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The Top 10 Video Games of 2010

Heavy reign
By MITCH KRPATA  |  December 22, 2010

 

1. HEAVY RAIN | Sony Computer Entertainment America

It wasn't the story that made Heavy Rain so great but the story-telling. That's an important distinction. To describe the plot makes this game sound like a standard-issue Hollywood yarn. We have four playable protagonists, each one cut from familiar cloth. A grief-stricken father races to rescue his kidnapped son from a moralizing serial killer. A precocious FBI agent struggles with his inner demons. A crusading journalist becomes part of the story. And a genial private investigator knows more than he lets on.

Yet, in Heavy Rain's slow and methodical approach to telling its tale, it charts emotional waters that most games avoid. There are moments of tenderness, as when the private investigator tends to a baby with a messy diaper, and scenes of despair, as when the bereaved father melts down under police questioning about his missing son. If most games give us power fantasies, Heavy Rain provides the opposite: powerlessness fantasies.

All the while, the plot hurtles forward. Critics have pointed to a lack of interactivity, and it's true that the game lacks the kind of direct control that players expect. But when an action scene begins — like a car chase in the oncoming lane of the highway, or a rooftop escape from the cops — we feel as panicked and helpless as the characters do. One way or another, Heavy Rain seems to say, this story's heading for a conclusion. Better hope you can make it the right one.

VOTE:Heavy Rain in the Laser Orgy 500.

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  Topics: Videogames , best of 2010 , Video Games , Nintendo Wii ,  More more >
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