This year's "love it or hate it" control scheme gets a motion update.
Heavy Rain came out in February and had you play as four characters who are all involved in some way with a series of kidnappings and murders. The game and its multiple endings were generally well received, but some had issues with the control scheme. See, you don't control Heavy Rain like a traditional third-person game. Here, you move characters around environments and options for things you can do pop up. You can rotate the right stick to open doors, move the right stick up to stand, and so on.
Basically, it wasn't everyone's cup of tea. However, here at E3, Sony's showcasing the PlayStation Move and how it can be incorporated into "hardcore games" – on that list is Heavy Rain. When the PlayStation Move launches in September, Quantic Dream is going to release a patch for Heavy Rain allowing you to control the game with the new controller.
I played the patch-specific tutorial and the scene from Madison's apartment with the PlayStation Move, and I liked the new scheme, but it does take some getting used to. Now, for Heavy Rain fans out there, that shouldn't come as a shock. I remember how long it took me to get used to the original control scheme as I put babies to bed too roughly, couldn't draw a straight line, and got yelled at by my videogame wife for almost breaking plates.
With the Move, you're still moving your character with the left stick, but this time it's on the Wii nunchuck-like navigation controller. Meanwhile, the half-circle and jerking movements still pop up on the screen in little circles but now need you to pull and hold the trigger on the PlayStation Move wand before acting out the motion.
For the most part, this worked like a charm. I was making Madison sit on her bed and turn off the TV without any problem by moving the Move up and rotating the wand before acting out a motion on the screen. The only spots of trouble I had were when I needed to open or close a door or pull off a quarter-circle move. Opening/closing stuff means that you need to either push toward or pull away from the TV, and for some reason, I was having trouble doing these moves fast (maybe slow) enough to have them fill the little box on the screen. On the quarter-circle moves, it seemed like I'd always fail my first time through. Maybe I wasn't making the turn as perfect as I thought I was, but it was a bit off.
Still, I wouldn't worry about that stuff. I was only five minutes or so in before I started the fight scene in Madison's house, and that went really well and, most importantly, felt exciting. The rumble, the frantic moves – I felt like I was in that scene. I figure that the pulling/circling stuff will come with time just like the normal controls did. On the navigation controller/movement side, I still had moments where the perspective change and I made my character move around in a circle – so, I knew I was still playing Heavy Rain.
PlayStation Move arrives in Europe on Sept. 15, 2010, the United States on Sept. 19, 2010 and Japan on October 21, 2010. Look for the Heavy Rain patch sometime around then if not a bit later. Until then, keep checking IGN's PlayStation Move FAQ for the latest on the motion controller.