to cloud it, but hopefully you can look past that.

    • i have played and beat this game and if u have a ps3 this is a must have. but i did run in to the problem with the audio and i dont think that is a big problem. and to even ask if it will get game of the year when it is this early in the year is just to hard to judge. not saying it wont get game of the year cause i really want it to just saying its to early to tell. last thing is how is this game at all short i read this on a other page and i think it is a decent length pluse who cares how long it is there will be dlc comeing soon and dont forget all the endings i read there is over 23 lol

  • I would love to see Heavy Rain be GOTY but that’s not going to happen. With many other AAA titles coming out this year it’s going to be a hard choice.

  • All the patches as of late has made me loss interest in some games. I was so psyched to get Modern Warfare 2 and that was plagued with problems from day one and it really discouraged me from picking it up and playing multiplayer once again even though I have and it just makes me not want to play that game any longer. So could Heavy Rain be game of the year, we will just have to wait and see and from the people I have spoke with about the game, some of the problems would discourage me from even playing the game,if it is all fixed I might pick it up and give it a go and it might just be a great game but until then it’s no game of the year in my book.

  • caroliro

    You owe it too yourself to play Heavy Rain! Yes, the efforts to create something so different should be rewarded. BTW..isn’t your Modern Warfare 2 image above from the box art of Socom:Confrontation..speaking of issues that need/needed patching.

  • I don’t know. I image searched modern warfare 2 and got that. Looks pretty modern and warfare to me. 🙂

  • Chris

    How can you comment on something with no intentions of ever playing it? How can you write a story on it? You base it on readings from other people’s articles or blogs, but doesn’t it take some real experience to have a real opinion? My thoughts are this is a great game having played through it my first time, and many plans on playing it a million more times to see all the possible ways I can play it.

    People who say it isn’t a game are not really thinking clearly. Anything you play is a game, correct? So because you don’t roll dice, is Battleship not as much of a game as Monopoly is? Wouldn’t that mean that COD is not as much of a game as something like Uncharted, or Mass Effect? Or is it more of a game? Bottom line is anything you play and take your self out of real life, is a game. Period. This is as much of a game as Baseball or Chutes & Ladders or Resident Evil 4. It is just the rules have changed. It “Breaks from the norm” or is “Outside the box” thinking. Sorry for the length. Just a couple of thoughts at once.

    • caroliro

      I think “game” does seem somehow inappropriate (and not in a bad way) because the heavy nature of some of the decisions you are asked to make don’t seem like “play.” I found it to be an excellent and entertaining..gaming… experience?

      • Chris

        I still disagree. Again, I think if you are immersed in something other than real life, or doing it for entertainment where you interact, than it is a game. Yes, it is more dramatic than alot if not most things. But that shouldn’t change whether it is classified as a game. I just personally believe by not classifying it as a game, you take away something from it or misrepresent it somehow.

        Just my opinion on the matter. No one is wrong, especially not you, but just wanted to express my thoughts on the other side of the process.

        I just keep reading posts on how people think there is no replay value in this game, when in all honestly, it has more replay value then most games that are available. It has so many different outcomes that you can play it 35 different ways and have 35 different outcomes. (Just a roundabout number).

  • When I wrote this my intention wasn’t to skewer Heavy Rain or insinuate it isn’t a good game. My intention was more to ask the question whether we can call it GOTY material when it seems to be plagued with such problems.

    I haven’t played Castle Crashers or MW2, but I read enough news and feedback from people that have played them to know that there are issues.

    Should we not hold these developers to a higher standard? MW2 made a billion dollars and yet the complaints about its multiplayer continue. It’s gotten better, but how many months has it taken to get to this point?

    I think Heavy Rain should be given all the props it deserves. It’s obviously an accomplishment. And at the end of 2010 will we remember the awesome story or the freezing. Probably the story.

  • caroliro

    Definitely the story…The timing of the whole PS3 internal clock issue may help.