I’ve been through quite a few games with QTEs and most if not all have failed to make the fullest use of the system. And frankly Heavy Rain isn’t an exception. It’s a good improvement: the button prompts are far more legible but that was it. In fact it may well have gone a bit backwards from Shenmue’s QTE system in that each button is not tied for example to a limb or specific action and hence, somewhat counter-intuitive. Granted that most of the time you cannot tell what your character is about to do, there still is a good chance that judging from an opponent’s action you can make a good guess at how how your character will respond and hence know which button would make sense.
Having said that, the whole demo felt pretty amazing. The graphics are not as good as the screenshot impressions but nevertheless are mostly top-notch, with realistic rain and water effects (if they couldn’t get the rain right then perhaps this shouldn’t be called Heavy Rain). The game is littered with context actions from as minor as pulling something out of your pocket (requiring a quarter-circle of the thumbstick) to squeezing past a tight spot (hold X then hold Sq) to preventing your feet from sliding on mud etc.
And what if?
Now imagine a complete remake and conclusion of the Shenmue series in Heavy Rain’s game engine. And if HR’s engine can’t handle the complex combat sequences then at least graphics at HR’s level. Mr. Suzuki-san? Sega?